6 Books Every Senior Should Read In Their Retirement

January 29, 2019
First Published On: January 29, 2019
by HitBerry Team

The empty mind is the devil's workshop. Retirement can be a challenging time with a lot of time on your hands but nothing really interesting to do. What better way than to lay in bed or relax in a rocking chair and delve deep into a book? Perhaps recapture your youth through the marvelous art of the written word. A book can be a source of comfort and knowledge for persons of any age and in today's world, it's a great way to understand the social commentaries and stances of diverse communities around the world. To illustrate, here are some interesting pieces of literary art for senior citizens to enjoy.

The Shining by Stephen King

Not quite the genre you were expecting, I bet?

Well, this classic horror story has already shaken the hearts of fans all over the world in the film ‘The Shining’, 

under the masterful direction of Stanley Kubrick, and an amazing performance by Jack Nicholson. But the book, written by Stephen King, is a beast of its own. 

Jack Torrance accepts a job as the winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, agreeing to spend the long winter months closed off from the rest of the world, along with his wife Wendy, and son Danny. But things start going awry when the strangeness of the Overlook Hotel slowly descends upon the Torrance family, in a case of cabin fever gone terrifyingly wrong. 

The book leaves you breathless and you can’t turn the pages fast enough to discover the fate of the family as madness slowly but surely overtakes Jack Torrance. It is truly suspenseful horror. It will definitely give you the surge of adrenaline you've been looking for  and jolt you away from the plethora of self-help books or romance novels, and landing you right in the middle of ‘The Shining’. 

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Set in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, The Help explores the world of African-American maids in white households. Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan, a 24-year-old white woman, is struggling to prove her identity as a writer to her mother and herself. 

To fuel her drive for writing, she eventually decides to write a book on the awful living and employment conditions of the African-American maids in the South.

For this, she enlists the help of her friend's maid, Aibileen, and Aibileen’s friend, Minny. The story reflects the journey of writing the book through secret interviews, and the personal, as well as professional lives of Aibileen and Minny as caretakers for white families.

The plot and the characters may be fictitious, but the story itself has a resounding truth to it. 

The book’s significance resurfaces in the light of the current racially charged atmosphere in the U.S. and can act as an insight into the social experiences of the African-American community.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

Understanding the ever-changing world of robotics and new world technology can seem like a daunting task. 

Through this biographical work, Ashlee Vance explores the world of Elon Musk, the mind behind innovations such as SpaceX, Tesla, Solar City, and PayPal.

Elon is a visionary businessman and creator, often dubbed as the ‘real-life Tony Stark.’ This book captures his journey from South Africa to Silicon Valley and his adventures spending his own fortune for the sake of fueling the fantasy of science. 

The strangely fascinating world of technology and innovation is extremely different from our own daily lives, and its allure is truly captured by this book. It's not only a great way of knowing just how the current world is evolving, but also just how far it can go in the fierce world of global competition.

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Mass shootings and mass murder have sadly become somewhat of a news staple at this point. 

We need to talk about Kevin discusses this issue from the viewpoint of Eva Khatchadourian, whose son Kevin commits mass murder at his school.

With such a sensitive premise, the writer handles it as a series of letters from Eva to her estranged husband, contemplating their past. This book also explores other sensitive topics in a new light, such as motherhood,  where Eva has struggled to connect with Kevin since his birth.

We need to talk about Kevin does a brilliant job of showcasing the other side of the story, where the families of the perpetrators struggle with the aftermath of the events. 

As you turn the pages, you will find yourself caught up in the journey alongside Eva, through her struggles of married life, womanhood, and motherhood. 

If you have ever contemplated the debate on nature vs nurture, this book will make you explore the matter with more nuance and contemplation.

It’s a strangely fascinating journey that sheds some light on this deadly crime that has been plaguing America.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

No matter who you are, it's never too late to read Harry Potter. It's a book about the magical adventures of a boy in a world full of wizards, both the good and the bad kind. 

When 11 year old Harry Potter receives an invitation to attend the Wizard School Hogwarts, he is thrown into the strange world of magic, wizards, and flying broomsticks. 

He's joined by Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, as they discover the dark and dangerous side of the wizarding world. They have one misadventure after another in their quest to fight against the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

But this story is much more than good vs evil. It depicts the importance of friends, family, perseverance, and above all, the power of love.

Rowling’s amazing world-building within the stories will genuinely make you feel like you’re a part of this secret wizard community. 

It's an immersive, stimulating experience in a world full of marvel, excitement, and adventure.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

A little teenage girl, living in an attic for two years with her family, hiding away from horrors that await them if they’re discovered- yep, that’s how Anne Frank wrote this heart-wrenching true story. 

Born into a Jewish family in the Netherlands, Anne started writing in her notebook to pass the time during her hiding. She captured not only the perils of living with the fear of discovery and death, but also the nuances of growing up as a teenager.

Anne wrote in her notebook for the last time on August 1, 1944, after which they were discovered and taken off to the concentration camps. 

This beautifully written diary is a must-read World War II book, as we experience the hopes and aspirations of young Anne through her own words.

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.” - J.D. Salinger