Amazon compiled a list of the top 10 books for aging adults, which I found on The Longevity Connection’s blog (view the list here). Perhaps the most surprising title was #1: 15 Toothache Solutions.
In addition to the top slot selection, there were several books about caregiving, from The Complete Elder Care Planner to the classic Alzheimer’s guide which is currently in its 4th edition, The 36-Hour Day. Others covered topics like growing older gracefully, retirement, Social Security, and how to stay fit after 40. One memoir made the list: Shaken, Not Stirred from Tim Gunn (better known as the “make it work” fashion guru from Project Runway). Gunn wrote about his relationship with his father, Bill Gunn, an FBI special agent who served as the infamous J. Edgar Hoover’s ghostwriter — and who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
I don’t know, Amazon. It sounds like a fairly good round-up of “books about aging issues,” but I’m not sure how many aging adults — or people of any age, really — want to read about Alzheimer’s. Or Social Security. Or toothaches.
Creating a top 10 list of something as subjective as books on a topic as Grand Canyon-deep-and-widely diverse as aging is sort of an impossible task, I think. Maybe you’ll find a book on the Amazon list that you’ll read cover to cover, or will dog-ear and refer to frequently, or will give as a gift to all your friends. If so, I’m happy to have found the list and shared the post with you.
However, I encourage you to create your own top ten books for aging adults list, to cultivate your own library of best-loved books about growing older or being a caregiver (which are really two very different things and ideally would require separate top ten lists). Hint: They don’t have to be in the self-help/reference section of your favorite book store or library.
Here are a few of my favorites, most of which are fiction:
- Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson
- Gilead and Home, by Marilynne Robinson
- The Measure of My Days, by Florida Scott-Maxwell
- You’re Only Old Once, by Dr. Seuss
- 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans, by Karl Pillemer
You can also check out several book reviews we’ve featured on the site via this post, Books About Aging and Caregiving: What’s On Your List?
Talk back: What books have helped you as a caregiver? Or presented a view of aging that you found informative or interesting?