Senior Voice -

By Lawrence D. Weiss
For Senior Voice 

Entertaining novels about people our age

 

March 1, 2021 | View PDF

What next, meteor strike? Invasion of space aliens? Zombie neighbors? We live in strange, worrisome times, but fear not. A good book will transport you to a calmer universe, or at least a different one. These are highly-rated books that feature main characters who are older persons. Some are light and humorous, others more thoughtful and somber. Perhaps you will find one or two that pique your fancy.

Want someone to read to you? I do. I use the internet to check out audio books from the local library and listen to them on my smartphone. No charge, and an audio book can be a wonderful companion while doing the dishes or taking a walk. Now, for your consideration:

Arsenic and Old Lace, by Joseph Kesselring

"Basic plot: two little old ladies while away their golden years by taking care of their nephew Teddy and actively pursuing their charity work. Never mind that Teddy thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt and their charity work consists of poisoning little old men. This is one of the most wonderful bits of dark humor I've ever read. It's laugh-out-loud funny (even when just reading it) and still manages to be creepy. Oh the irony, oh the death, oh the references to Boris Karloff..." - Goodreads

Reviewer

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, by Fredrik Backman

"Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa's best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal. When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's

greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other." - Publisher

Walking Across Egypt, by Clyde Edgerton

"She has as much business keeping a stray dog as she would walking across Egypt – which not so incidentally is the title of her favorite hymn. She's Mattie Rigsbee, an independent, strong-minded senior citizen who, at seventy-eight, might be slowing down just a bit. When teenage delinquent Wesley Benfield drops in on her life, he is even less likely a companion than the stray dog. But, of course, the dog never tasted her mouth-watering pound cake. Wise and witty, down-home and real." - Publisher

"This is a wonderful little book, very sweet and heartwarming, exciting and funny. I want to go live with Miss Mattie and eat her country cooking." - Goodreads reviewer

The Hearing Trumpet, by Leonora Carrington and Pablo Weisz-Carrington

"The Hearing Trumpet is the story of 92-year-old Marian Leatherby, who is given the gift of a hearing trumpet only to discover that what her family is saying is that she is to be committed to an institution. But this is an institution where the buildings are shaped like birthday cakes and igloos, where the Winking Abbess and the Queen Bee reign, and where the gateway to the underworld is open. It is also the scene of a mysterious murder. Occult twin to 'Alice in Wonderland', The Hearing Trumpet is a classic of fantastic literature." - Publisher

All Passion Spent, by Vita Sackville-West

"In 1860, as a young girl of 17, Lady Slane nurtures a secret, burning ambition-to become an artist. She becomes, instead, the wife of a great statesman and the mother of six children. Seventy years later, released by widowhood, and to the dismay of her pompous children, she abandons the family home for a tiny house in Hampstead. Here she recollects the dreams of youth, and revels in her newfound freedom with her odd assortment of companions: Genoux, her French maid; Mr. Bucktrout, her house agent; and a coffin maker who pictures people dead in order to reveal their true characters. And then there's Mr. FitzGeorge, an eccentric millionaire who met and loved her in India when she was young and very lovely. It is here in this world of her own that she finds a passion that comes only with the freedom to choose, and it is this, her greatest gift, that she passes on to the only one who can understand its value." - Publisher

Author Bio

Lawrence D. Weiss is a UAA Professor of Public Health, Emeritus, creator of the UAA Master of Public Health program, and author of several books and numerous articles.

 
 

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