Whether at home or at the beach, summer somehow seems to invite settling in with a good book. For enlightenment or entertainment. Here are some suggested titles for your bedside table or satchel.

Books on Aging Recommended by Blog Followers

THE CHAIR ROCKS: A Manifesto against Ageism by Ashton Applewhite. Looking at aging not as a curse but as a developmental stage.

THE CREATIVE AGE: Awakening Human Potential in the Second Half of Life by Gene Cohen, MD, PhD.

[By the same author] THE MATURE MIND: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain.

FALLING UPWARD: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr.

THE GIFT OF YEARS: Growing Older Gracefully by Joan Chittister.

MAYO CLINIC ON HEALTHY AGING. A jargon-free owner’s manual.

NO TIME TO SPARE: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Some Other Thought-Provoking Works to Keep Us Current

CLIMATE CHANGE: What Everyone Needs To Know by Joseph Romm.

HOW DEMOCRACIES DIE by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt.

ILL WINDS: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition and American Complacency by Larry Diamond. Twelve steps towards authoritarianism, here and there.

THE SECOND MOUNTAIN: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks.

WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE GOT HERE: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich. [For a shorter, less technical treatment of these same paleo-genetic discoveries, with lucid graphics, see also “The First Europeans Weren’t Who You Might Think,” by Andrew Curry, in the National Geographic Magazine, August 2019. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2019/07/first-europeans-immigrants-genetic-testing-feature/ ]

THE PIONEERS by David McCulloch. A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian tells the story of the settling of the Northwest Territory.

Entertainment To Make Us Marvel, Laugh and Cry

A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW by Amor Towles. Everyone’s favorite senior protagonist.

NORTHLAND: A 4,000-mile Journey along America’s Forgotten Border by Porter Fox. An intriguing blend of history and adventure travel.

And three reads recommended by New York Times staffers:

  • EDUCATED by Tara Westover. The daughter of survivalists, who is kept out of school, educates herself enough to leave home for university.
  • LAST DAY by Domenica Ruta. This darkly glittering novel flits among characters – including a trio of astronauts, a 15-year-old girl and a tattoo artist – during our planet’s final hours.
  • SOMETHING WONDERFUL by Todd Purdum. An authoritative portrait of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Broadway revolution.

Coming August 15:

The Lure of Trains