A book prescription for ageing - everyone should enjoy a good later life, including good health, financial security, social connection and perhaps a purpose. These books on ageing bring hope and inspiration for those entering later life or for caretakers who are looking after the elderly.

best books on ageing, growing old


The Art of Aging, A Doctor's Prescription for Well-Being (Non-fiction) by Sherwin B. Nulan

A beautiful book by Sherwin B Nuland that provides a profound insight into how old age is potentially the period at which we are the happiest, ageing gracefully, being more creative and embracing spirituality. It is a time of peacefully reflecting, accepting our life for what it is and perhaps enjoying the lifted burdens of earlier periods of our lives.




Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (Non-fiction) by Atul Gawande

For the scientifically minded, this book by Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon provides an overdue insight into the importance of dignity and conscientious care in the final years of a person's life is essential to enable them to live a great quality of life right to the end. The young, often in denial, overlook the simple comforts that can dramatically increase their longevity . We as a species need to do more to provide this.



The Sense of an Ending (Fiction) by Julian Barnes 

Whilst a short book of only 150 pages, the book cleverly weaves together two stories - one that focuses on the perceptions on life of a man in his final years and those of his family friends, when an event happens where he is forced to reconsider everything he once thought true about himself. It is only at the end of the book, that the reader realises how obvious the second story was with easy to miss hints given throughout the book. However this only becomes clear in hindsight at the end of the book.The book certainly teaches us that our memories and recollections on life can be so different that even when we experience the same, we remember things differently. A beautiful, honest introspection on how our reflections at the end of life transform what we had one experienced, changing our memories forever. Reading this book makes us realise that this transformation of memories is perhaps quite common and maybe we are not alone in this experience.



What Are Old People For?: How Elders Will Save The World (Non-fiction) by William H Thomas

A book that celebrates old age. The value that older people bring is priceless and makes a case for officially recognising this and giving old people the significance and legitimacy they deserve. Great for people with ageing parents or those working in elderly care as well as the elderly who may be doubting their value and esteem.

Related recommended reading lists:

Ageing Well (Women)

Becoming a grandmother


Caring for someone with cancer


Elderly parents

Feeling lonely




More book prescriptions can be found at Book Therapy.

A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, and life I launched Book Therapy as an alternative form of therapy using the power of literature. I train mental health professionals, librarians, teachers as well as readers on using bibliotherapy in their own work through our online Bibliotherapy, Literature and Mental Health course. We also curate reading lists/personalised book prescriptions for clients based on their individual needs. This is our signature personalised reading service.

You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and A- Z of book prescriptions (covering both fiction and non-fiction). These suggest books based on your existing life situation (e.g. anxiety, job change, relationship heartache) as well as interests (e.g memoir, historical fiction, non-fiction, crime etc). There’s also a Children’s A — Z of Book Prescriptions. Feel free to check out the blog for more literary gems. There’s also a post on my personal story of how I entered the world of bibliotherapy and book curation.

In this role, I have had the opportunity to publish a book called The Happiness Mindset, and write various literary essays and pieces for newspapers and magazines. I have undertaken bibliotherapy workshops for The United Nations, various libraries in New York and corporate organisations in the UK and US. My book recommendations have featured in the Guardian, Marie Claire, NBC News, Asian Voice, New York Observer, Sydney Telegraph and various other publications. If you are a parent you might enjoy a podcast I’ve recorded with speech and language therapist Sunita Shah on Raising A Reader & Storyteller. And if you’d like to connect, email me at or

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