One of summer’s delights can be cozying up to a good book.

By delving into a character’s adventures, readers not only find enjoyment, they step into an alternate mental universe that can be incredibly beneficial to their health. Reading may lessen depression, enhance recovery from surgeries, and aid in the cognition of people battling dementia. Longevity in older adults can even be increased by 20 percent through reading novels, according to researchers.

So if you need to step away from your caregiving duties for an hour to read, please do. If you and your loved one treasure listening to an audiobook or reading together, embrace that urge.

And if you’re looking for some intriguing books to check out this summer, here are a few titles to explore.

1) Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano is a tale of four sisters, who at times echo the four sisters in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Yet, Napolitano’s Padavano sisters, while just as caring and resilient as Alcott’s, face some painful crises that threaten their bonds in this touching intergenerational portrait that showcases a family rift and the challenges of healing. An Oprah Book Club pick, this New York Times bestseller can both mesmerize and surprise readers.

2) The Maid and its sequel The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose center on Molly Gray, a maid who finds great fulfillment in cleaning up her grand hotel’s messes, which unfortunately sometimes include dead bodies. Gray, who has a literal way of seeing the world, also can tend to become the focus of her local police detective’s investigations. These humorous, warm-hearted, and sprightly tales are fun books to read with a loved one or savor alone when you need a break from caregiving.

3) Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See is inspired by the true story of a female physician in 15th century China. This historical novel wraps the reader in the intricacies of life inside the women’s enclave of a wealthy household with its varied generations, multiple wives, and concubines. Yunxian, a young woman who secretly practices medicine despite her society’s strictures, struggles to find her way and aid her patients despite the pains of foot binding, the incessant social intrigue, and the sometimes threatening laws. The Los Angeles Review of Books dubs it “a powerful and essential story of humanity.”

4) Tom Lake by Ann Patchett focuses on a teenager whose life veers onto a new path when she takes on the role of Emily in the play Our Town. Decades later, as a mom with three grown daughters, she shares the details of her doomed romance with her children while they and her husband strive to save the family cherry orchard during the pandemic. Actress Meryl Streep, also a mom of three daughters, reads the audiobook version of this New York Times bestseller and Reese’s Book Club Pick.

5) The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride shares the story of the residents of Chicken Hill, a run-down neighborhood in Pottsdown, Pennsylvania. The lives of Jewish immigrant grocers and their African American neighbors intertwine as they navigate the evolving social world from the 1920s to the 1960s. With lively humor and a sense of karmic justice, McBride investigates a murder and the intricacies of his characters’ lives and loves in the novel, which was named a “Best Book of the Year” by Barnes & Noble, The New Yorker, and NPR.

And if you yearn to read about other caregivers, consider my memoir, Kick-Ass Kinda Girl, which depicts my time as a caregiver to both my mother and my husband, and also the many joys and challenges of my life. If you need a friend in caregiving, I hope my book can reach out to let you know that you have one. You are not alone. And all proceeds from book sales are donated to caregivers in need!

Happy reading, please share with a friend, and be well! —KK

We are grateful to be celebrating our 10th year of helping caregivers in need and to be supported by the many generous and caring friends who have helped make a difference in so many lives. 

Please consider donating to the Kathi Koll Foundation so you can help make a difference in struggling family caregivers’ lives. Thank you!


Photo 42380713 | Summer Reading © Peppi18 |