Recommend books for my 70 year old dad

My father’s recently (semi) retired and has started reading light/entertaining fiction again after a longish gap(20-30 years). Since he is, as mentioned in the title, 70 years old, I find that the books I recommend to him are not always to his taste. So I asked him to come up with a list of books/authors that he enjoyed, with the hope that Dopers would be able to help! Here’s his list -

Leon Uris - Exodus
Daphne du Maurier - Scape goat
Jean Cleary - Green Helmet
A.J. Cronin - Beyond This Place
Arthur Hailey - Money changer (likes most of Hailey)
Fredrick Forsyth - Dogs of War (likes most of Forsyth)
Richard Powell - The Philadelphian; The Soldier.
Nevil Shute - Slide Rule
Alistair Maclean - Guns of Navarone, Where Eagles date
Any P.G. Wodehouse


The Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser might be worth a look. I have just started my dad on them who is a similar age. They are historical books dealing with the adventures of a 19th century English army officer who happens to be a total cad.

During their adventures they manage to get mixed up in a lot of the big events of the 19th century pretty much anywhere on the globe from Russia to India to the US and untold other places.

They are a mix of history, adventure and humour. They are fairly un pc though for some people as they do represent the attitudes of the time they are meant to be set in. That could be an issue for some. I have heard Fraser’s writing compared to P.G. Wodehouse though I have not personally read any Wodehouse to confirm.

If he hasn’t read Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, I’d put it at the top of his list. Also, I get the impression that Robert Ludlum is very popular among men in that age category.

My parents, who are in a similar age range and enjoy the works of Arthur Hailey, Alistair Maclean and Frederick Forsyth, also particularly like similar books by Clive Cussler, Jack Higgins, and Ken Follett.

Your father might also like the stories of political intrigue by Jeffrey Archer (no stranger to political intrigue himself).

If he enjoys Leon Uris, he might also like the similar works of Herman Wouk.

They are a slightly different genre, but has he read any of James Michener? Hawaii is a great place to start, although I also enjoyed Alaska, and my favorite is The Source (about Israel).

Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin books would keep him busy for a while.

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons and Death by Sheer Torture, by Robert Barnard. Both very British and very funny.

He might like Ken Follett. I’d recommend A Dangerous Fortune or Pillars of the Earth to start out.

I was going to mention Ken Follett also. He’s written a lot books, some better than others, but I’ve gotten some enjoyment out of all of them.

Also Herman Wouk’s two WWII novels *The Winds of War *and War and Remembrance were some of the best reading of my life. If he liked Exodus he might like those.

Look for Rolling Thunder in your local library; if he likes it, get the series.

Would he like the Horatio Hornblower series?

If you want a similar series with an American protagonist, you could try the Ethan Gage series by William Deitrich. They’re set during the Napoleonic Wars, initially at the time of Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign. Unlike Flashman they also have Illuminati and masons, etc. worked into the plot.

Some other Nevil Shute books might appeal; Trustee from the Toolroom, Round the Bend, An Old Captivity maybe. The characters are very post-war British though!

How about the original **Ian Fleming **James Bond novels?

If you want to induce a heart attack, try Fifty Shades of Grey.:D;)


i) Life of Pi
ii) Kane and Able by Jeffery Archer
iii) The Hunt for Red October
iv) The Good Terrorist (Doris Lessing).
v) Some Orhan Pamuke works like Snow or My Name is Red.

Most anything by W.E.B. Griffin.

For non-fiction

Stephen Ambrose, Citizen Soldiers

Eugene Sledge, With the Old Guard

Utley, A Life Wild and Perilous: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific

Michael Connelly Harry Bosch series.

Among his works that you may have seen on the big screen: Blood Work, Lincoln Lawyer.
I’m 50, and I have really enjoyed them.

He might like a lot of the early Clancy books.

You didn’t have any John Le Carre - complex cold war and later spy novels

If he likes history, he might look into Alan Eckert. The Frontiersman is best to start with, and if he likes that there’s a whole slew of others. Historical Narrative, good entertainment, but probably not all that accurate with some of the liberties Eckert takes. Controversial for some on the basis of accuracy, but I didn’t care, it was entertaining.

Thanks for all the suggestions folks, will work through the thread and see how he likes it. Will report back on the ones that struck a chord!