Reading English books is a great way to get a grasp of the language. But where do you start? You don’t want to delve into Shakespeare’s collection; most English natives struggle to understand what Shakespeare is on about half of the time. Likewise, you don’t want to read children’s books. You need a middle ground, books that are accessible yet still challenge you.
I’ve listed my top 3 fictions books I recommend to my student’s if they want a gateway to English literature.
Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher
This is a great book for English learners. The story takes place in the present which means the grammar is simple and the book is a quick read. Also, the vocab is easily digestible because the story's told through a teenager’s voice.
But, if you’re looking for a light-hearted read; this book isn’t for you. The book deals with some very heavy issues right from the start. Suicide, bullying and sexual assault are common themes throughout the book. Although it’s a Young Adult novel I think people of all ages can relate. If you have a young person close to you, this book will provide added value as it enacts as a terrifying but realistic glimpse into some of the realities our young people are facing today. P.S Netflix adapted the book into a series. Currently series one and two are available on Netflix.
Animal Farm, George Orwell
This is a book I read relatively recently which is surprising because it’s one of the greats. Orwell was a journalist, therefore his writing style is very clean, clear and direct. Although he uses a lot of extended metaphors, he doesn’t use complex sentences and overly complicated vocab which makes it pretty accessible for English learners.
On the surface, this is a story about farm life from the animals’ point of view. However, that's just a smoke screen. In truth, Animal Farm is a satirical political allegory that retells the story of the Russian Revolution but within the context of a farm, replacing humans with animals.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
I bet you’ve already read the Harry Potter series in your native language … TWICE. Who doesn’t love HP, right? Reading it in English would be a great first step into the world of English literature. Also, it’s British; so if you want to learn British English this book will introduce you to some UK-specific words and phrases.
Let us know which books you've recently read!