10 books for English learners that will make you love reading
“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J.K. Rowling
If you’re just getting started reading in English, a children's book or a comic book are a great place to start. You’ll quickly gain the confidence you need to move up to the next level. Then, you might like to check out the ‘English Readers’ versions of novels that have been rewritten in slightly simpler English.
When you’re ready to start a proper English novel, it’s important to pick a genre and theme you actually enjoy. This will keep you hooked, making it easier to push through the challenge of reading in another language.
So check out our list of top ten books for English learners, as recommended to you by a true bookworm! They vary in genre, length and theme, but they are all great stories that will make you fall in love with reading.
1. The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Detective novels are a great genre to try as they will keep you hooked. We love books by Alexander McCall Smith as the language is relatively simple, the stories are always gripping, and the characters are hilarious! If you like this first book, there are plenty more in the series to keep you going.
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Romantic, witty and humorous, yet very sad, this is a book for hopeless romantics. Follow the love story between Hazel and Augustus who meet at a cancer support group for teens. The language is youthful and edgy, making it an engaging and lively read, and you will probably learn some new metaphors along the way!
3. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter books are great for English learners as Rowling doesn’t use complicated grammar or vocabulary so you'll be able to understand most of the story. Or if you’ve already read the books in your native language, then you’ll find reading Harry Potter less of a chore and more relaxing. The first book isn’t too big, so it’s a great place to start and build your English reading confidence.
4. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
This hilarious book follows a group of retirees who like to investigate unsolved crimes. It’s funny, lighthearted, and the authentic British dialogue really feels like you’re listening to your grandmother speak.
5. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
This bestseller takes place in a luxury health retreat in the Australian countryside, as nine strangers come together to deal with their issues, but end up facing many new ones. With a lot of dialogue between the characters, it’s a great way to get used to the typical Australian manner of speaking. It’s since been turned into a TV show, so once you’ve finished the book, you can binge on the series too.
6. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Funny, touching and heartwarming, this popular book is the story of an ordinary office worker who leads a very boring and routine existence, surviving on frozen pizza. The story is told from Eleanor's point of view, as she learns to grow and adapt. This book will make you feel all the emotions and you won’t want it to end.
7. Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Follow the whirlwind life of singer Daisy Jones and her band members as they retell the story of their rise to fame as rock stars. Written in a unique interview style, this makes the story engaging, intriguing and a great way to learn through dialogue. A must read for music fans!
8. The Editor by Steven Rowley
A mix of American history and a modern day storyline, this moving book tells the story of a struggling author who finally gets picked up by an editor – and it’s none other than first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis. You’ll fall in love with the characters and the language is beautiful and lyrical. You might even shed a tear or two by the end!
9. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
This book is often studied in English classes in schools and universities in the United States. It tells the story of a 12-year-old Mexican-American girl as she grows up and adjusts to life in the US through short stories. At just 103 pages, the diary style of writing lends itself to simple language, and you will be able to learn a lot of day to day vocabulary through this book.
10. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The oldest book in our list, but the simple yet clever storyline makes this a wonderful read for all English levels. Simple grammar and vocabulary will make it easy for readers to follow along without having to pull out their dictionary. Once you’ve finished this book, try Dahl’s other books, the Fantastic Mr Fox or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.