Which books to read to progress in English?
Table of Content
Discover below our selection of the best books to read in English: from novels adapted to the cinema (or in series) to classic works, through the essentials of English literature - the language of Shakespeare will soon have no more secrets for you!
To progress quickly in English:
- Choose a theme that corresponds to what you usually like to read in French.
- If you are a beginner, avoid starting with classical works.
- Read a little every day.
- If possible, read aloud.
Novels suitable for cinema or series
The good thing about these books is that you probably already know the storyline:
- 50 Shades of Grey - by E L James (3 volumes)
- Charlie and the chocolate factory - by Roald Dahl
- Fantastic Beasts and where to find them - by J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter - by J.K. Rowling (7 volumes)
- Me before you - by Jojo Moyes (3 volumes)
- Oliver Twist - by Charles Dickens
- Pride and prejudice - by Jane Austen
- The Da Vinci Code - by Dan Brown
- The fault in our stars - by John Green
- The Great Gatsby - by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - by M.A. Shaffer et A. Barrows
- The Handmaid’s Tale - by Margaret Atwood
- The Hobbit - by J. R. R. Tolkien
- Twilight - by Stephenie Meyer
Cinematographic adaptations sometimes allow themselves some freedom on the original story!
- 40 Rules of loves - d’Elif Şafak
- A thousand splendid suns - de Khaled Hosseini
- Danny the champion of the world - de Roald Dahl
- Deal breaker - de Harlan Coben
- How to be a woman - de Caitlin Moran
- Matilda - de Roald Dahl
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - by Mark Haddon
- The Happy Prince - d’Oscar Wilde
- The perks of being a wallflower - by Stephen Chbosky
- To kill a mockingbird - by Harper Lee
- Two lives - by Helen Naylor
To discover the classics of English-speaking literature:
- Animal Farm - by George Orwell
- Dracula - by Bram Stoker
- The Hound of the Baskervilles - by A. Conan Doyle
- The Old man and the Sea - by E. Hemingway
- The Picture of Dorian Gray - by Oscar Wilde
- Treasure Island - by Robert Louis Stevenson
If you are a beginner, avoid starting with a classic piece.
Many publishing houses have their own collection of bilingual books dedicated to learners:
- Cambridge English Readers Collection: various difficulty levels, free downloadable English texts and audio versions.
English press articles
- British Council Magazine: News articles (mainly cultural) - with questions at the end of the article to assess your general understanding of the text.
- Learn in English: Articles related to current affairs, history, culture, etc. - classified by level of difficulty and with audio versions, additional explanatory videos and indexes for the most difficult terms.
- News in levels: News related articles - systematically broken down into three articles of different levels and with audio supports.
These sites are dedicated to learning the English language and offer texts suitable for all levels.
- Creepypasta: Short stories or short stories on the theme of the paranormal and horror.
- FanFiction: Stories written by fans to extend, amend or totally transform a novel, a manga, a television series, a film, a video game or even a celebrity they love.
The Gutenberg project
The Gutenberg project makes free available the fallen works in the public domain: more than 50,000 books - in all languages - in digital version.
Volunteers also recorded over 24,000 audio files of reading these books.