Reading books is a great way to improve your English. As you’re enjoying the story, you’re learning hundreds of useful words, phrases and expressions without even realising it. Plus, you’re improving your knowledge of grammar. You can read graded readers (simplified versions of books) or the original versions (if you’ve got a high level of English). The following are some books recommended by students of English.
1- Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
This book is about three friends (Jerome, Harris, and George) who decide to go on a trip down the River Thames with their dog, Montmorency. As they travel along the water, they get into all sorts of trouble. The thing you’ll love about this book is the humour as it’s written in an ironic style.
2- An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
Georges Picquart runs a top-secret department in the French secret service. He finds that the evidence against a man called Alfred Dreyfus for spying is false. While Picquart investigates the case, he risks his career and his life to prove that Dreyfus is innocent. This book is based on a true story known as the “Dreyfus affair”. I found it really interesting and I enjoyed reading it.
3- Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dracula was first published in 1897 and has been an inspiration for many writers and film producers. The writer, Bram Stoker, based the character of Dracula on a 15th-century prince called Vlad Dracul. The book is mostly written as a series of letters and diary extracts. Events in the novel take place in England and Transylvania during 1893. I love horror stories, but this is definitely one of my favourites.
4- Love Actually by Richard Curtis
Love Actually has nine mini-stories all about the importance of love. It takes place a few weeks before Christmas and jumps from story to story. Some of the characters who appear in the book include Daniel, who has just lost his wife in a tragic accident, Harry, who starts an affair with a colleague, Jamie, who falls in love with his Portuguese maid after his wife leaves him, and Billy, who is an aging rock star. This book is actually the screenplay for the film, so it isn’t like an ordinary book. However, I like romantic stories, and loved the movie, so this book was perfect for me.
5- Sons of Fortune by Jeffrey Archer
Two twins are separated at birth and lead very different lives. One brother, Nat, grows up with a school teacher and insurance salesperson as parents. After graduating from university, he serves in the Vietnam War. The other brother, Fletcher, grows up with multimillionaire parents and becomes a criminal defence lawyer. Both brothers continue on their separate paths until one has to defend the other for a murder he didn’t commit. This is a great book and really exciting.
6- 1984 by George Orwell
Winston Smith lives in the fictitious country of Oceania, which is ruled by a dictator called Big Brother. The world is divided into three zones that cover the entire globe: Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. Big Brother is at constant war with the two other super states. He also watches over his citizens at all times. I really like politics so this book was great for me.
7- The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
While in Paris on business, Harvard professor Robert Langdon receives an urgent call from the French police. They want him to decode a cryptic message left by the murdered curator of the Louvre museum. Robert solves it and discovers that the message leads to a number of clues hidden in works of art by the Italian artist Leonardo Da Vinci. Langdon joins forces with French cryptologist Sophie Neveu, the granddaughter of the murdered curator. If you like mysteries, you’ll love this book.