Magazine topic: 
Books
Total votes: 111

Eight novels to help you learn English

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by : 
EllenBlogger

One of the worst things I find about learning a language is the fact that it is vitally important to read books in your target language. I love reading, but I find it really hard to find the time to read because I usually like to read quickly and as a Literature student it is important for me to understand every word. I find it even harder to decide which books I am going to read, as I don’t want one that is too easy and boring, but neither do I want one which is too difficult and which demotivates me. I’ve compiled a list of a few books which aren’t too difficult but are enough to challenge you when you read in English.

1. Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome
This is a book I read when I was 10 years old, from a local author who lives in the Lake District. It’s brilliant and explores the lives of four children as they adventure around Lake Coniston.

2. The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks
An amazing, heart-wrenching read!

3. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Set in a dystopian future, Katniss must fight to stay alive in a sadistic game show. There are three books in the series so if you enjoy the first one, there are another two to read and four films to watch too! 

4. One Day, David Nicholls
A man and a woman meet at university, and the book follows their lives on the same date of every year.

5. The Fault in our Stars, John Green
A very real novel about two teenagers who fall in love while battling cancer. A major motion picture too!

6. Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White
A spider and a pig become firm friends!

7. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
This book is often studied in schools thanks to the hugely impacting themes it deals with, from racism to doing what is morally right.

8. A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket
This book, again the first in the series, actually explains some of the more complicated words it uses. It shows three orphans and how they battle against their conniving uncle to get their money back!

Note from editor: The books on this list are the blogger's personal selection.

Discussion

Have you found any books which have helped you learn English? Have you read any of the books on this list? Which is your favourite English novel? 

Comments

JoEditor's picture
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JoEditor 3 July, 2017 - 09:09

Hi Bahmanyar,
We're happy to have you here on LearnEnglish Teens. Please do read our House Rules before you post again. You must not share your personal details like your email address on our site. 
Thanks a lot, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

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kaniza 9 April, 2017 - 17:45

Do you need an entertaining but interesting book in English? The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night was written by Mark Haddon and it´s about a fascinating character called Christopher who discovers a crime.
One of the best things about the book is that it helps you understand someone with aspergers. Christopher has this syndrome. He´s different but you can see things from his position if you read this book. In addition, this boy has a lot if exciting adventures after he discovers a dead dog. Last but not least, the English is quite easy to understand.
I can´t think of anything negative to say about this book. Don´t be put off by the cover. Read the blurb on the back to get a better idea of the story.
I would recommend this book for anyone interested in psychology and mystery. It´s a must read if you want to improve your English!

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poppymoore's picture
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poppymoore 1 April, 2017 - 04:10

I have read the notebook, the fault in our stars , the hunger games (all 3) and one day out of these. All of them were wonderful and my favorite out of these is the Hunger Games series. My favorite novels in general are 'The Memory of Elephants' by Boman Desai and Pride and Prejudice.

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catastrophe 11 April, 2017 - 15:11

Hi Tylin!
I think to improve your English, first you need to read books like Charlie Bone, Matilda, and stuff. Then, if you are confident about your grammar, please do read Enid Blyton. It gives you an idea of how was British English in the oldies and she uses a lot of idioms too. Well, then as the others say, you can read the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Inkheart, etc, etc, etc. You can try Septimus Heap, because it has got some funny spellings, like Magyk for magic, and stuff. Good luck reading:)!

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poppymoore 1 April, 2017 - 04:18

Hey Tylin,
I would suggest that you start your reading with the Hunger Games because its in a simple language yet the story is very interesting. It suits everyone.
If you like romance you can try the notebook, the last song or the longest ride. All of them are by Nicholas Sparks. ( I , personally , would suggest the Last Song as it connects with teenagers wonderfully and the language is very wonderful.)

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hadia's picture
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hadia 1 April, 2017 - 15:16

Hey Tylin!
Have you watched The Last Song (movie) after reading the book? I watched it last year and it's really a great movie.

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poppymoore 2 April, 2017 - 18:58

Hey hadia,
I too loved the movie, Last Song. The actors are my favourite and I actually read the book later.

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hadia's picture
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hadia 6 April, 2017 - 15:33

Hi poppymoore!
Wow. You watched the movie first? The book had been a fun to read then. I haven't read it full yet. I am gonna read it in my vacation. :)

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poppymoore 10 April, 2017 - 11:57

Hey Hadia,
It sounds strange to some people but i always watch a movie first and then read the book.I do this because a movie almost always has less details than the book so if I have already read the book, the movie seems incomplete. On the other hand watching the movie firs lets me add the details in story through imagination. Try it sometime.

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hadia's picture
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hadia 10 April, 2017 - 15:06

Hey poppymoore!
You're quite right. I had noticed it. When we have read the book already ,we've created our own characters and if then we watch the movie, with different characters, it really spoils the taste. So your idea is better too. :))

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catastrophe's picture
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catastrophe 2 March, 2017 - 15:45

Oh... I love books! I atleast read seventy pages everyday! I've read the Hunger Games, and I feel they are pretty good. I recommend that, and also Charlie Bone and the Inkheart Triology. My favorite is the Maze Runner always, and each and every teenager should read that! (Please comment if you have :D)

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baroonmlk 18 February, 2017 - 18:05

hi elsa007 !!!!
well , I've read so many book since i learnt how to read , and i,ve got to tell you that i,ve never read such books !!!
the story is about three little orphan children ( violet , nickolas and sunny ) who have lost their parent in a very mysterious accident , and now are trying to stay ALIVE (!) cause a really evil man called kont olaf is trying to steal them money that childrens parent have left for themand it doesn't semm like killing three little inocence children is important to him !!!!
i know that you won't be dissapointed by reading them !!!!!
love
baroonmlk

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Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 3 March, 2017 - 13:41

Thank you, baroonmlk!
I've just known your comment here! xD
The story sounds interesting and the story looks somewhat alike ”Three little pigs"? :)
Elsa

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EllenBlogger's picture
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EllenBlogger 2 March, 2017 - 19:46

Have you seen the 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' movie? If so, what did you think? Do you prefer to read a book first, then watch the film, or watch the film first? 

I'm reading the Notebook again and I'm always disappointed because I expect it to be more like the film, yet the time is oddly different - the first part of how they meet and fall in love takes up a lot of the film, whereas it seems to be gone in the first few chapters of the book. I always prefer to read the book first!

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catastrophe 6 May, 2017 - 14:28

Same here. But some directors tend to change the story a bit, or sometimes completely to suit the taste of their audiences. So in that case, I'd prefer watching it first and then reading. Although I seldom do that...

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Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 3 March, 2017 - 13:46

Good question!
I think reading a book and watching the film of the same story is quite different. When I watch films, I'm a somewhat passive observer, while I read, I'm in the story!
Have you thought about it?

Elsa

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hadia's picture
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hadia 4 March, 2017 - 12:52

That's quite right!
But I guess the things we listen or watch, are always clear in our mind. And remain intact. Even, after many days or may be years, we can quote the dialogues to other person exact and same-those which were in the movie! While, we may only able to recollect the main theme or idea of the story of a book which we have read years ago.
Things may be different for different people but I've observed it more often. Do you agree?

Well, I guess reading a book is an amazing experience but movie is an another thing. We make our own perfect idea about the characters and if, those in the movie don't perform well, they may ruin our moments of the story.
We should first read the book than watch the movie.

P.S. Whenever I read a new book, it becomes my favorite. and when the question about it's movie arises, I always wonder if they would take me for the main lead. :)))))))

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Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 5 March, 2017 - 10:10

Hi hadia, HRY?

Yes, it's true that visual memory is stronger and stays longer than textual information. It happens to me that a story in the book I read is often overwritten with a visual story in the films or drama on TV. In fact, some films emphasise plays by actors/actresses and arrange dramatic impacts with music more than just telling a story. So, as you say, maybe reading a book and watching the film are different experiences!
To answer the question: "Do you prefer to read a book first, then watch the film, or watch the film first?", I like to watch the film first, then I'll read the book if I want to know the story in more detail and conversely!✨

Elsa
P.S. Aha! How many lives (in the book) have you experienced!? :)))))))

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hadia 6 March, 2017 - 14:40

Not many but still many. But you know......this is a book which I read lately and that is literally my Favorite. It really changed my life. And by "change" I mean it brought a very bright and lovely change. Now, whatever thing I may read, none get better than this one.
Moreover, one can find many things, like many of the lead characters habits are a lesson from life itself which you can molding in yourself too. :P
But again I read somewhere, that if you feel about how beautiful the lives of characters are, which you read in stories, and want your life to be like their's, you should feel better! Because their's have been written by an ordinary person or a human being like you! But yours have been designed by the Almighty. And for sure, He is the best Planner. :))
And I feel happy to realize it.

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baroonmlk 16 February, 2017 - 13:57

i've read a series of unfortunate event . though there were thirteen books , i read them three times :) i really recommend them to you all guys

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Elsa007's picture
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Elsa007 17 February, 2017 - 14:31

Hi baroonmlk,
May I ask what are they, a series of unfortunate event you recommend?✨
Sounds interesting!

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EllenBlogger's picture
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EllenBlogger 11 February, 2017 - 18:41

Hadia,
I know that feeling! I always have a pile of books a mile high! So many books, so little time..!!
I'm glad you like reaing as much as I do though! It's one of the best ways to learn a language!!
Ellen

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Sheisamisa 9 February, 2017 - 11:13

I've been reading 'To Kill a Mockingbird' because my friend recommended it for me. It's nice so far even though sometimes it's kind of hard for me to understand it. :))

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EllenBlogger's picture
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EllenBlogger 9 February, 2017 - 16:06

Hi Sheisamisa,

I love To Kill A Mockingbird! I had to study it in school and was outraged at how cruel people could be, but amazed at how wonderful Atticus is. There's a film, which may improve your understanding. I've learnt that when you read a book in another language, it is better not to look up all the words, as often they are not used in everyday speech and can be archaic or out of fashion. I only look words up now if i can't understand the sentence without them. 

I'm glad you like the book though!

Ellen

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