The best book on English grammar

The 10 Best Books for Learning English

One learns a new language particularly quickly and effectively if one deals with it as long and as intensively as possible. A language trip is the ideal opportunity to learn a foreign language in a short period of time and to significantly improve your own language skills. However, it is not possible in every situation in life to go on a language trip abroad lasting several weeks. But there are also other ways to deal with a language; reading books in English is particularly popular.

Books offer you the opportunity to study the English language every day. On the side you improve your English grammar and vocabulary, and English titles in the original are usually more authentic than their translations, as they directly reflect the thoughts and feelings of their authors.

In the following list you will find ten English-language books that you can use to learn English and improve your language skills in your spare time. When choosing books, of course, make sure that tastes are different and you should consider that you enjoy reading! In addition, in 2015 the BBC put together an overview of the 100 most important British novels that you can also draw inspiration from. Have fun while reading!

1. Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling

At Harry Potter is a fantasy novel series by British author Joanne K. Rowling. There is little to say about the story because most people know it at least briefly, but in many cases have also seen it as a series of films on the screen or on the television. Of the around 500 million copies worldwide about the young wizard student, over 33 million books have been sold in Germany alone - but mostly in German translation.

The first volumes of Harry Potter excellent for reading them in English even as a beginner. Especially at the beginning it may be strange to read Harry Potter in English, because art terms such as “Sorting Hat” or “Diagon Alley”, which are easy to understand in German, can be used in the English original cause initial confusion. But that goes away quickly.

Basically is Harry Potter easy to understand in English, the grammar is not particularly difficult and unknown vocabulary often emerges from the context. However, it is helpful to check a dictionary for the correct translation. This way you quickly learn a lot of new words and the English language is not only easier to read, but also easier to understand.

2. The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkin

At The Lord of the Rings (Lord of the Rings) is a novel by the British writer John Ronald Reuel Tolkien from 1954/55. As well as Harry Potter is also The Lord of the Rings known worldwide, a total of around 150 million copies have been sold. The original consists of three volumes of two books each, so a total of six books. According to Tolkien, it is a hero romance rather than a novel: "My work is not a ‘novel’, but an heroic romance, a much older and quite different variety of literature“.

The Lord of the Rings is a book that is particularly worth reading in the English original. J. R. R. Tolkien was a professor of Old English at the University of Oxford, so his English is very close to the school English taught today - in contrast to the more modern English in Harry Potter. When reading the English edition, it is noticeable how wit, fantasy and magic are sometimes lost in the German translations, whereby here, too, a distinction must be made between the translations by Margaret Carroux and Wolfgang Krege - readers usually prefer the translation by Carroux. The translation of Sam's form of address for Frodo is particularly striking.

Tolkien: Master
Carroux: Mr
Krege: Boss (until revision in September 2012)

Ultimately, you shouldn't be afraid to read the English version of The Lord of the Rings to read. The plot of the story is already known to most, and after a few, perhaps somewhat bumpy, pages you quickly read into English - unfamiliar words are then either skipped over or emerge from the context. Heard in any case The Lord of the Rings about the books that you should definitely read in English. Of course, always assuming that you are interested in the story, because Tolkien is known for describing the landscape over several pages and getting lost in details. If that doesn't scare you off, you're with me The Lord of the Rings well advised.

3rd 1984 - George Orwell

1984 is one of the most famous novels in British post-war literature. The original English title is Nineteen Eighty-Four, in German the book is therefore also called Nineteen eighty-four guided. Was written 1984 by the English writer Eric Arthur Blair, alias George Orwell, in the years 1946 to 1948, the novel was published in June 1949 in London.

The dystopia of this novel is based on the author's assumption that the state, through increasing technical progress, is in a position to monitor its citizens at all times and to the full extent, as well as to filter and provide historical and current information. Interesting aspect: The English language has been freed of “harmful” terms and replaced by a new language (Newspeak or Newspeak), with the help of which the opinion and thinking of the population can also be manipulated.


  • crimethink (thought crime, "Deldenk")
  • facecrime (facial expression suggests thought crime)
  • doublethink (double thinking; assess two opposing statements as true)
  • minitrue (Ministry of Truth)
  • bellyfeel (blindly enthusiastic acceptance of an idea)

If the subject of the book interests you, is 1984 Despite some initially unknown terms (due to Newspeak) very well suited to read it in the original English and improve your English in the process. In any case, it is an advantage if you decide to study English for books that present a little challenge, because in the end it is not just about reading the book and liking it for the plot, but also about being able to read the Book to improve your English.

4. Me before You - Jojo Moyes

At Me before you (Half a year) by the British writer Jojo Moyes is a tragic romance novel. While working as a nurse, Louisa Clark gets to know the patient Will Traynor, who is paralyzed and dependent on a wheelchair after being hit by a motorcycle.

Me before you is an excellent book for learning English, because on the one hand it is easy to understand and easy to understand, on the other hand the story is exciting and moving at the same time. The book has been translated into 32 languages ​​and sold around five million times worldwide - two million times in Germany alone. In 2014 it was the best-selling paperback in Germany.

5. Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy by the English writer William Sharespeare from 1597 and tells the story of two lovers who belong to warring families and who therefore die together. The early New English work is one of the most important dramas in world literature.

Granted, with Romeo and Juliet in the English original you face a certain challenge. However, every well-stocked bookseller has a bilingual edition that has the English text on the left and the German translation on the right. In this way, one not only reads one of the most important and important books in the world, but also learns - quite incidentally - to be able to learn English vocabulary that is still unknown. Therefore Romeo and Juliet an ideal book for learning English.

6. Pride and Prejustice - Jane Austen

Pride and Prejustice (Pride and Prejudice) is the best-known novel by the British writer Jane Austen. It appeared in 1813 and has been sold around 20 million times worldwide. Pride and Prejustice is a development novel that tells the love story of the protagonists Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy and at the same time serves as a contemporary study of society.

Told in a great way, with a lot of humor and irony Pride and Prejustice about getting to know two people for the first time, about how they overcome prejudices together and learn to deal with hurt pride. In particular with regard to equality between men and women Pride and Prejustice way ahead of its time.

Despite, or perhaps because of, its age, it is worth reading the novel in the English original. The German translation is also very successful, but for many readers a special atmosphere is created, especially in the original version. One of the numerous film adaptations is also suitable as a starting point, such as the British-French production from 2005 with Keira Knightley in the lead role.

7. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

In Oliver Twist (Original: Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy’s Progress), the British writer Charles Dickens tells the story of the orphan boy of the same name - representing numerous children in the 19th century - who initially grew up in a poor house in a small English town without knowing anything about his past or origins. Originally, the story was in the magazine for the course of three years Bentley’s Miscellany published.

Charles Dickens describes in his novel the social development of early industrialization; In particular, the critical portrayal of frequent poverty in the working class, widespread child labor and ubiquitous crime provided the basis for discussions then as now.

Basically, it is always a good idea to read a book in its original language, provided that your language skills allow it. In this way, the stories are usually experienced more emotionally, passionately and directly than when reading a (mostly modern) translation. That also applies to Oliver Twisteven though Charles Dickens' English does not correspond to the language of modern writers and is therefore not easy for everyone to understand straight away. However, once you've got used to the style after a few pages, you don't want to put the book down.

8. Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie

Another classic of English literature is Murder on the Orient Express (Murder on the Orient Expressuntil 1951 The woman in the kimono) by the English writer Agatha Christie from 1934. It tells the story of the mysterious murder of a criminal on the Orient Express on the way from Istanbul to Calais. After a snowstorm forced the train to stop on the open road and no contact with the outside was possible due to a technical defect, the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot who was traveling with him was given the task of solving the case.

The detective novel is also very popular more than 30 years after the writer's death. The main reason for this is her writing style: timeless, simple and gripping at the same time, which means that Christie's books are also suitable for readers who do not yet have a perfect command of English. Anyone interested in crime novels should Murder on the Orient Express be sure to read - and if there are any difficulties, you can watch one of the numerous film adaptations of the book.

A statement by the Chorion Society, which owns the rights to Christie's books, also shows that it is worth reading. According to this, only the Bible and works by William Shakespeare were sold more frequently than the books by Agatha Christie.

9. Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character created in 1886 by the British writer Arthur Conan Doyle and appears as a detective in a total of 56 short stories and four novels. Holmes is accompanied by his friend Dr. Watson, from whose point of view most of the stories are told.

To this day, the novels of Doyle, who with Sherlock Holmes created a new genre and designed the stereotype of the private detective, because of their detailed forensic processing, Holmes' precise powers of observation and sober conclusions, a special meaning for the field of crime literature and were far ahead of the police methods of the time, especially with regard to inclusion scientifically oriented methodology in the investigation of crimes.

The short stories about Sherlock Holmes are ideal for getting into English-language literature and improving your English by reading books. The language and writing style are not particularly complicated, nor are the books difficult to read. But if you get stuck at one point or another, it is worth having a dictionary handy - after all, you want to learn something while reading English books.

10. Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella

It shows that modern titles are also ideal for improving your English by reading books Shopaholic (The bargain hunter) by Sophie Kinsella. Many women (and certainly men) will recognize themselves in this series of books, because Rebecca Bloomwood, the main character in these stories, loves shopping!

The first volume was published in 2001 and tells the story of a woman who earns a living by advising other people on financial matters, but has no control over herself when shopping and is therefore constantly in financial difficulties. So chaos is inevitable with these wonderfully and gorgeously written books.

Shopaholic is written very simply in English, easy to understand and the humor is not lost. You don't have to be a native English speaker or have a perfect command of the language for these books, but you will still learn a lot of everyday vocabulary that you might not necessarily learn in school English. So is Shopaholic perfect if you want to improve your English and have fun reading modern women's novels at the same time.