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Favorite Books to read in English


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This is a great topic. Books and book authors have been among the most enjoyable topics on this forum, I think.  I'm curious to see the replies from both the non-native and native English speakers. 

My favorite books include some of the classics.  In particular George Eliot's "Middlemarch" is one of my all-time favorites.  I also like Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights."

My modern era and contemporary favorites include Don DeLillo's "White Noise" and Jayne Anne Phillips' "Black Tickets." 

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I like classics better than modern light reads. Wuthering Heights is one of my all time favorites too. I love the works of Austen and Charlotte Bronte, Dickens and Tolstoy as well. Amongst modern writers, I enjoy reading Camus, Khaled Hosseini, to some extent, Paolo Coelho. I really enjoyed Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.

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In my opinion as a non-native English speaker, Ernest Hemingway is probably the best author to pick up. Particularly if you are still learning the language. His simple and economical use of the language where not a single word is wasted suits somebody who may lose himself in the excess of the language used by other authors.

Old Man and the Sea coming in at just 100 odd pages is a prime example of Hemingway's style.

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I've often recommended to my friends who are looking to improve and get comfortable reading English to start with popular mass market genre or YA type books.

Something like Harry Potter, romance or adventure novels, or the like.

The language is usually good but not too intricate, and the plots are interesting and keep you reading even if you don't get every little nuance.

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As a non-native speaker, I haven't read many books in English. I wouldn't even call those books a BOOK. Well, they were all comic books.

The funny pages count. Semantically speaking, there can be no 'comic book' without 'book'.  :grin:

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I love reading English books. I read different kinds, from classic to modern. It doesn't matter if it's comedy, suspense,inspirational, horror or romance. Some of my favorite authors are John Grisham and Robert Cook. I read 2-3 books in a week.

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I have a strange fascination with the chronicles of real people. Biographies and autobiographies, more specifically. There is something very human and easy to relate to that I find in people famous and influential. I also find some of the stories very inspiring. Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction.

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In my opinion as a non-native English speaker, Ernest Hemingway is probably the best author to pick up. Particularly if you are still learning the language. His simple and economical use of the language where not a single word is wasted suits somebody who may lose himself in the excess of the language used by other authors.

Old Man and the Sea coming in at just 100 odd pages is a prime example of Hemingway's style.

YES!!

I love Hemingway and The Old Man and the Sea is one of my favorite novels. Hemingway novels all have a fantastic flow to them and are rather easy reads although also have such deep inner meanings. I;m glad you mentioned this, I knew I wasn't the only one who liked The Old Man and the Sea.

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YES!!

I love Hemingway and The Old Man and the Sea is one of my favorite novels. Hemingway novels all have a fantastic flow to them and are rather easy reads although also have such deep inner meanings. I;m glad you mentioned this, I knew I wasn't the only one who liked The Old Man and the Sea.

The book isn't without its flaws though. Some of the fisherman's thoughts seem more like the author's than the characters. The description of fishing techniques though essential to the plot, can be a bit excessive at times.

Still a good book though, just not a great one. I'll still recommend it freely to everyone for the writing style used though.

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As a non-native speaker, I haven't read many books in English. I wouldn't even call those books a BOOK. Well, they were all comic books.

Comic books are as much "books" as any classic literary novel! So you like reading comics, that definitely counts. :)

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Comic books are as much "books" as any classic literary novel! So you like reading comics, that definitely counts. :)

Yes, I agree.  I've been reading comic books since I was a child.  And as an adult, I've also read graphic novels.  I think comic books and/or graphic novels would be a great way to improve one's language skills. 

And also, I think the lines are quite blurred these days with the popularity of graphic novels, which some might still call "comic books."  There are some graphic novels that are widely considered to be literary masterpieces.  An example that comes to mind is "Maus" by Art Spiegelman, which is based on his own experience as a Holocaust survivor.

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When I had to take drama class,our professor required us to pick an English novel and to write short review about it. I remember I was a bit worried because although I have read a lot of novels, I have never really picked up an English version of it. I remember I went to pick up the thinnest novel among the rack outside where you could rent the novels, and It was by Mary Higgins Clark. It was so easy to read for a suspense genre type of novel.

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Well, my favourtie books to read in English are the ones not translated yet  :laugh: Actually, I haven't read that many classics in English, apart from what we studied. This year most of my English reads were books sent for reviews. Among them many were indie books - this was my first time reading indipendent works and I found some real gems!

But tha fact that many of these books will never be translated makes me sad, because even if I had the chance to read them I won't be able to share with many of my friends.

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I'm a real fan of the classics. I could read them over and over and over! I really love Lewis Carrol. My favorites are, "Alice in Wonderland", and also, "The Wizard of Oz." I've read just about every version and every series out there, but the originals stay closest to my heart!

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my  Favourite book is the play by a Norwegian writer translated into English called An Enemy of the People. I love reading  in English furthermore,I am a varocious reader. I read every writing genre without any prefernce. I really enjoy reading and writing in English.

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When someone is a non-native English speaker the best option to look at is regular English books.

You can find many books edited specially for non-native speaker but this is not the best way to assimilate a language and use it like if it were you mother tongue.

Reading and English book released for an English speaking audience could be harder to read, but in the long run will provide many personal satisfactions once you are done with the reading.

I would suggest a visit to the Gutenberg Project to find a reading of your preference, http://www.gutenberg.org/

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Especially for non-native speakers (though all opinions are welcome) what are your favorite books to read in English? Are you comfortable reading in English and is it something that you enjoy?

I love reading the latest books because it's contemporary and it shows me how English is currently used.  I love reading classics as well, but sometimes, they are too conventional that they make me fall asleep.  Bestsellers are modern and it makes me more excited to keep on reading.

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If you are new to English you should try to read the first Harry Potter novel. The first one is written for children and is relatively simple to read, but as the series goes on the language becomes more complicated, because the audience J.K. Rowling was writing for was getting steadily older.This means you can improve your English as you read through the series. Also,you may already be familiar with the story lines from the films dubbed into other languages.

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I enjoy reading children's stories. They're very fluid and easy to read especially for those who are trying to learn English. As a child, I immersed myself in fairy tales (Rumpelstiltskin!  :wink:) and pocketbooks (Sweet Valley, Goosebumps, Night World, etc.). Through reading at an early age, I was able to learn English grammar and vocabulary almost by myself. Though we had English classes starting kindergarten, I'd say that my skills, especially my writing, are greatly influenced by what I read.

I'd also suggest stories by Shel Silverstein, Mercer Mayer, Neil Gaiman, and Roald Dahl.

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I loved to read books by my favorite author and a serialized novel. Actually, I have a lot of favorite. It’s hard to have just one because there’s a lot of great English books and authors out there. Say, my favorite in my collection would be Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery, Dune Trilogy by Frank Herbert, Frank McCourt’s ‘Tis and Angela’s Ashes, and Isaac Asimov’s The Winds of Change.

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I love books in English, especially those that deal with messed up people. I like reading Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club, because he likes going for the shock factor. It can be soo weird and graphic that it can be uncomfortable to read for some. I love Edgar Allan Poe and his short stories for being creepy although he can also write non-creepy stuff like "The Spectacles" which is funny. For the classics, I like Fyodor Dostoevsky English translations because he has characters I can relate to.

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Guest isabbbela

I'll move away from the classics for a second and say HARRY POTTER! I adore HP, and I read the books in my native language, Portuguese, and then in English. Being called a "children's book", for some reason in the translations they also translated the names of the characters, which I hate. So reading them in English was great cause it was all in its original writing.

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