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    12 must read books to improve your English

    Get yourself a nice hot drink, a warm blanket and bit of chill time, and snuggle up with our list of the best books to read to improve your English.

    Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (1994), Louis de Bernières

    If you’re looking to make a list of the best novels to improve your English, then Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is an excellent starting point. Commonly read by secondary school students up and down the UK, this brilliant novel is set at the start of the Second World War. Because of its use in educational settings, it is one of the best novels to read to improve your English

    50 Shades of Feminism (2013), Various

    The book is a collection of contributions made by a group of powerful and intelligent women from all walks of life. It’s a remarkable insight into the culture of women throughout the UK and the world. Any non-fiction book ranks among the best books to read to improve your English, but this is one is particularly poignant. 

    Elsewhere (2005), Gabrielle Zevin

    This novel presents an eye-opening, light-hearted approach to dealing with the delicate issue of life after death. It’s a straightforward way of looking at the use of narrative tenses in context, making it one of the best novels to improve your English grammar.

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969), Eric Carle

    Undoubtedly, although not a novel, this is one of the best books to improve English vocabulary, particularly for low level students. A children’s classic, this gorgeous little book is a must-read for English learners everywhere. It’s full to the brim with a wide range of vocabulary and is an absolute joy to read.

    The Tiger Who Came to Tea (1968), Judith Kerr

    This is another children’s classic and it has been read by generations of families. It was recently adapted for television and is one of the most loved books in the UK. Although it’s not a full novel to read, it’s a beautiful piece of writing to improve your English and you shouldn’t miss it.

    Mr McGee and the Blackberry Jam (1993), Pamela Allen

    Although this is not a novel to improve your English communication as such, if you want a simple read with some excellent focus on rhyme and vowel sounds, then this is the book for you. It also has some beautiful illustrations.

    Gone Girl (2014), Gillian Flynn

    A modern psychological thriller, if you love crime and mystery, then you can’t go better than this. As way say in English, it’s “unputdownable”. Because of its plot twists, it is one of the best novels to improve your English, because it allows you to improve your knowledge of grammar in context – it was recently adapted for the big screen too. 

    Matilda (1988), Roald Dahl

    Well actually, it’s a good idea to read anything by Roald Dahl – they are among the best books to read to improve your English. He has a wonderful way with words and is incredibly creative – Matilda is no exception and is arguably the one of the best novels to improve your English.

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (2004), Mark Haddon

    This one is fantastic, as it is an excellent example of how grammar and vocabulary are used to tell a story in a creative and engaging way. Its plot is fascinating, but simple to follow, making it a compelling read for English learners everywhere. It’s a brilliant novel to read to improve your English.

    Very British Problems (2014), Rob Temple

    Ever wondered why British people can behave so strangely? Well, look no further than Very British Problems. Be prepared to be introduced to the concepts of satire and sarcasm as you are taken through the everyday struggles of your average Brit – a must read “novel” to improve your English communication.

    Enduring Love (1998), Ian McEwan

    One for the more advanced English learner, this stunning masterpiece is both captivating and beautifully written. Enduring Love tells the story of the aftermath of a terrible ballooning accident and the bizarre turn of events taken by the life of the protagonist, Joe Rose, and Clarissa. It is not only one of the best novels to improve your English, but it is also one of the best novels to improve your English vocabulary.

    How to Talk Like a Local (2011), Susie Dent

    If you want to broaden your knowledge of local dialects and vocabulary, and read something to improve your English communication, you can’t go better than this book. If you plan to study in the UK, or simply travel around our many cities, then reading this book will certainly do you no harm.

    So, what are you waiting for? Get your hands on one of our books and novels to read to improve your English – happy reading!

    To find out more about the range of English courses that we offer at NCG, please get in touch – we’ll be happy to help.