English as a second language can be tricky to learn. However, reading books is an effective and fun way to improve English speaking and writing skills. English novels are also among those books. They have a massive set of vocabulary and different structures of a paragraph; therefore, choosing good English novels for beginners can be challenging. In this article, I will talk about 25 such novels for beginners to improve English.
It was a time when I was in high school, and my English literature teacher often gave us a task to read a story from the academic books—made us underline the tricky vocabulary and eventually conduct a quick quiz at the end of the week. This eventually made me good at reading and helped me command English much better.
If you are a beginner, start with children’s story books like “Animal farm by George Orwell and Malgudi days by R.K. Narayan.” These books will make you command more on grammar and more straightforward vocabulary. Slowly and steadily move to novels like “A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.” Soon you will be comfortable reading novel series like “The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and The Song of Ice and Fire (Novel Series) by George R. R. Martin.”
Now without further ado! Let’s start.
25 Novels for Beginners to Improve English.
Reading novels can open our minds to exceptional new words and take us to another English learning level. Employing English novels as a learning tool can help us in English fluency faster. Choosing a good novel is vital to increase our English language skills step-by-step.
Here I have accumulated some of the novels for beginners, as one must have a command of vocabulary and sentence structures over the more straightforward novels to read other than advanced books. So I have categorized the novels into three levels of difficulties, i.e.,
- Novels for Beginners,
- Intermediate level Books, and
- Advanced levels Books.
Novels for Beginners (Level 1)
The beginner’s level is for those whose English is below par. As beginners, we must focus on reading everything, including magazines, novels, newspapers, etc. Besides academic books, only a few of us are interested in reading. Therefore, I will discuss a few novels for beginners, including children’s stories and fictional books, which are accessible in vocabulary and understanding.
01. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
It is the story of farm animals who rebel against the farmers and how it ends in betrayal and falls into a much worse scenario. It’s an excellent story that has a lesson with simple vocabulary. It is one of the easiest novels to read and is a must-read book for beginners.
02. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
The mystery novel narrates the story of a boy named Christopher John Francis Boone, who suffers from behavioral difficulties. The boy finds the dead body of the neighbor’s dog, and the story flights from there. The novel is engaging and won many awards, including Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.
03. Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayan
This story sets in the fictional town of Malgudi, South India. There are 32 stories in this book. Each of the stories features life in Malgudi. The book has a decent vocabulary which helps in improving English speaking. There is also a T. V. Series in this book.
04. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
The story is about Albom, who visits his former sociology professor Morrie Schwartz, who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The album is divided into 14 days, where Morrie discusses various topics important to life and living.
05. The Famous Five (novel series) by Enid Blyton
The children’s adventure novel, The children who came from boarding school on holidays each time they meet, caught up in some adventure. It has a series of 21 books.
06. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
In the story of a Fox who lives beside a tree in a burrow with his wife and four children, he struggles to feed his family as he seizes the life stock of the three cruel farmers.
07. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
A group of boys was stranded on an uninhabited island where they failed to govern themselves. Nobel Prize Winner William Golding writes the novel—an absolute masterpiece.
08. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
It is the first novel by Afghan-American Author Khaled Hosseini. The story tells about a Boy named Amir, who lives in Kabul. This story is set against the fall of the Afghan Monarchy after the Soviet army Intervention, the Exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the U.S., and the rise of the Taliban Regime.
09. The Giver by Lois Lowry
The novel is based on society, which seemed perfect but was later disclosed as the worse. The story revolves around a 12-year boy named Jonas who got the high responsibility of the job offered to him.
10. The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit
The book was first published in 1906 and was among children’s most adored books. The story sheds on the three children whose father was abducted mysteriously. The fortune of the three children and her mother bring them to live near a railway station, where the three siblings prevent a horrific train disaster.
The book is fascinating and very easy to understand.
Intermediate Level Books (Level 2)
The intermediate level is for people who have done some novel reading and finished dozens of novels. So after completing the Novels for beginners, you must take your chances to improve your English skills to another level.
This level includes great authors, mostly non-fiction novels, who spread magic with their words and excellent writing with exciting stories. Consider reading the books we selected below to become a pro at reading books.
11. The Pot of Gold by Plautus
It was a play where the story revolves around greed, cheapness, and gold. The actor portrays a flawed character named Euclio, who finds a pot of gold. He becomes wealthy, but besides his materialistic richness, he becomes poor in every other aspect of life.
This comedy genre is entertaining, easy to read, and has a great moral.
12. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The novel portrays the story of two cities, London and Paris, before and during the French Revolution. This story tells us about French Doctor Manette, who had been imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years, his release, and lived in London with his daughter.
13. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
This children’s novel follows several animals in the adventure of the British countryside. When a mole finds itself dissatisfy living there. He leaves his burrow, finds himself at the river, and makes rat friends.
14. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
A fictional Novel published in 1952. The story is about an old fisherman and young boy living on the Havana coast of Cuba, struggling to catch fish after his wife’s death, until one day, when he sees the big merlin fish and the difficulties he faces as he sails back towards Havana.
Ernest Hemingway won the Nobel prize for this story in 1954.
15. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Pulitzer Prize for the best novel, the namesake, was the first novel written by American Indian author Jhumpa Lahiri. The story sets from Kolkata (then Calcutta) to American life. The excellent book with an artistic touch distinguishes between two nations, the burden of his old heritage, and the odd name a guy carries into the new generation.
16. India Unbound by Gurcharan Das
Are you interested in the global economy and its future? The book connotes the developing India after 1947 and how the economy crumbles until the new economic reforms of 1991. The standard vocabulary is used in the book decent for learning English.
17. Wings of Fire By A.P.J Abdul Kalam
An autobiography of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India. The inspirational and motivational journey of a “Missile Man of India.” A son of an educated boat owner and his journey as India’s most outstanding defense scientist.
Do check out the review in detail of this book. Book review of Wings of Fire By A.P.J Abdul Kalam
18. The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Published in 2010, “The Emperor of all maladies” won a “Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fictional” and other awards. A considerable part of this book is science. It is a biography of a cancer disease. The author cast the history of cancer treatment and research. The history will take you to 4600 years back in the study of cancer. The author describes treatment and research on different patients.
Besides all these sciences, the book is also enjoyable. The words chosen in this book are also very standard and will be recommended for beginners and intermediate readers.
19. The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman
A level of playing field in terms of commerce, the world is flat, is a metaphor as all the competitors have equal opportunity. It shows the analysis of globalization and a brief history of the early 21st century,
This book was the International best-selling book of the year.
20. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
It is the story of a brother and sister living in Alabama. The novel shows light on the moral nature of humans when a black resident is falsely accused of rape charges of a white woman and faces the humiliation of society.
The novel, published in 1960, was instantly successful and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961.
Advance Level Books (Level 3)
Now we are advancing onto another level. If you have completed reading all the books mentioned above, you should start some intense reading. Talking this level, it mainly includes semi-fiction novels series.
21. Harry Potter (Novel Series) by J. K. Rowling
The name Harry Potter is enough for every 90’s kid and 21st-century kid to make them nostalgic. The novel’s 1st series, “Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone,” was first published in 1998. The book shows the life of a young wizard boy, Harry Potter, and his adventure as he grows up in a wizard school.
The fictional novel is all about magic, spells, wizards, and witches, but besides all this, it also shows the bonds—the bonding of Harry Potter among his friends and his professors.
The seven series of excellent novels and the words used are of advanced level. J.K Rowling, the author, works excellently on this novel series. The novel-based movie is top-rated among people till now.
22. The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
It is a collection of 12 short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, first published on 14 October 1892. The story features a consulting detective Sherlock Holmes. All 12 stories don’t support any fictional chronology, and Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are the only characters familiar to all twelve.
Comparing other novels of this level, this is quite simple to read as, after the publication of the first two novels, Doyle started to write these stories for mass publication in Standard Magazine.
23. The Song of Ice and Fire (Novel Series) by George R. R. Martin
The Song of Ice and Fire occurs on the fictional continent of Essos and Westeros, where the seven kingdom fights for supremacy and the Iron Throne. Suppose you love reading politics, war, love, betrayal, supernatural, mystery, and dragons. Then definitely, this novel is for you. The words used are exceptionally advanced, and one must dedicate themselves to reading this novel.
The author wrote the first novel in 1991, and over 90 million copies have already been sold. And currently, its 6th series is in writing, while the 7th series of this book is still in the planning period.
24. India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra, Mridula Mukherjee, Sucheta Mahajan, Aditya Mukherjee, and K. N. Pannikar
India’s struggle for independence is a History book of modern India and how India stepped from the kingdoms to the hands of the British colony. The book connotes the incident from the early 18th century (decline of Mughals) to the mid-20th century (India’s independence in 1947).
This book also tells us about great leaders and revolutionaries and their participation in India’s Independence.
The words used in this book are precise on an excellent command of English skills.
25. Aubrey-Maturin Series by Patrick O’Brian.
It is a sequel of a nautical historical novel of 20 series books and one unfinished. The author published the first novel in 1969 and the last 20th novel in 1999. The death of O’ Brian in 2000 led to the unfinished 21st novel.
The novels are set during the Napoleonic war and center on the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey of the Royal Navy and his ship’s surgeon Stephen Maturin. Most of the novel series reached “The New York Best Times Seller List.”
Conclusions | 25 Best Novels for Beginners to Improve English
There are various books to learn from, and you can choose any of them. Reading is not only for improving English but also to gain numerous benefits. Reading novels for beginners is challenging, as making a habit out of it is an uphill task.
These novels mentioned above have been immensely helpful for other readers and me. This list of novels for beginners will help you as well. Share your views in the comment section if you have read and found them helpful.
If you think we have left any novels on this list, comment below, and we will consider them.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will My English Improve by Reading Books?
Reading is one of the best ways to improve any language. Books help you to expand your knowledge by improving your vocabulary and expose you to several sentence structures and grammar making it easier for you to enhance your english language skills.
2. How Much Should I Read Everyday To Improve My English?
The recommended time for you to improve english depends on your current skill level and what you want to achieve. If you are a beginner, reading a few lines are enough to start with which should increase as your skill level increase. Hence, if you are really looking forward for better language skills, do take some of your time-off for enhancing your language skills.
3. What is The Fastest & Effective Way of Improving English?
Learning a new language can be a daunting task and english language comes under that segment too. With correct strategies, you can make a good progress in no-time. Some of the effective ways of learning include Watching movies in english, reading newspaper in english, reading novels, start a vocabulary, try to speak as much as possible in english, etc.