6 Fun and Short Novels to Improve Your English

Improve your English and experience the story of a lifetime with these six amazing, easy-to-read books! Check out the full list here.

Updated 22 Apr 2020

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“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” — Jim Rohn 

Whether you read to escape or to learn, there’s no denying the educational power of reading. So it’s no surprise that reading can also help you learn and improve your language skills. 

From weirdly macabre children’s books to heartbreaking contemporary fiction, check out these awesome English books that can help you improve your English language skills.

#1. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

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What kind of a person would we be if we didn’t suggest this book to you? 

The Bad Beginning is the first book in the popular books series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. It’s a great novel to help with your English as it is not only hysterically entertaining but also uses simple but effective language to tell a story, making it the perfect book for this purpose.   

#2. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

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Commonly associated with the popular film produced by Laika studios, Coraline is originally a novella about a young girl who found a secret door to an idealised version of her world. Trouble abounds when sinister intentions are revealed.

While some may find the simple language too easy of an obstacle, any adventurous reader can find value in the beautiful story of one girl’s journey to accepting imperfection

Pro-Tip: If you’re looking for more books about children and macabre things, check out The Graveyard Book also by Neil Gaiman.

#3. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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“It is such a mysterious place, the land of tears.”

The Little Prince follows an unnamed narrator who recounts their brief but enlightening meeting with the peculiar little prince. Told in simplified English, the book is perfect for beginners of any age.

Even though the story is simple and easy to read, there’s a lot one can unpack from it. Hidden between the prose is a powerful story about companionship and introspection that’s perfect for those lost in this isolating time.

Pro-Tip: If you’re looking for another simple but powerful story about a prince, check out the short story The Happy Prince, from The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde.

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#4. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

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For those who want something more challenging, this next book is for you.

Tuesdays with Morrie is a memoir about a series of visits Albom made to Morrie Schwartz, his former sociology professor who gradually dies of ALS, a disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. In these visits, Albom and Morrie discuss important questions — life, death, forgiveness, trust and belief.

While the simple English makes it perfect for those who want to improve their English language proficiency, the book’s careful dissection of the important things that make life meaningful makes it a life-changing must-read for everyone.

Pro-Tip: If you’re looking for stories with poignant life lessons, check out Albom’s other book, Have a Little Faith

#5. The Giver by Lois Lowry

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This 1993 dystopian classic follows Jonas who lives in a seemingly perfect society where conformity has eradicated all human conflicts. Things change when he begins a job as a Receiver of Memory, where he learns of a different, more vibrant life full of beautiful differences and contradictions.

Even if you’ve watched the film, we still suggest reading this book. While it talks of important sociological concepts, the story is written in simple sentences, making it accessible for anyone who wants to reflect on themselves

Pro-Tip: While not similar, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, set in a dystopian society, is another great story about challenging fate and finding your own way.

#6. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

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If you’ve never read this book, go do it now!

Flowers for Algernon is the perfect book for those looking to improve their English but is tired of predictable and conventional books. The book follows Charlie, a man with an IQ of 68 who was chosen to undergo an experimental surgical technique to increase his intelligence. 

The story is told from Charlie’s point-of-view, so the style, grammar, spelling, and punctuation of the narration changes throughout the story, reflecting his mental and emotional growth. This leaves us with a gripping and heartbreaking story about the impermanence of mortality and the fleeting nature of consciousness.

Pro-Tip: There’s nothing quite like this book but if you’re looking for something with a similar writing style, check out The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon.

If you find reading dull and boring, chances are, you’re not reading the right book. There are so many great books out there that there’s bound to be one that’s perfect for your soul. 

Let us know which of these suggestions is your favourite or suggest a book to us!

If you want to save some money on buying books, borrow books at these awesome libraries instead

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    Dzulfazreena Dzulkefli

    Dzulfazreena Dzulkefli

    Too busy complaining about lemon but I sometimes read.