Best German books for intermediate – advanced German learners

If you’re an intermediate – advanced German learner, you’ll know the importance of reading by now. Similarly you might have read our recommendations of the best novels for beginner German learners. So if you want to step up your learning, this is perfect for you! Finally, including some of the classics of German literature, here are the best German books for intermediate – advanced German learners.

Furthermore if you read lots, or simply want to read lots easily, getting a Kindle subscription could revolutionise your learning! And if you want to bring your books with you wherever you go, getting a Kindle is perfect (or this is a more general, cheaper option).

Die Verwandlung – Franz Kafka

‘Metamorphosis’ is one of Kafka’s most iconic novels, telling the story of Gregor, who wakes up one day and finds himself to be a beetle. So looking at humanity from a new perspective, it is a great novel full of the unusual, classic Kafka.

Wilhelm Tell – Friedrich Schiller 

Schiller wrote this famous play based on the legend of the Swiss marksman William Tell. Written during the ‘Age of Revolutions’, it tells the story of Swiss fight for independence from the Hapsburgs and is a great book to improve your German! 

Der Zauberberg – Thomas Mann 

One of Thomas Mann’s most loved works, ‘The Magic Mountain’ is a complex novel, filled with symbolism but also irony by the author. Thomas Mann has refused to give away many details about this book. So your interpretation is both personal, and subject to change upon rereading! 

Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre – Johann Wolfgang Goethe 

Just like Der Zauberberg, ‘Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship’ is a Bildungsroman, or a novel of education for Wilhelm. Furthermore it tells of his love for theatre and the journey that takes him on until the end, when he finally receives his apprenticeship, and is a hugely influential work of German literature.   

Im Westen nichts Neues – Erich Maria Remarque 

Written by a veteran of World War 1, you may have heard of this book through its film adaptation, ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’. It describes the brutality of life, physically and emotionally, during the war, and the many difficulties encountered when returning home.

Did you enjoy our list of the best books for intermediate – advanced German learners? Let us know in the comments below! And when you’re done reading, why not schedule a Lex and share your recommendations with your partner.

Finally check out our new book search and see what your fellow learners are reading and share your own recommendations!



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