Best Russian Books to improve your Russian

If you’re learning Russian, reading as much as you can is one of the best ways you can improve! And if you’re struggling, dual language books with facing English translation are particularly helpful, too. So here’s our list of the best books for you to improve your Russian.

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).

Russian Folktales – Alexander Afanasyev

Afanasyev wrote hundreds of folktales in the 19th Century and they’re short, entertaining and perfect for learning Russian. Furthermore read them with the English facing translation to help your understanding! 

Леди Макбет Мценского уезда – Nikolai Leskov 

‘Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk’ is a 19th Century novel by Nikolai Leskov, inspired by Shakespeare’s own ‘Macbeth’. Filled with murder, betrayal, and cunning, it will have you gripped throughout so start reading now!  

Мать – Maxim Gorky

‘Mother’ by Maxim Gorky is about an illiterate and uneducated mother supporting her revolutionary son after his father dies. Very popular worldwide, this novel has been translated and adapted into plays and films, and is written in wonderful and clear Russian.  

Алые паруса – Alexander Grin

This wonderful romantic novel is so loved in Russia that there is an annual festival in St Petersburg. Above all innocent and honest, it tells a fantasy love story that shows the value of dreams. 

Два Капитана – Veniamin Kaverin 

This novel is certainly a beautiful love letter to Russia. A story of discovery and growing up for the protagonist Alexander Grigoryev, starting in search of a lost Arctic expedition. Above all it chronicles the development from Czarist Russia all the way to World War 2 through the characters’ unwavering determination, and is a wonderful book to improve your Russian! 

Did you like our list of the best books to improve your Russian? Let us know in the comments below! Finally why not schedule a Lex and share your recommendations with your partner.

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

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