Top 10 Books every ESL learner must read – Intermediate-Advanced edition

So you’re probably relatively fluent at English at this stage. And you’ve certainly checked out our list of the Best Beginner ESL Books. Well here is the next step up – these are 10 of the all-time best intermediate-advanced English books for every ESL learner to read . I’m very excited about this list – these are some of my favourite ever books, so enjoy! 

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).

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

What an opening into English 19th Century romance! This novel shows above all the importance of not judging someone too quickly, and the overpowering nature of love above social class, societal expectation or even pride. I cannot recommend this book enough. 

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

This is similar to Pride and Prejudice, but set in America and follows four sisters and their search for love. Set during a time when a profitable marriage can end your problems, this book brilliantly shows the pressure, expectations and constrictions on women at the time. 

Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

Dickens is one of England’s greatest ever authors, and Oliver Twist is his second novel. It follows Oliver, an orphan who joins a gang of pickpockets, and shows the harsh lives of children and criminals at the time.  

Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle

If you like detective novels, then Sherlock Holmes is one of the all-time greats! Follow Holmes and Dr Watson solve mysteries in ways you’d never imagine. The Adventure of the Dancing Men and the Adventure of the Speckled Band are my personal favourites, but there are hundreds of stories for you to enjoy. 

James Bond – Ian Fleming

This is the original book series that is the basis for all the films, and it doesn’t disappoint! So join Bond, M, Q and Moneypenny on their many close calls, suave encounters, and undercover missions, and start reading now. 

Macbeth – William Shakespeare 

No list would be complete without Shakespeare, so here’s one of his classics. With murder, betrayal, greed and witches, this play has everything you could want in a book, and is brilliantly written. 

The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

Set in the 1920s, the Great Gatsby is a classic American book which follows the mysterious Jay Gatsby.  Filled with mystique, romance, action and fantastic writing, you don’t want to miss out, so start reading now! 

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

This gothic horror is one of England’s most famous stories, due to the creation of a monster ‘Frankenstein’. It is amazingly captivating and chilling, and wonderfully written, though maybe don’t read this one late at night. 

Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll 

This fantasy novel is appropriate for all ages, and one of the best examples of ‘nonsense’ genre. Alice falls through the ground and encounters all manner of strange things, including lots of poems and songs in the middle. 

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood 

This dystopian novel is a modern tale, written in the style of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. It shows women being forced to resist the patriarchy and achieve independence, and has been widely acclaimed since its publication in 1985. 

Did you enjoy our list of the best intermediate-advanced ESL books to read? Comment your favourites below, and when you’re feeling confident, why not schedule a Lex and share recommendations with your partner.

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

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