5 Easy Books in English That You’ll Actually Enjoy

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Whenever my students ask me for a list of book recommendations, I have to hide my excitement because I know that not only does reading books expand your mind and knowledge of the world, it’s an incredible tool for improving your English.

But, my students don’t ask me for book recommendations very often. 

Of course, they may not ask me because they feel I don’t understand their specific taste or interests, which makes sense.

But I think the bigger problem is that many English learners feel too intimidated to read books, especially if they speak English at a beginner or intermediate level.

Now, depending on your level, you may want to choose some easier reading material. But that doesn’t mean you have to read something that is not interesting or enjoyable for you. Often, English courses and teachers recommend books that are just “easy” without considering the students’ interests or needs.

And, as an English learner, you may have no interest in the books that many teachers call “easy.”

What should you do then? Challenge yourself to read level-appropriate books that you’ll actually enjoy or find useful in your life!

So, that’s why today, I’m going to share a list of 5 easy books in English that you’ll find interesting, helpful, or enjoyable:

  1. Eat That Frog (for fans of self-help)

  2. Tuesdays with Morrie (if you love memoirs)

  3. Lifeboat Number 8 (if you like history)

  4. Atlas Obscura (if you like to travel)

  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in Nighttime (if you love novels or fiction)

What makes these books “easy to read?” I’ve chosen each of these books for one of four reasons:

  1. The writer uses a “list” format with plenty of text in bold that is easy to skim and review. 

  2. The writer uses short paragraphs or very short numbered “chapters” that don’t overwhelm the reader.

  3. The writer uses relatively simple vocabulary and sentence styles.

  4. The book uses illustrations, pictures, and graphic styles that help to engage you as a reader.

I hope that, even if these books don’t pique your interest, this list will at least inspire you to find books that you do enjoy and to be encouraged in the knowledge that “easy” and exciting books are out there.

So, let’s get into this list!

5 EASY BOOKS TO READ IN ENGLISH

1. Eat That Frog 

Um, you want me to do what? Don’t worry, this book by Brian Tracy isn’t about eating frogs. It’s not about eating at all. 

The expression “eating the frog” means doing your least favorite chore. People who want to get things done and stay productive often prefer to “eat the frog” first before they do anything else in a day.

So, this book is all about how to stop procrastinating - or putting things off for later - and start finishing things.  

What makes it easy?

Brian Tracy writes with his readers in mind, and he knows they don’t have a lot of time. He makes his offer very clear - 21 ways to stop procrastinating - and that will make it easier for you to skim the book and review it later.

He also uses short paragraphs with bold headings to keep your attention, and he puts all of his most important terms and points in bold as well.

Who should read this?

This book is excellent for anyone who likes self-help books, or anyone who struggles with procrastination and accomplishing tasks and needs some guidance and advice about creating useful systems in their life.

2. Tuesdays with Morrie

This is a classic and sometimes heartbreaking memoir about a man’s conversations with his former university professor, Morrie Schwartz. 

After losing contact with his professor and mentor for almost twenty years, Mitch Albom tells the story of how they renewed their friendship in the last few months of Morrie’s life. After reuniting, the two men decided to meet in Morrie’s study every Tuesday for a “class” about living, dying, and everything in between.

What makes it easy?

Every chapter of this book has a specific theme, and many of the chapters are labeled clearly with titles such as “We Talk About the World,” or “We Talk About Death.” As you read, you’ll see that the paragraphs have varying lengths, and none of them are so long that you get lost in the text.

Who should read this?

Everyone should read this. And you should definitely read it if you love non-fiction, memoirs, or if you enjoy reflecting on life’s biggest questions like life, death, love, work, money, and how to give it all meaning.

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3. Lifeboat Number 8

Elizabeth Kaye makes this thrilling account of the Titanic even more exciting because she tells it in real time - you hear about the events as they are happening - and from the first-person perspective of the survivors.

You’ll hear about the brave and elegant Countess of Rothes, who famously “captained” Lifeboat Number 8 and steered it through the ocean. You’ll also read about the romance between her ladies maid Roberta and the Titanic’s wireless operator Jack. 

What makes it easy?

Elizabeth Kaye tells this story in an engaging way that’s easy to follow, and she uses many different paragraph lengths and short chapters to tell the story in a series of scenes.

Who should read this? 

If you enjoy history, romance, or if you’re a big fan of James Cameron’s film “Titanic,” you’ll love the tension, excitement, romance, and bravery of both the survivors and those who didn’t survive.

4. Atlas Obscura

This one’s a little different from the others on this list. This comprehensive traveler’s guide uses colorful pages, pictures, and graphic formats to explore some of the most exciting and lesser-known sights that the world has to offer.

Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton created this book as a guide for travelers who want to explore historical and cultural places that are often overlooked.

 It also offers city guides for people who need an easy reference list of exciting places to visit in major cities.

What makes it easy?

As a reader, you don’t have to feel pressured to read this book from cover to cover. You can take it little by little as you enjoy the fun illustrations and photos of unique cultural sights around the world. 

And it’s structured as a guide, so it’s a useful travel resource for anyone who loves the world’s more obscure destinations.

Who should read this?

You should read this if you’re a travel lover, but you should also check it out if you like history, culture, or weird, obscure facts that you can share with your friends at parties!

5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

In this best-selling novel by Mark Haddon, a fifteen-year-old boy discovers that his neighbor’s dog has been murdered, and he decides to solve the mystery. This leads him on a quest that is both intriguing and strange, and it will make it difficult for you to put the book down.

What makes this captivating story even more fascinating is that the narrator - the teenage boy - is autistic, and we are allowed to observe the world through his unique point of view.

What makes it easy?

The story unfolds in a straightforward way, and Mark Haddon uses language that is simple and appropriate for a teenage narrator. It’s also told in a list format, with some long but mostly short chapters that make the story easy to digest. 

You’ll also find engaging little illustrations throughout the novel that emphasize how the narrator processes the world.

Who should read this?

Mark Haddon may write from the perspective of a teenager, but you’ll probably enjoy this book more if you’re an adult. And if you love charming and heartbreaking stories about what it means to grow up and face the world, you’ll enjoy this book.

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Tips for Reading

Take it little by little.

Sometimes we’re discouraged by the idea of reading because we see one big book or text that overwhelms us and looks too challenging to take in.

That’s why I chose all of the books on this list. They’re all written in a way that should encourage you to take your reading little by little, piece by piece. 

Take notes.

If you’re reading a paper version of the book, keep a notepad and a pen on hand for taking notes. Write down any expressions or phrases you don’t know so that you can look them up later. 

If you’re reading on an electronic device, you can often just highlight the world or click on it to look it up.

Talk about it.

Find a friend or a language partner to read one of these books with. You can even start your own English book club! However you choose to do it, talking about the books you read and sharing them with others will help reinforce the language that you’re learning.

I also encourage you to write about them and share your reading journey on social media. 

And if you can’t think of anyone to talk to about your English reading journey, share your thoughts here with us in the comments, or share with us on our Instagram or Facebook pages! We’d love to hear what you think about this reading list or any other books that you would recommend.


About the writer

Marta is an online ESL teacher who works with students from around the world. As a writer, language nerd, and content contributor for In English With Love, her mission is to empower English learners with knowledge and positivity.


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