Best Books For English Learners (October 2022)


Here are the Thinking in English “Best Books for English Learners (October, 2022). I have recommend some amazing books to help you get started in your reading journey, improve your English skills, and enjoy yourself at the same time!

The books featured cover a wide variety of genres and topics – and are suitable for a range of different learners! Take a look at my recommendations, pick out a book, and improve your English!!

Contents!!

  1. Books are Amazing for English Learners!!
    1. What is a Graded Reader?
  2. October Book Recommendations for English Learners!!
    1. 1. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
    2. 2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    3. 3. The Extraordinary Life of Stephen Hawking
    4. 4. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
    5. 5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  3. Do you want to Think in English?

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Books are Amazing for English Learners!!

Reading books is one of the best ways to improve your English ability. It exposes you to new vocabulary, teaches you natural grammar, and helps you to make sentences like a native English speaker. 

You can learn how to use English phrases, metaphors, idioms, and colloquialisms. Books help you understand other parts of the world. And… perhaps the most important point… books are fun!!

From the fantasy world of Harry Potter, classic romance stories from the mind of Jane Austin and the Bronte sisters, the horror of Frankenstein and Dracula, and the mystery of Agatha Christie novels… there is something for everyone!

And even if you don’t like fiction – there is a whole world of amazing non-fiction out there: science, history, current affairs, philosophy, religion, whatever you can think about!

Even though reading books is such an amazing resource available to English learners… I don’t think English learners read enough books. And I can understand why – I’m a language learner myself and walking into a foreign language bookstore is a daunting experience. 

When I tried to pick out a Japanese book… so many questions were revolving around in my head – “Where do you start? How do I know if this is a good book? How do I know if it is worth reading? I wish someone would recommend a book to me!”

So that is what I decided to do for English learners – give you a book recommendation every week. And this article is a summary of all of the books I have recommended in October 2022!

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What is a Graded Reader?

Something you will notice about my recommendations is that every book is available both in its original native English form and as a “graded reader.”

But… what is a graded reader? 

Graded readers are books specially designed and modified for English learners. They are created to suit different levels of English ability – from beginners to upper-immediate students. 

The “original” version of the book is modified to make it easier for learners to use and understand – grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure are simplified or adapted, and the story is made a little easier to comprehend. 

While not everyone likes the idea of a graded reader, I think they are excellent. I think any tool you can use to start reading is essential. And for that reason, every book I recommend is also available as a graded reader (at a variety of different levels).

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October Book Recommendations for English Learners!!

1. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

In Originals, Adam Grant looks at how being ‘original’ can change the world. It is a guide on how to be successful by being original. Instead of following the mainstream, he looks at how we can go against the grain, battle against conformity, and stop outdated traditions.

Using a number of studies and stories, the author discusses how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, find allies, and choose the right time to act! If you want to learn how to champion new ideas and avoid groupthink, this is the book for you.

The Graded Reader version of Originals is a level 7, so ranked as B2 on the CEFR framework. I guess this will be considered a good book for upper intermediate English learners. The book’s sentences have up to four clauses, with difficult grammar including future perfect simple, mixed conditionals, more complex passive forms and modals for dedication in the past.

If this is too easy for you, why not try the original native English version? While the original native English version is more difficult, it is great to challenge yourself!


You Can Buy Originals Here!!! (And Help Support Thinking in English…)

Originals – https://amzn.to/3dSNbrd

Originals (Penguin Readers) – https://amzn.to/3Rk5WSh


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2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations depicts the life, development, and education of a young man – Pip. As the story progresses, Pip’s life is changed by a series of event: a meeting with an escaped convict; a relationship with the old and bitter Miss Havisham; a love for Estell; and the generosity of a mysterious person.

It is brilliantly and beautifully written. The way Dickens uses the English language to evoke emotions and draw pictures of the events in our minds is miraculous. I think you will all enjoy reading such a classic book!

This book is available as a level 6 graded reader. Level 6 graded readers have sentences with up to four clauses, introducing future continuous, reported questions, third conditional, was going to and ellipsis. 

If this is too easy for you, why not try the original native English version?


You Can Buy Great Expectations Here!!! (And Help Support Thinking in English…)

Great Expectations – https://amzn.to/3LUrFPq

Great Expectation (Graded Reader) – https://amzn.to/3BWj8X


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3. The Extraordinary Life of Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking was one of the most influential, respected, and well-known scientists of the past 100 years. After being diagnosed with motor-neurone disease at the age of 21 and told he only had a few years to live, he dedicated his life to trying to answer some of the biggest questions and problems in the world.

For example, how did the universe begin? What is a black hole? Is time travel possible? He studied space and time and taught people a lot about the universe. You may have seen the movieThe Theory of Everything’ which is about his life!

I think this would be an excellent book for anyone interested in science or interested in reading biographies. As he was a scientist, of course the book references a lot of scientific information – but it also talks about his extraordinary life and how he was successful despite his disabilities.

I’ll link both the original book and the Penguin graded reader version! This book is full of narrative biography, timelines, fascinating facts and some beautiful illustrations.

The graded reader is a Level 3 Reader, so it is designed for students ranked A2 in the CEFR framework. Basically, it is an upper beginner level reader. Sentences have up to three clauses, and the most difficult grammar is first conditional, past continuous, and present perfect simple.

If this is too easy for you, why not try the original native English version?


You Can Buy The Extraordinary Life of Stephen Hawking Here!!! (And Help Support Thinking in English…)

The Extraordinary Life of Stephen Hawking – https://amzn.to/3SpWvlD

The Extraordinary Life of Stephen Hawking (Penguin Reader) – https://amzn.to/3SAloL0


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4. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

This book is one of the most famous ghost stories in the English language, and the author Henry James is considered one of the greatest ever horror story writers.

The Turn of the Screw traces the story of young and inexperienced governess who must look after two young orphaned children. The governess sees an unknown man and women around the house, but it turns out they may already be dead!

In traditional Gothic horror stories, ghosts appear as frightening monsters, bound in chains, and with horrific features. But in The Turn of the Screw the ghosts appear as themselves.

The graded reader version of the Turn of the Screw is a Level 6 which is a B1+ in the CEFR framework. This is perfect for intermediate readers. This is the longest reader I have recommended so far, with sentences up to four clauses and difficult grammar including future continuous, reported questions, third conditional, was going to and ellipsis.

If this is too easy for you, then definitely give the original version a go! I’ll leave links to both.


You Can Buy The Turn of the Screw by Henry James Here!!! (And Help Support Thinking in English…)

The Turn of the Screw – https://amzn.to/3fAJcQQ

The Turn of the Screw (Penguin Readers) – https://amzn.to/3CmfyaH


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5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the classic books of 19th century American fiction. Many of the books I read or recommend are by British authors – so I thought it would be good to suggest something American today!

Mark Twain’s book is the story of a young boy as he travels through the USA. Written in the late 19th century, the book contains many references and aspects of the national destiny of the American people.

Let me give you a brief description from Penguin books’ website.

“Someone killed Huckleberry Finn.” Everyone in the village of St. Petersburg will tell you this, but Huck Finn is not dead. He ran away. Now he is traveling down the great Mississippi river. Come with him on his adventures and meet many new people. Some of them are good, but some of them are very bad.

If you enjoy adventure books, perhaps this one will be great for you! It his hilarious, fun, and set in a very different USA to the country we know today. Despite this , the themes of racism and the treatment of African-Americans are still very much relevant today!

This book is also available as a level 2 graded reader (remember the most advanced Penguin readers are graded level 7). This means it is A1+ in the CEFR framework and sentences include a maximum of two clauses. The most difficult grammar is the future tense, present continuous, and comparatives!

If this is too easy for you, why not try reading the original version??


You Can Buy the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Here!!! (And Help Support Thinking in English…)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – https://amzn.to/3SGSs43

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Graded Reader) – https://amzn.to/3e1qgKi

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Why Not Sign Up To Kindle Unlimited (over 1 million eBooks available to read online!) – https://amzn.to/3e1UZar

Enjoy Listening to Audiobooks? Sign Up to Audible Now! – https://amzn.to/3CyFmRg

Are you going to read the book? What books do you recommend for English learners? Let us know in the comments!


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189. Why is Scotland in the UK? (English Vocabulary Lesson) Thinking in English

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