Simple language: 20+ Easy English Books for Adults
Reading is widely accepted as one of the most effective ways to strengthen language skills. Not only does reading give you exposure to new vocabulary and grammar, but it also helps you to learn about different cultures and viewpoints. However, finding easy English books suitable for your level can be challenging. It is especially true if you are an adult learner.
But there is no need to worry! This article will provide dozens of beautiful books divided into different categories – from your experience level to genres and themes. By the end, you will find that one book perfect for you. You will also understand the importance of reading and learn the best lifehacks to take the most out of it. So please make yourself comfortable, and we are starting our literature journey!
Why Is Reading Easy Books in English Important for Language Learning?
Reading is one of the most efficient ways to strengthen your language skills. It will help you to expand your vocabulary and your general outlook. Reading books from foreign writers teaches you more about the culture, traditions, and viewpoints. In addition, reading is a great way to develop your writing skills. By seeing how native speakers use the language, you can model your writing after theirs.
One of the best things about reading an easy English book is that you can do it anywhere and anytime. You can read on the bus, in the park, or even in bed before you go to sleep. You can also read for as long or as short a period as you like. If you only have a few minutes, you can read a short article or story. If you have more time, you can tackle a longer book.
Another great thing about reading is that books are available for every level, from beginner to advanced. It means that regarding your English proficiency, you will be able to find appropriate novels and stories. We are happy to share our top choice of books from A2 to C1 levels. But before we dive into all these plots and storylines, we want to help you make your reading experience pleasant and profitable.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Reading Practice
The first thing you need to do is to choose the right book. It should be interesting for you; otherwise, you will not be motivated to read it. If the book is too difficult, you will get frustrated, and if it is too easy, you will get bored. The best way to find a suitable book is to look at the reviews or ask your friends for recommendations. Once you have found a couple of books that look promising, it is time to start reading! And to make this process more profitable, here are a few more tips:
- Start with easy-to-read books. If you are a beginner, starting with books that are easy to read is essential. It will help you to build up your confidence and avoid frustration. Once you have mastered easy books, you can move on to more challenging ones.
- Read out loud. When you are first starting, it can be helpful to read the book out loud. It will help you to sound out the words and get a feel for the language. As you become more comfortable, you can start reading silently.
- Listen to audio versions. Reading books simultaneously and listening to their audio versions is a common practice. It can help to learn the correct pronunciation of words, intonations, etc.
- Take your time. Don’t try to rush through the book. It is essential to take your time to understand what you are reading. If you encounter a word you don’t know, look it up in a dictionary.
- Try to read for pleasure. Don’t focus too much on endeavoring to learn new vocabulary or grammar. The more you enjoy the book, the more likely you are to keep reading.
Finally, do not be afraid to make mistakes. Reading is one of the safest ways to practice your English skills. No one will judge you for making mistakes, and you can always go back and reread a sentence or a paragraph if you did not understand it the first time. And now that we have gone through all the tips and tricks, it is time to check our book selection.
We have divided our list of books into different categories to make it easier for you to choose. The books are suitable for different experience levels, from beginner to advanced. We have also included a mix of genres and themes to cater to every taste. So, without further ado, let us jump right in!
A2 Level: Beginner. Easy books to read in English for starters
We all start to learn from the basics. And it would be weird for us to recommend people with pre-intermediate levels to read Brave New World. If you are just beginning your studying journey, don’t even think about reading difficult classics with old-school speech patterns. It will only discourage you from continuing your studies. Try some of these books instead – we promise you will like them!
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Mark Haddon
Don’t tell us that you’ve expected to see here some basic books you can find in every article. We want to make your learning experience exciting, so we’ve done our best to collect only worthwhile books. And The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon is the first easy book to read in English on our list. This beautiful novel, released in 2003, conquered the hearts of millions of people, and most of them still consider it the best book ever written.
What’s the plot?
The book is narrated by Christopher John Francis Boone – a 15-year-old boy with an extraordinary brain. He likes mathematics but hates people. And that’s why the only animal he can communicate with is his pet rat, Toby.
One day, when Christopher comes home from school, he finds his neighbor’s dog Wellington dead with a garden fork sticking out of its body. Of course, Christopher becomes the main suspect as he doesn’t get along well with other people, to put it mildly. So, he decides to conduct his investigation and find out who killed Wellington.
Why is it easy to read? The novel is written for teenagers, so the language is quite simple. In addition, the book is generously illustrated with pictures, charts, and diagrams that will help you understand the text if it’s not obvious. And Haddon has such a way of speaking that you’ll laugh hysterically on one page and soak in tears on the next.
Holes. Louis Sachar
The Holes is one of the most popular books among children and adults. It was released in 1998 and immediately became a bestseller. In 2003, it was turned into a movie with Shia LaBeouf in the leading role.
What’s the plot?
The book tells the story of Stanley Yelnats – a boy who has been unjustly accused of stealing. So he was sent to a detention center in the middle of the desert. The conditions in the camp are callous, and the boys have to do hard manual labor every day. But that’s not all. There is something strange going on in this place. Boys keep disappearing in the middle of the night, never to be seen again. And no one knows why.
Why is it easy to read? Once again, it is one of those perfect easy books to read for adults. It is also written in simple language and short sentences. And the exciting storyline will keep you engaged from beginning to end.
Wonder. R. J. Palacio
Look no further if you want an easy book with a feel-good message. Wonder is a novel that will make you laugh and cry. It will also teach you to be kinder to people around you, even if they don’t look like everyone else.
What’s the plot?
The book is about Auggie Pullman – a boy with Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the development of bones and tissues in the face. So, Auggie looks different from other kids and has constantly been bullied at school. But his parents decided it was time for him to get a proper education, so they enrolled him in a regular fifth-grade class. What follows is Auggie’s story of acceptance, friendship, and love.
Why is it easy to read? Wonder is aimed primarily at younger and middle school, and its language is straightforward. However, do not take this easy reading book as a children’s – it raises issues and problems relevant to any age.
The Giver. Lois Lowry
The Giver is a dystopian novel that was published in 1993. It became an instant classic, and its popularity hasn’t waned since then. It has only grown over the years. In 2014, the book was turned into a movie starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep.
What’s the plot?
The book is set in a future society where pain, war, and emotions have been eradicated. People live in peace and harmony but are also robotic and lack individuality. Jonas is a young boy chosen to be the next “Receiver of Memory.” It is a position of great honor but also comes with great responsibility. Jonas will have to bear the entire world’s pain on his shoulders.
Why is it easy to read? Lowry’s book is intended for high school age, but because the work raises social issues, it may also appeal to adults. In addition, the novel has complex constructions and philosophical terms, so it’s great for people with basic English who want to expand their vocabulary.
Timbuktu. Paul Auster
Timbuktu is a novel by Paul Auster, published in 1999. As one of his most famous books, it was included in the New York Times’ list of the 100 Best Books of the 20th Century.
What’s the plot?
Mr. Bones is almost an ordinary dog. We said almost because, unlike other dogs, Mr. Bones can understand English and drive a narrative in his head. Furry lives on the streets of Brooklyn with his human Willy. Unfortunately, Willy doesn’t have very long to live: because of his hard life as a homeless man, he has developed a terrible cough, which is getting worse every day. So Willy decides to do one last good deed in this world and sets out to find Mr. Bones a new home. The faithful dog recounts their final adventure from his canine perspective.
Why is it easy to read? Dogs are rarely followers of Immanuel Kant or Arthur Schopenhauer, so their speech is usually quite simple. Paul Auster endows Mr. Bones with easy English with short sentences and explicit constructions. You should only be wary of drowning in tears after reading this book.
B1-B2 Levels. Intermediate: Easy reading books for adults
An intermediate level is enough to read most books in the original language. But, of course, it is still early for Brave New World (we will return to this book later) since there are too many speech patterns that you are not ready for yet. But there is no need to be upset! We have enough books for you to read.
The Book Thief. Markus Zusak
The Book Thief is a historical fiction novel by Australian author Markus Zusak, published in 2005. It won numerous awards and turned into a movie in 2013.
What’s the plot?
Death itself tells the reader the story of nine-year-old Liesel. It is World War II, and the girl is forced to leave her family and settle in a foster home. On her way to her new home, Liselle’s brother dies, and during his funeral, the girl steals her first book. Next, Death recounts the horrors of war that the child and her surroundings must endure. But in addition to suffering, new friends, discoveries, and stolen books await the girl – they become Liesel’s main inspirations and supports.
Why is it easy to read? Even though the novel is about a nine-year-old girl, the book cannot be called unequivocally children’s. Death in Zusak’s work does not skimp on the detailed descriptions of the nightmares of war. However, the story of Liesel and her struggle for a normal existence will resonate with any reader who is not devoid of empathy.
Nine Lives To Die. Rita Mae Brown
This book, written in the cozy detective genre, is perfect for beginners and intermediate students. It contains everything you need for a pleasant pastime – simple language, an exciting plot, and characters that make you fall in love. It was released in 2014, and you can still buy it on eBay for less than $5.
What’s the plot?
Ah, this beautiful winter in Virginia. Events take place in Crozet, a small town, preparing for The Silver Linings Charity’s Annual Gala Concert. But the action takes an unexpected turn – instead of celebrating the holiday atmosphere, citizens are shocked by the double murder of two mentors of the Silver Linings.
And that’s when we meet our main characters. A girl named Harry takes on the task of investigating this murder. But the main characters are her assistants – Mrs. Murphy the cat, chubby kitten Pewter, and detective corgi Tee Tucker.
Why is it easy to read? As you already know, our pets don’t speak Shakespeare English. And since they are the book’s protagonists, the text consists primarily of simple sentences and basic vocabulary. However, it doesn’t make this beautiful novel wrong! You will read it in a day because you can’t take yourself away from the unique style and unexpected plot twists.
About A Boy. Nick Hornby
About A Boy is a novel by British author Nick Hornby, published in 1998. The book was turned into a movie in 2002, starring Hugh Grant.
What’s the plot?
Will is a 36-year-old confirmed bachelor who has never been employed, living off his father’s fortune. A little tired of partying, he comes up with a creative way to meet women: at meetings of single mothers.
At one of these meetings, he hits on Fiona, they develop some semblance of a relationship, and Will meets her teenage son, Marcus. Suddenly, the little kid and the big kid become friends. The unexpected alliance leads to a reassessment of values and life changes in the fates of all the characters. Fans of melodrama will definitely enjoy this book.
Why is it easy to read? Hornby’s language is lively and modern. The sentences are replete with slang and colloquialisms, and the writer likes to mention names and phenomena of mass culture – music and film industries, brands, and TV programs. For example, Nirvana plays a considerable role in this book – even the title refers to the song About a Boy from their first album.
The Girl with All the Gifts. M. R. Carey
This one is perfect for sci-fi fans. If you like to read about zombies, viruses, futuristic illnesses, and apocalyptic worlds – don’t forget to put it on your must-read list.
What’s the plot?
Twenty years ago, humankind was struck by the virus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis. It caused people to become incredibly carnivorous and started – guess what – right, bloodthirstily devouring those around them. But this isn’t another basic zombie horror story. The main character in it is a zombie.
A small group of survivors developed a vaccine based on the study of the infected “second wave”-children who contracted the virus while in the womb. They are also carnivorous but more intellectually advanced, and the scientists smear a special substance that suppresses human scent to interact with and study the children.
One of the test subjects, a girl named Melanie, exhibits special abilities and curiosity. She is unaware of her infection, and her talents give the scientists confidence that a working vaccine is close. What they are not aware of, however, is that the survival of humanity is no longer dependent on the vaccine.
Why is it easy to read? This work has almost no complex temporal constructions – the narration is in Present Simple, making it a perfect and easy book to read. However, the text is full of medical terms and modern idioms, which makes its novel useful for expanding vocabulary at the Intermediate and higher levels.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Stephen Chbosky
This beautiful teenage book is suitable for adults and youth. It provides much knowledge about teenagers’ lives, problems, and situations. And if you want to watch the movie, you can enjoy a beautiful adaptation starring Emma Watson.
What’s the plot?
The book tells the story of Charlie, a 15-year-old introverted teenager experiencing depression. At school, he meets older kids Sam and Patrick and, with their company, explores the world of alcohol, his first sexual encounter, and drugs. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the kind of Catcher in the Rye of our time, which deftly describes the mental tossings of teenagers and the problems that accompany growing up.
Why is it easy to read? Chbosky’s prose is light and engaging from the first sentences. In the book, you may encounter idioms and slang familiar to students who are already somewhat savvy in English, but in general, the work can be tried and read by newcomers as well.
C1-C2 Levels. Advanced: Easy books to read for fluent readers
Honestly, students with an Advanced English level can consider every book as easy. But still, some novels might be too much even for native speakers. So whether you want to master your skills even more or just to find some exciting and easy books to read, we’ve got you covered. Check our top five novels that won’t leave you untouched.
American Gods. Neil Gaiman
Firstly published in 2001, this book by British novelist Neil Gaiman quickly became a favorite fantasy novel of millions. Now you can also watch the series of the same name starring Emily Browning and Richard Whittle.
What’s the plot?
The main character of the story is Shadow. He was released from prison and rushed to see his wife, Laura. But when he returned home, he heard devastating news – his beloved wife died in a car accident only three days before his release. It seemed like it couldn’t get any worse, but Mr. Shadow is shaken by more terrible news – his best friend Robbie has died with Laura. It turns out they were having an affair while Shadow was incarcerated.
A little later, a devastated Shadow accidentally meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday and accepts the offer to become his bodyguard. Some more time passes, and the protagonist realizes that his new employer is not just a strange man but an actual incarnation of the Nordic god Odin. Moreover, there is a veritable diaspora of gods living in the States. Mr. Wednesday is determined to create an army of the gods of the past. Why? Well, to fight the gods of the present, obviously.
Why is it easy to read? Even though Gaiman is famous for writing books that are easy to read, many details make his works inaccessible for beginners. There are numerous components in the novel, including references and Nordic terminology. And that is why it is our choice for advanced readers.
Cat’s Cradle. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
If you like Mr. Vonnegut’s satirical dystopias, you should definitely pay attention to this book. It was published back in 1963 but still remains one of the best of the author’s works. And it contains non-standard vocabulary and phrases that will be handy for advanced speakers.
What’s the plot?
Once upon a time, an infamous writer woke up with the idea to write a book about the day the atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima. Naturally, the first thing that comes to his writer’s mind is that the best person who can provide him with details is Mr. Hoenniker, co-developer of Little Boy. But unfortunately, he is long gone, so the writer is trying to find the truth from Hoennikker’s family and friends.
During his investigation, the narrator contacts the oldest son of the scientist. It turns out that this son lives on an island in the Caribbean. The people there are drowning in poverty, and their only entertainment is something called Bokononism. Driven by the idea of writing his book, the narrator goes to meet the Hoenniker sons. With their help, he learned that Mr. Hoenniker had created an even more dangerous thing, one drop that could kill all humanity. And now this thing is in the hands of Caribbean dictators.
Why is it easy to read? Mr. Vonnegut’s writing style is quite simple. He is renowned for his easy-reading books. But to create a unique kind of satire, he uses many jokes and allegories accessible only to people with an advanced level of English. If that’s you, don’t waste a second and look for a way to read this book. It can easily be found on international marketplaces like Amazon.
Dune. Frank Herbert
Shout out to all Timothée Chalamet fans! You have probably seen the adaptation already, but did you know that the original book was published in 1965? It was a futuristic novel then, and today it also won the hearts of avid sci-fi fans.
What’s the plot?
The plot takes place in the distant future, on the planet Arrakis, considered the most valuable in the world. What’s so special about it? Well, it is the only place in the world where you can find spice – a unique substance, the main feature of which is to prolong human life and return youthfulness. Without the spice, there would be no trade, no interplanetary travel, and no civilization. Whoever owns Arrakis and its capital, Dune, owns the world.
At a critical moment, control of the planet passes from the monopoly of House Harkonnen to their long-time opponents, House Atreides. Resources are depleted, and the new kings promise to restore balance and make Dune great again. But old planet owners don’t like this turn of events. They’ve decided to return the authority through a military coup. And it worked almost well – the only thing they’ve missed is Atreides’ heir Paul, a boy with supernatural abilities. Now the fate of Arrakis and the world depends on him alone.
Why is it easy to read? Well, it’s not. Even though Herbert’s English is medium complex and not so layered, some features in the book may confuse Intermediate-level students. The author wrote the novel using modern English (for 1965 modern, don’t try to find cringe and ROFL in the text), but he mixed a common language with fictitious words from Arab, Russian, Hebrew, and other languages. But if you have a C1 level and above, this book will be a piece of cake for you.
The Summer Without Men. Siri Hustvedt
A book written by a doctor of linguistics is hardly suitable for the primary study of English. But it is perfect for advanced-level students since there are enough speech patterns, unusual sentences, and even rhyming lines.
What’s the plot?
Mia Fredrickson, a successful 55-year-old poet, was happily married for thirty years. So, can you imagine her shock when her beloved husband requested a relationship pause? Mia was so devastated that she even went to rehab for a few months.
After long days of therapy, she finally returns to her normal life. She decided to return to her hometown and rent a house in Minnesota. A woman will have to rethink many things in her life and come to a new herself – self-confident and self-sufficient.
Why is it easy to read? As we mentioned before, Siri Hustvedt is a doctor of linguistics and a poet, so her novel is full of non-standard speech patterns, complex vocabulary, and other features that require strong English skills. But it also has enough humor, good provocations, and tricks to help you rethink how you think about many things.
Brave New World. Aldous Huxley
Finally, we reached this one. Another dystopia on our list, but isn’t it great? A book about the future that has already become a reality. If you are keen on social issues, this book is for you. You will read about a world where people are grown in test tubes, have pre-determined professions, and think only of pleasure. And all because the government decided it was necessary to create a stable and controllable society.
What’s the plot?
The story unfolds in the World State – a single state that includes all world countries. The authorities of this country decided to create an ideal society and selected methods that, at first glance, may seem cruel. For example, people are grown in special incubators, have a planned profession, and take mandatory drugs, so they don’t have any negative emotions.
Why is it easy to read? Although the book was written in 1931, the language is quite simple. Yes, there are some unusual words and terms, but they can be easily understood from the context. In addition, the author uses a lot of irony and satire, which makes the reading process even more pleasant.
Bonus! Even more easy-read books for adults
Now you know our list of the best books for different English levels. But there is much more! We can’t list all beautiful novels since it will take more than a week to mention them all. However, what we can do is provide you with more amazing books and their brief descriptions. You can check them after you finish all the books mentioned above. And again, we’ve divided them by levels, so you can easily find the one that suits you.
A2: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
The story is about red-headed Anne with an E – a girl raised on a farm by her foster parents. A book full of exciting, fun, and romantic moments is perfect for beginners. And you can watch the when you finish reading.
A2: Starring Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson.
The story is about life, teenagers, children-parent relationships, and other things that can interest readers of any age. We can’t leave you without recommending this book thanks to its simple language, various conversational phrases, and fascinating plot.
A2: Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome.
Students start to read this book in the first years of linguistic university. And there is no wonder why since this beautiful novel is simple, easy to understand, and fun. You will spend all your time on the Thames River, in the boat with the main characters. You can also watch movies based on the book (there are two of them).
B2: The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.
We are almost confident that you’ve read this one in your native language. Well, it is still great to try the original. The story of Holden Caulfield will not leave you untouched. This novel is considered a classic and an excellent choice for Intermediate-level students.
B2: On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
The author of this book was one of the pioneers of the “Beat Generation.” On the Road is his most famous novel that describes several road trips across America. You will read about interesting people, various adventures, and different lifestyles. Besides, the book is easy to understand, thanks to its uncomplicated language.
B2: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling.
The story about the boy who lived is a favorite novel of millions. You’ve probably seen all the legendary movies and read the books. So, why don’t you give them a try in the original language? The first book was written for kids, so the language and vocabulary are more straightforward than in the following parts.
C1: 1984 by George Orwell
This dystopian novel is a must-read for everyone who wants to improve their English and learn more about our world. The language of the book is not complicated, but the number of new words may be a little confusing for beginners. However, you can always use a dictionary or read it with someone who knows the language better.
C1: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
The novel is set in the deep south of America and describes the life of an African-American family in the early 20th century. The language is easy to understand, but the book may be challenging to read because of its sad plot. Nevertheless, it is still one of the most popular novels in the world.
C1: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
The story takes place in Afghanistan and describes the life of two best friends who have to go through many challenges together. The book is easy to read, and the language is not too complicated. It is an excellent choice for those preparing for the IELTS exam. And that’s it for today.
Our list of books will come in handy during those cold autumn evenings when you stay in bed, drink coffee, and read one of them. Of course, there are many more beautiful novels, and these are just our favorites. But they are perfect for easy reading for adults, and we really hope that you will like them.
Discuss Your Favorite Books with the Promova Conversation Club
If you like reading but don’t know where to discuss your favorite books, say no more. We are happy to invite you to join the free Promova Conversation Club. Here you can meet outstanding students from various countries, learn their viewpoints, and share your thoughts about books, authors, and other excellent topics.
Try our one-on-one online lessons with professional tutors for those uncertain about their speaking skills and not yet ready to talk in English with a group of people. Promova teachers will be happy to help you in your journey. They will prepare a studying program according to your proficiency level, and you will see how your language skills improve from one lesson to another. And if you want just to practice alone, install a convenient Promova app on your device, and enjoy unique classes, exciting topics, and tons of other helpful information.
Reading is one of the most efficient and fastest ways to strengthen your language skills. It helps you learn new vocabulary, understand grammar rules, and develop reading comprehension. So if you want to master English quickly, start reading books in this language. If you are looking for easy books for adults learning English, we hope our list will be helpful. Choose the book you like the most and start reading! And don’t forget to share your favorite English books in the comments!
What are the best easy books for adults learning English?
There is no single answer to this question, as different people have different preferences. However, some popular choices among English learners include Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, The Man in the Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, and Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. You can also try reading children’s books, like The Cat in The Hat by Dr. Seuss.
Why is reading important for language learners?
Reading helps language learners to develop their vocabulary, understand grammar rules, and improve their reading and writing comprehension.
Also, reading can be enjoyable, providing insights into other cultures and traditions. And it also can boost your confidence – just imagine impressing your friends by reading 1984 in the original language.
How often should I read in English?
You should read as often as possible to see the most benefits. However, even reading for just 20 minutes a day can be beneficial. The point is to find a book that will be interesting for you. Otherwise, you will soon get bored, and the reading process will become a nightmare.
How to make the most out of reading?
Oh, that’s a good question. If you want to make your reading even more profitable, you can use one of those lifehacks. First, find the book that suits your English level – it shouldn’t be too easy or difficult to understand. Then, read out loud to master pronunciation, and listen to the audio versions to understand intonations. And don’t be afraid of mistakes – if you don’t know the word, just pause your reading and check the vocabulary.