Best books to improve your English skills


Get cozy this winter with some tea or coffee and a good book. Reading can open your mind to brilliant new worlds and take you to a new level of English language learning. By choosing your first English books wisely, you should have a very positive experience, and we are going to help you get there. Ready, bookworms? Let’s jump in!

Here are the top picks of the Verbalists Education and Language Network according to various genres:

Best Fiction

Book title: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

A couple who share what seems to be a dream life with their two daughters have their lives turned upside down when they attend a neighbor’s barbecue. Two months later, they regret what happened that day and can’t stop wondering what would’ve happened if they had never gone.

books-end-of-watch-by-stephen-kingBest Mystery & Thriller

Book title: End of Watch by Stephen King

This book is the final instalment in Stephen King’s Hodges trilogy, following Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers. It follows retired detective Bill Hodges and his partner Holly Gibney as they try to avoid becoming victims to the “Mercedes Killer”, who has discovered how to force his enemies to commit suicide.

Best Historical Fiction

Book title: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

This novel follows the story of a slave named Cora who gets the opportunity to escape on the Underground Railroad. In this book, the Underground Railroad becomes a real railroad, with a conductor and engineers. Cora’s journey takes her farther and farther north, but will she ever find true freedom?

Best Fantasy

Book title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

JK Rowling’s latest instalment in the Harry Potter series follows Harry’s son, Albus, as Harry’s past legacy influences the present. Harry has since began working at the Ministry of Magic and has two other children, but must work with his son to resolve both the present and the past. This book has also been adapted into a play, currently playing at the Palace Theatre in London –Tickets are on sale here.

Recommendation: Enroll in the popular My LONDON Program of the Verbalists Language Network. As part of the London sightseeing and English learning, a Verbalists guide will take you to see the play after reading the book, so that you get the benefit of both reading and oral comprehension! 

books-it-ends-with-us-by-colleen-hooverBest Romance

Book title: It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

Lily is a hardworking girl who moves away from her small hometown to Boston, where she meets a handsome neurosurgeon with a “no dating” rule. As he begins to bend this rule for her, she reflects on her first lost love, Atlas. That is, until Atlas reappears…

Best Science Fiction

Book title: Morning Star by Pierce Brown

The final book in the Red Rising Trilogy, Morning Star finally brings Darrow’s story to a conclusion. Risking everything, Darrow will finally bring his revolution to life with help from his comrades. Their journey will overturn the hierarchy, finally allowing his enslaved people a chance to reclaim their destiny.

Best Horror

Book title: The Fireman by Joe Hill

A mysterious and deadly disease is spreading across the United States, one which makes the infected burst into flames after developing sores that resemble dragon scales. When a young nurse develops the symptoms while pregnant, she becomes determined to find the legendary Fireman who is able to control the fire within himself, before it’s too late.

books-the-girl-with-the-lower-back-tattoo-by-amy-schumerBest Humor

Book title: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer is back, following the success of both her TV show Inside Amy Schumer and her movie Trainwreck. Her book features anecdotes from her past that have defined her as a who she is today: a comedian who also stands up for what she believes in. Her stories range from the romantic to the harrowing, but each equally as relatable and entertaining as the last.

Best Non-Fiction

Book title: Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter

From the writer of the revolutionary new musical, Hamilton, this book documents both the history that inspired the musical as well as the history of the musical itself, from a performance at the White House to the opening night on Broadway six years later. It features exclusive interviews, photos, footnotes and much more, giving readers a new perspective on the Hamilton phenomenon.

Best Memoir & Autobiography

Book title: When Breath becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Paul Kalanithi was a 36-year-old neurosurgeon and new father when he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. His memoir documents his struggle with going from doctor to patient, as well as questioning what makes life worth living when death is approaching. He wished to use his words to help guide others in their everyday struggles, no matter how scary or mundane.

Best History & Biography

Book title: Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner & David Fisher

William Shatner chronicles the life of his late best friend, Leonard Nimoy, throughout their fifty-year friendship. Both known for their roles in Star Trek, they became close friends and Shatner gathers his own stories of Nimoy but also those of others who knew the great actor in a heart-warming tribute to his life.

books-are-we-smart-enough-to-know-how-smart-animals-are-by-frans-de-waalBest Science & technology

Book title: Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? By Frans De Waal

For far too long, humans have believed themselves to be at the top of the hierarchy of intelligence. Frans de Waal seeks to make readers question everything they believe about human and animal intelligence by revealing how smart animals truly are. He states that different forms of intelligence are simply incomparable, rather than being a ladder with human intelligence at the top, it is rather like a bush with different kinds of intelligence all around us.

Best Food & Cookbooks

Book title: Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat by Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen may be known for her witty comebacks and figure that has graced the cover Sports Illustrated, but her real love is cooking. In Cravings, she gives you all of the same humor and entertaining anecdotes while sharing her favorite recipes and life tips ranging from how to not overthink men to the secret to cheesy-cheeseless eggs.

Happy reading!

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