Get cozy this winter with some tea or coffee and a good book to help you improve your English skills. While it may seem intimidating to read an entire book in English, it is great for mastering fluency. You can even keep a notebook full of words you may not understand to help you with your vocabulary! Here are the top picks from the readers of Goodreads, a site which allows book fans to choose their top picks from each genre.
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 neighbour’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.
Best Mystery & Thriller
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
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?
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.
Top Tip: If you happen to be studying English in London with the Verbalists Language Network, try going to see the play after reading the book to get the benefit of both reading and oral comprehension! Tickets are on sale here.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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 humour and entertaining anecdotes while sharing her favourite recipes and life tips ranging from how to not overthink men to the secret to cheesy-cheeseless eggs.