Hello, I'm a Chinese girl, and I hope to study English language and culture by reading some interesting novels. But I don't know what novels I can read?
For example, if someone want to study Chinese language and culture, I would recommend ??(Fortress Besieged) written by Qian Zhongshu.

Can some one help? Thank you.:-D
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There are so many popular novels in English that it's a bit difficult to know where to begin. Still, I would personally ecommend (in no particular order):

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Dune by Frank Herbert
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Hehe, thanks for the recommendation. I was reading A tale of two cities now. and Bergdorf blondes. Have met difficulty on reading these novels, hard to understand...........

I think the artifice of the first is much better than that of the later. Although the first is an old novel and maybe the language is not completely same with the current english.Emotion: stick out tongue
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Would you like to read Agatha Cristie? The language of her books is more or less simple, but it is perfectly fine - including many current idioms and informal expressions. I did learn a lot of new useful vocabulary from her stories in due course.
Hi Jumaji! Maybe, since you're just learning English, you might start out reading a simpler novel, such as 'The Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame (sp.?) Also, if we're talking simple, 'The Little House on the Prairie' by Laura Inglalls Wilder is a really simple, easy read. Almost every girl in the United States has read it, probably many times. But, then again, if you'd like to read something a bit harder, I reccomend: 'The Return of the Native' by Thomas Hardy, 'The Chronicles of Narnia' by C.S. Lewis, 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte, and 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', by William Shakespeare (this one's a bit hard for me, even, having spoken English my entire life, but it's good!).

Hope I helped!

Sarah
I always advise students to start with A. Christie. First the short-stories, then the novels. There's a plot, so it's not boring, and the plus is that the vocabulary's rather recurrent, so, after a while, you don't have to look up all the words Emotion: smile
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I also like A.Christie’s novels but I think they’re not too easy and not too hard to read. Anyway, when I was reading one of her books (Cards on the table) its style seemed a bit old-fashioned to me. (Actually, I like reading old-fashioned stories) I look upon The little prince as light and good learner reading. I’ve learnt a lot from it. What about Harry Potter books? To my mind they are exciting, easy to understand and packed with many useful idioms.

I can recommend State of Fear by Michael Crichton, Hichhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
This may seem like a strange recommendation, but the Harry Potter series would provide a great insight into what it's like to be a teenager in modern England. Obviously it's got a lot of mythical stuff in it, but otherwise, and especially with regard to characters, it's very 'realistic'.

I think The Lord of the Flies was a great recommedation, by the way; it would be of great use to a non-native speaker.

Here are a few more to check out;

For modern England:

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole - Sue Townsend

The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham

The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

For old-fashioned England:

The Diary of a Nobody - George & Weedon Grossmith

Dracula - Bram Stoker

Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson

The White Company - Arthur Conan-Doyle

Have fun!

-Nyarlathotep
I think any of Harry Potter's series is a good option. I'm not a native speaker of English and I've read books that people have recommended above which are very very hard and boring. Another option is "The curious indicent of the dog in the night-time" by Mark Haddon.

Eire.
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