5 books to learn or improve your French
There is no shortage of ways to improve your French. Getting into the habit of reading books in Voltaire's language is an interesting solution to consider. It allows readers to improve their language skills while at the same time enjoying the work of French-speaking authors. Nevertheless, before diving into a new book in French, our wonderful teachers always recommend that students start with a book they have already read in their native language to avoid the frustration of not being able to follow the thread of a story.
Our selection of 5 books to read to learn or improve your French.
L'Affaire Harry Quebert - Joël Dicker
A highly celebrated Swiss author, Dicker’s stories are always easy to read and follow.
Marcus Goldman, a novelist looking for inspiration decides to visit his college professor, Harry Quebert. After the body of Nola Kellergan is found after 33 years missing, Quebert is accused of her murder and Marcus takes a journey to discover the truth. “L'Affaire Harry Quebert” is a police thriller that keeps the reader on the edge of his seat.
The book is widely popular and a TV series in the US was made based on the story.
Stupeur et tremblements - Amélie Nothomb
An autobiographical (yet satirical) novel about a part of this Belgian writer’s life, when she worked in Japan. It describes how due to comical cultural misunderstandings, Amélie, who begins at the bottom of the corporate ladder, manages to descend even lower. A superb immersion in Japanese culture but from the point of view of a European.
It was awarded the Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française in 2001.
Les Deux Messieurs de Bruxelles - Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt
We recommend taking a look at this French-Belgian writer’s short story collections. They are easy to read and impossible to forget.
One example is "Les Deux Messieurs de Bruxelles", a collection of five short stories, all of which deal with the theme of unspoken feelings and invisible love (and we guarantee the ending of each story will surprise the reader).
Et si c'était vrai ? - Marc Lévy
One of the most popular French-speaking writers in the world, Lévy is known for writing love stories that are compelling (and easy to read!).
This book tells the story of an ER medical resident in San Francisco. After a car accident, she “awakes” to awareness outside her comatose body. She is discovered by Arthur, a man renting her old apartment who can see her for some strange reason!
This book was adapted into a famous movie in the US called Just like Heaven.
Ensemble, c'est tout - Ana Gavalda
The first best-seller of this renowned French author, “Ensemble, c’est tout” focuses on the lives of four people that seemed to have found each other by the work of destiny: a struggling young artist who works as an office cleaner at night, a young aristocrat misfit, a cook, and an elderly grandmother.
Like other books in this list, this book was adapted as well into a popular film starring Audrey Tautou.
Reading regularly in French can help your make constant progress and greatly enrich your vocabulary. However, being an assiduous reader might not be enough.
If you would like to improve your French in a fast and completely personalized manner, do not hesitate to contact a Swiss French School learning center near you to find out about our unique learning method, guaranteed to allow you to master French in MONTHS and not years.