English literature is for anyone who wants a taste of some of the best-written literature in the world. Moreover, it also offers some of the most confusing or deceptive literary pieces as well as a few of the world-class gems. However, when it comes to choosing the best ones for those who are just beginners in reading English literature, going gets tough. It gets tough because choices are many and the beginners certainly don’t have any idea on how to classify the pieces of literature as per their choice, interest and the levels of difficulty and many other benchmarks that one might have. In this article, we will help you choose the absolute beginner works of English literature that anyone can read without any difficulty whatsoever. We will also pick a few works of literature for the intermediate readers and a few for the absolute bookworms. Let’s start!
English literature books for beginners – the entry-level readers:
These readers can be kids who can read and understand English or anyone of any age having an interest in English literature that has developed recently. People with a few minutes of leisure every day or the weekend readers with a strong urge of reading books but no time to invest in the aftermath of reading books can also be interested in the list below.
- The Guide by R K Narayan: Yes, I will keep this novel on the number one spot! Absolutely an advisable piece of literature by an Indian author to anyone who has just developed an interest in reading books. The novel exhibits very simple language, a very easy to follow storyline and a very conclusive ending that also enlightens the readers about the process of a novel – introduction, development and conclusion. The Guide is a perfect first novel for anyone who wants to get introduced to Indian English literature. Do enjoy this novel that takes you on the journey of life, merry-making and atonement as well as realisation. Railway Raju experiences what we all might envy, from the beginning to the end. Buy the novel here: click to buy from Amazon
- Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy: The language in this novel is wonderful. You will fall in love with the novelist’s way of saying things (rather than writing things). Thomas Hardy was one of the few novelists in England who could keep things interesting in spite of keeping the storylines stretched enough to the length of being boring. Far from the Madding Crowd is about Gabriel Oak and Bathsheba Everdene and their sweet-sour, bitter-sweet, high-low, a failing-rising relationship that ultimately finds solace with the marriage of the two – after too much suffering on one side and a playful life on the other. You will enjoy this novel for the scenic beauty that Thomas Hardy draws with his words. At the same time, you will also be enriching your test for novels, literature and the language itself. Buy the novel here – Buy from Amazon India: click here
- Animal Farm by George Orwell: Well, Animal Farm is not exactly about how we should treat animals as Shilpa Shetty claimed once, it is still a fairly easy novel to read and understand its surface meaning. However, if you read it carefully, you might learn to decode the novels for the deeper significance that they might have. Animal Farm should be a great beginning for anyone to learn how to get the inner or hidden meanings out of the text. Are you ready to witness the great Snowball vs Napolean show-down? Get a copy of the novel from Amazon India right now – buy Animal Farm: click here to get a copy
- The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi: Sanghi offers entertainment, style, content, an easy language that beginners will cherish and everything suitable for readers who want to develop their interest in reading books and taking it forward. Ashwin Sanghi is an established Indian author, and perhaps the only one or one of the very few, who can manage to have a standard in his writing and interesting content at the same time. Join the characters on a journey that goes through passages so unknown and secrets so discreet. Buy the novel now – click here to get a copy
- The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald: Better known as F. Scott Fitzgerald only, he was, perhaps, the first novelist who could connect fiction and people’s leisure and dreams, beyond conventional connotations of a novel’s purpose, together. And even today, if you read the works by Fitzgerald, you will surely feel the emotions and ideas that he carried at that time in his works. The Great Gatsby, also turned into a successful movie, is a great work in the history of American English literature and anyone who read it could not be left without being bemused by the art of storytelling and the story itself. Do enjoy reading this interesting novel – shattered dreams and uncertain solace. Get the novel now – click here to buy from Amazon
- A Gun for Sale by Graham Greene: Graham Greene is known for his art of storytelling as well as his connection with various wars, be it the world war itself or wars between two nations. This novel, A Gun for Sale, is about a criminal who is on the run from the law. You will find many interesting and twisting events in the book that will connect you with various emotional episodes. Language is wonderfully designed and it will gradually lead the readers into a position where they will be able to understand the importance of language in a work of literature. Get a copy here – buy from Amazon now
- Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2012, Narcopolis takes the readers into the depths of Old Mumbai – Mumbai of the past where nightlife used to be not only colourful and entertaining but also doped… soaked in opium and marijuana. In a way, Thayil takes references from his own addiction and you will find, therefore an authority on the story. Ending the list with this novel and after that, there will be another list with books for intermediate readers who will enjoy little advanced texts. Get the novel by Jeet Thayil – click here to buy from Amazon
Coming soon – English Literature books for intermediate or regular readers
Compiled and posted by English Literature Education content team