A Reading List to Improve Your English

The Universal Learning Institute (ULI) supports international students who want to improve their English language skills. Our campus is a place where you can talk to native speakers and other ESL students. We also encourage you to read English language books. Reading is an ideal way to expand your vocabulary and increase comprehension.

This list of book recommendations for ESL students presents a variety of titles. You should find a few titles that appeal to you. From ideas important for success to some good relaxing fun, these books will build your English reading skills.


This list offers everything from career advice to new ways of looking at the world.

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – First published in 1936, it is easy to read and packed with tips for effective communication and success in life.
  2. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell – An influential work that explains how ideas, behaviours, and products become popular.
  3. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth – Given 5 or 4-star reviews by most readers, the book says that success depends on dedication more than talent.
  4. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – Often the recipient of 5-star praise from readers, the book will train you to be mindful or your habits.
  5. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain – Anyone, introvert or extrovert, can benefit from this book that most readers give 4 or 5 stars.

Relax With Your Imagination

Reading fiction can help you unwind after studying for exams. Get to know some characters whose adventures will help you learn more English.

  1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – Still getting 5 star reviews after 200 years, this monster story written by a teenager created the science fiction genre.
  2. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle – Featuring the famous character Sherlock Holmes, this story is a great read on a spooky night. Doyle wrote popular fiction, and you’ll have little trouble with his prose.
  3. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – This modern science fiction comedy will put a smile on your face. Plus, the text contains the answer to life, the universe, and everything!
  4. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Perhaps you already read this world-famous novel in your own language. Even so, Harry’s adventures at wizard school as written in their original English will build your language skills.
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