READING LIST

In episodes of Luke’s English Podcast I sometimes recommend good books for you to either read or download from audible.com. On this page you can see a list of all the books I’ve recommended.

For a full episode of Luke’s English Podcast about reading books in English, click here.

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The UK’s Favourite Books

What are the UK’s favourite books? Here’s a list, based on a BBC survey. You can find all these titles as audiobooks. Just search the Audible website to find them.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller

Other Books I’ve Mentioned on the Podcast

Jon Ronson “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed”
British History for Dummies
David Copperfield
by Charles Dickens, read by Martin Jarvis
The Beatles – Tune In: All These Years
by Mark Lewisohn
You Say Potato
by David & Ben Crystal

Jokes
The Naked Jape by Jimmy Carr and Lucy Greeves.

California Related
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
“The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck
Scar Tissue by Anthony Keidis
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
“One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey
The Now Habit by Neil Fiore
Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone) by JK Rowling
The Martian by Andy Weir

Easier Books that Non-natives Can Read
The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon

Page Turners
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Anything by Agatha Christie
Any James Bond books (Ian Fleming)
The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
The film adaptation is worth seeing. It’s unusual and moving.

Just Good and Appropriate Books
Nick Hornby – I like High Fidelity (and there’s a film version) or About A Boy.
Anything by Roald Dahl, like for example Fantastic Mr Fox, or a collection of his short stories. Revolting Rhymes is particularly fun as well.
Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding. It’s personal, it’s informal, it’s funny, and there’s a film version..
Animal Farm by George Orwell – it’s short and it’s brilliant.
The Beach by Alex Garland – it’s gripping if you’re into travelling

Non-Fiction & Biography
Watching The English – Kate Fox
Revolution in the Head – Ian McDonald
Freakonomics – by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
The World According to Clarkson (if you can stand Jeremy Clarkson that is)
Mr Nice by Howard Marks
Any good biography about an actor or band that you like. I really enjoyed reading Steve Martin’s book Born Standing Up, which is about becoming a comedian.

Graphic Novels
There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t go for some graphic novels.
There’s a great series of Sherlock Holmes cartoons which are really well made.
I find almost anything by Frank Miller to be great – especially the Sin City series or Batman Year One or Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. They don’t have to be superhero comics. There are plenty of comics for other topics. There’s a Walking Dead series or more light hearted stuff like Scott Pilgrim vs The World.
I love Japanese manga, translated into English – The Dragonball and Dragonball Z series, or Dr Slump.

My Personal Favourite Books
These are just some books that I love. There are so many books that I have enjoyed over the years, and I can’t remember them all now, but here’s a selection of books which come to mind as I write this.
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. I read it when I was a teenager and it meant a lot to me then. I love the ‘unreliable narrator’ and the fact that this kid is lost. He’s also quite funny, but it’s sad and lonely at the same time. I love that version of New York – big and scary and a bit dangerous.
The Lord of the Rings
Nick Hornby – High Fidelity
Keith Richards – Life
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
Factotum by Charles Bukowski
All The Pretty Horses by Cormack McCarthy
The Road by Cormack McCarthy
The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Fight by Norman Mailer
Miles by Miles Davis (but watch out because this one is written just like the way Miles used to speak – in a kind of dialect)
I’m also a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut- Slaughterhouse 5.

  • Cat

    Thank you for the reading list, Luke!

    As the summer break is approaching, I’ve set a goal for myself to read at least two from the “Most beloved books in the UK” list. ;)

    I wonder what the top 10 of Amber are… We know that she is a great reader…
    Amber, could you share your top 10 with us, please? Thank you!

    Cat

  • Froggy from France

    Thanks a lot for the list mate. Best wishes.