Five Books that helped me improve my German

Hey everyone,

Me again!

I finally finished reading the whole Harry Potter series in German last week! 1,000,000 words, apparently, so I'm super proud of myself! I can't claim to have understood absolutely everything, but I got 80% of it and learned so much.

I thought that this milestone would be a great excuse to make a video about all the German books I've read so far. I posted it to my YouTube channel this morning:

I would love to hear what you think! Did I miss anything that you have enjoyed reading? Do you have some recommendations for the B2/C1 level (where I'm a bit light in suggestions)?

If you liked the video, then please do subscribe (link below) and click the thumbs up button on the YouTube watch page.

The books and magazines I recommended in full:

A1/A2 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' -

A2/B1 'Maus' - 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime' - 'Neon' -

B1 'Harry Potter' - 'The Weekender' -

B2 'Momo' -

C1/C2 'Der Spiegel' -

May 3, 2017


Thanks! handy that you recommended the book for different level. Iam just starting on this adventur of learning german.

May 3, 2017

I mostly prefer to read books that were originally written in German rather than translations from English. Sometimes the original language shows through in translations. One book that I particularly enjoyed was "Sieben Jahre in Tibet" (Heinrich Harrer). Children's books are not always as easy as you might imagine. I read Biene Maja but found it fairly heavy going.

May 4, 2017

"Sieben Jahre in Tibet" sounds interesting... about what level do you think it's appropriate for?

May 4, 2017

Hard to say. It got easier once I'd read enough to have learnt some of the vocabulary that comes up a lot like some of the terms related to mountain climbing. I'd guess perhaps around B2 to really enjoy it but B1 should be enough to get through.

May 4, 2017

Cool! I think I'll add this to my list, but maybe a few books down (my reading level is about an early B1 right now). Thanks! :)

May 5, 2017

Hello, thanks for recommendations. Do you perhaps know where would "Der kleine Prinz" fit, for which level? Thanks.

May 15, 2017

what was your level of understanding German when you began reading these books?

May 3, 2017

I started attempting this stuff just after I'd finished my A2 course. It was really tricky, but I managed to get through Harry Potter (Book 1) at that time. In hindsight, starting with Roald Dahl would have been much easier.

Since then, I took a B2 course, and that's when I started reading regularly and polished off everything in my list here.

Hope that helps!

May 3, 2017

Ich habe gelesen: "Im Tal des Fuchses" von Charlotte Link und die Kara Ben Nemsi Orient abenteuern von Karl May.

May 3, 2017

Super, das habe ich als Jugendlicher auch gelesen! Hadschi Halef Omar Ben Hadschi Abul Abbas Ibn Hadschi Dawuhd al Gossarah! :))

May 5, 2017

Ich denke mal, wie wäre es, wenn Karl May wirklich in diesen Orten gewesen war. Es gibt so viele Fehler über die Orten und historischen Fakten und vielleicht viele Deutschen haben noch falsche Ideen über Albanien. Schade..

May 7, 2017

Gut gemacht! Ich habe dir 'thumbs up' gegeben und habe auch zu deinem You Tube channel abonniert. Deine youtube Sendung hat mir gut gefallen. Ich habe auch vor, Arabisch als Fremdsprache zu lernen.

May 3, 2017

I personally am working on the harry potter series too. My best friend learned English years ago and suggested that I read it in german since it helped her learn english too. Thanks for this list I think I'll check out a few

May 3, 2017

Thanks for these suggestions, and congrats on finishing the Harry Potter series!

I'm reading Tschick now, and so far I'm enjoying it. My reading level about A2/B1, so I have to look up 3-5 words on each page, but I can figure out most of the unfamiliar words from the context. Plus, an English translation is available (as "Why We Took the Car"), so I read a chapter in German, then read the same chapter in English to make sure I understood it properly. This also helps me get the "feel" of German sentences, instead of always translating word-for-word.

Does anyone have suggestions for relatively simple books by modern German-speaking authors? Preferably something popular in Germany that was written in the last few years. Thanks!

May 4, 2017

I don't know if you will like it or if it's easy enough, but there are English translations of all three books (just in case): Tintenherz (Inkheart). (Yes, there was a British-American-German movie that's based on the book, but the book is far better)

May 5, 2017

Thank you for the suggestion! I've seen Tintenherz before, and I thought it sounded interesting, so I will add it to my list. I have not seen the movie, but perhaps I'll skip it and just read the book instead. :)

May 10, 2017
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.