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First novel to read

I wonder, what is the best contemporary Czech novel to read? "Best" as in easiest to read for someone who is about to finish the Czech tree?

It doesn't matter if I have to use my dictionary for every other word, I know I learn best from reading as much as possible.

October 25, 2017



I don't know of any specifically Czech books but it could be good to read a book you know of/have read in the past translated into Czech to make it a little easier to comprehend. Just a thought.


I have just ordered "Nesneslitelna lehkost byti" in Dutch. So I can read it in Czech, with the translation as a help.


i actually enjoyed starting the new harry potter screen play because it was conversational and i could read it out loud and that helped with me comprehending i am only part of the way in but its easy to read the series and it is written at least the first books are for an elementary audience so the writing and grammar are a bit more simplistic. those are what i started reading for novels otherwise i was reading some graphic novels and some childrens stories.


Wow, what a great question :)

1) I think the best way to start is perhaps to read a Czech translation of a book that you are already familiar with? Or vice versa, read the Czech original?

2) There are some books for foreign learners in simplified Czech:



Nueby has already linked Havel's Audience elsewhere: http://cokdybysme.net/pdfs/audience.pdf I think this would be a pretty good start.

3) If you are not into simplified reads, perhaps a free e-book? (though not really contemporary literature?) Try e-library of Prague Municipal Library https://search.mlp.cz/cz/#/c_s_ol=navigation-eq:%2Bngeneric4%3A%5E%22ek%22%24n%24%20%2Bjazyk%3A%5E%22cze%22%24n%24 ranging from translations of Shakespeare to short stories and plays by Čapek (Čapek might be a good start too).

4) If you're into higher-quality contemporary literature and you are not afraid of anything, Czech literary awards (like Magnesia Litera or Kniha roku) might give you a clue. I'd save those books for later though. Books by Antonín Bajaja are my personal favourites.

5) If you're into bestsellers etc., just check an online bookshop. The key word is knihkupectví. Michal Viewegh is pretty famous and there are even movies based on his books.

6) I am planning to write several posts about Czech culture and what not to give our learners some more info, and literature is definitely one of the topics to cover. But I can't really promise when it's going to be posted.

I applaud your dedication to learning Czech language :)

Hope it helps!


Can you recommend be some beginner stories? I'm looking for something really basic, such as children's fairy tales or something like that. The "children's " stories that I was able to find so far are way too advanced for my level XD


Here are some Czech classic fairy tales for children. They are short and relatively easy to read. Some are easier, others include words that are nowadays a bit oldfashioned (as it is in fairy tales), so keep that in mind. :-)

Full link, in case you do not want to click the "tinyurl link":



Děkuji ! They look quite complicated and more like adult stories without the illustrations, ale já se chci snažit :D


I do have two "readers" with simple stories in both Czech and English. Which is helpful at the start. I also have a grammar, "Czech, essential grammar", by James Laughton, which I find very useful.


I love side-by-side texts so I don't have to look up so many words, and I find that I stick longer with my reading sessions that way.

There are far more made for Czech speakers trying to learn English than the other way around. Look up "zrcadlovy text" (mirror text) to find these books. Infoa makes a number of these books, though they're definitely not the only one. Maybe you can buy them online? (I get all mine in Czech bookstores whenever I'm in the country.) If you want, you can also check out "mirne pokrocili" that are available in different reading levels.


I've just ordered from kosmas.cz: - Vizionáři B1/B2: Visionaries - Men Who Changed the World - Slavné ženy B1/B2: Famous Women - Princezna Diana: Princess Diana You can search by editor "Edika" and filter "jaziky" anglicky.


Karel Čapek has some book for children so they have enough simple language. For example Dašenka, the story of the puppy. It's full of kindness and humor. He has short stories and novel for adults too.

I think about "Osudy dobrého vojáka Švejka za světové války" for reading. It's very popular book of Czech author Jaroslav Hašek. But I am not sure that it will be easy.

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