are there any good french books out there that i should read?
- Astérix le Gaulois
- Les Aventures de Tintin
This being the Duolingo in English forum, and your question being French specific, perhaps you'd get better recommendations on the French forum:
For online reading to improve your fluency in reading, graded in difficulty, look at 01LearnFrench01's suggestion for "Reading A-Z," here; there are also other good suggestions. For some suggestions for easier books for beginners, try this thread. There many prev. discussions with excellent suggestions for materials for beginners. Go for ease of reading! Profundity, if that's what you want, can come when you can read fluently.
As far as reading in general, not just for beginners, there's an immense amount of great reading in French. IMHO, French, Russian, and English have the widest selection of really first-rate books, and of good "popular" reading compared to other languages. (Of course those are the languages I read most easily; maybe Chinese or Japanese, which I don't know, can match them.)
What do you like to read, and what level can you read at comfortably?
There is a book series that I absolutely love: La Passe-Miroir by Christelle Dabos. I will warn you that each book (there are 4) is around 600 pages, which may seem daunting, but as it is a modern series aimed at teenagers, it is actually not too hard to understand even if you only understand the gist, and these books have helped me to really improve my french skills and learn some great vocab.
i've been reading some short stories by maupassant and merimee recently. i think both are good for my level, which is still beginner really. lots of people will recommend children's books but, personally, i lose interest after half a sentence. baudelaire is fairly easy to read IMO, and is maybe the greatest poet ever, and all the translations are terrible