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Any book recommendations(French) to complement the DuoLingo lessons?

I want to start reading books in French to encourage my brain to start to "think" in French. I am not sure where to start. Any recommendations are welcome :)

May 3, 2020



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"Short stories in French" by Olly Richards is a great book for upper level beginners. He does a whole range of languages, I have the French, Spanish and Portuguese versions. There is a question section after each chapter to test yourself on whether you fully understood everything you just read.


Omg, I've read that book, and it's amazing. See above, @wriggs24


Is there any version for Swahili?


I've started with children's stories. A really good one is "Le Petit Prince"


That's a great idea! I was just googling grade school reading lists in France haha


i heard from a teacher "le petit prince" is for people what're in B1-B2 - do you know an easier book?


Le Petit Nicolas is somewhat easier, and lots of fun.


I agree. You cannot read it if your only resource is DL.

[deactivated user]

    Another useful resource is on YouTube, search for "bookbox Inc French". It has little children's stories.


    Haha this is cute. I like how there are levels for the stories. Thanks again


    i just got a collection of short stories in french off amazon (: I looked up "books in french for beginners" it's pretty awesome!

    [deactivated user]

      For modern easy books, I like:

      Amazon is a great idea too:

      Amazon search terms: Guy de Maupassant free Amazon Kindle Edition French Edition: Guy de Maupassant.

      The following are all in French:

      To search Amazon for free books, choose a famous french author that has been deceased for more than 100 years and add "free Amazon book".

      For example, I entered: "Guy de Maupassant free Amazon book" and got this list of books by Guy de Maupassant.

      These are in English: His short story collections are great and easy to read. There are about twelve volumes. I was able to get this list by searching Amazon for: Guy de Maupassant original short stories free Amazon book.

      You can read them all online with with the kindle cloud reader.

      The kindle optimizer google extension, adds instant Google Search and Translate functionality to the Kindle Cloud Reader.

      More suggestions in this informative discussion.


      I just got this. Looking forward to reading it.


      Oh my God, Guy de Maupassant :O His story, Simone's father is in my literary class


      I learned French with translations of the Harry Potter books. It's great because the language gets progressively harder throughout the series, and there are audiobooks available too. It's a story I knew really well already, so you can pretty much guess unknown words from what you know the characters should be doing. Listening was really tough at first, but if you read at the same time it helps a lot!


      I don't know if I'm ready for Harry Potter just yet, but it's a great goal to look forward to :) Thanks

      [deactivated user]

        You can read anything, even hard stuff right away if you just look up every word. I started reading Danish from the beginning like that. I would look up every single word, and write down what it was in English. After the first 4 chapters of Mormons Bog (the book I am reading), I could easily test out of the first set of skills on here. It does help if the story is familiar. Reading, transliterating, and translating are the bulk of my language learning. I just use duo to practice and review.


        You can read anything, even hard stuff right away if you just look up every word

        No you cannot. Without a grasp of grammar you won't be able to see how the words relate to each other. If just using a dictionary then you won't find inflected irregular verbs - and if you use GT what is the point? And idioms?

        [deactivated user]

          That's how you can learn idioms, grammar, inflections, etc. That's why I said you need a story that is familiar. Usually when I do this, I use things that are translated into both English and my target language so I can compare, but honestly, for me, it is by far a faster and more effective way to learn a language than anything else I have tried. I both translate individual words, and then phrases and between the two learn tons of vocabulary, syntax, idioms, etc. Try it. You might be surprised.


          I have tried it. For me it is just an exercise in frustration (and in RL I am working through C1). It might work for languages that are very similar to English such as French or Spanish - but not for Hungarian. And incidentally, I often notice the translator has taken liberties with the translation. Often sentence by sentence does not match.


          How much time/day or week do you spend on learning a language?


          You could get the first couple of chapters for free and try it out? If it's too painful, come back to it after another couple of levels on Duo! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Potter-L%C3%A9cole-Sorciers-livres-French-ebook/dp/B0192CTN72


          The Petit Prince is an easy start. But Peppa Pig is easier.


          Thanks! Are there websites with large collections of stories like these?

          I was just looking into Peppa Pig and I found their French YouTube channel for the cartoons. The subtitles are auto-generated but it's still incredibly helpful. If anybody wants to check it out it's called Peppa Pig Français.


          "Gaston Lagaffe" by André Franquin. It's a comic but a really fun way to learn!


          Is it at beginner's level?


          Well, maybe more intermediate than beginner but in my opinion it won't be long before you can begin to comprehend what they're saying ;)

          [deactivated user]

            https://www.thefablecottage.com/french. Here is a free website with stories written in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian. They also have audio, and sometimes an animated version of the story. They seem well done.


            This is incredible and a great place to start. Thanks :)


            you can read comptesse de ségur books ☺


            Thanks! Any specific title?


            George Simenon's detective stories featuring Maigret


            Thanks :) I got a couple and they seem interesting.


            On amazon audio there is some free audio books and you can listen to some of them in french.


            These are free unabridged books: http://www.litteratureaudio.com/. Personally, I rather prefer children or teenager (depending on your level) books than books by levels, as the first are aimed to native speakers, while the second ones are so focused on grammar that the plot is completely murdered.


            This is great :)


            I have also been looking for French books to read but have been having no success .

            [deactivated user]

              Hyplern on Amazon has French books transliterated into English so you can read in French and see a literal translation. They have really inexpensive Kindle versions of several French books and some paper backs.


              Thank you! This is very helpful!


              I love "L'homme qui plantait des arbres" it's such a sweet and inspiring story about a man who planted an entire forest worth of trees.

              There 's an animated version on youtube with subtitles in French so that you can practice reading and listening at the same time, and understand words you don't know by watching.


              The Tintin books are a great way in to reading in French - you may know the plot already and the pics are there to help you out. (Warning: some of the ethical issues are not quite pc these days.) When I started senior French at high school, first up was Jean-Paul Sartre (existentialism/left wing realpolitik) a nightmare when getting to grips with reading in a foreign language. Several months later we "progressed" to (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcel_Pagnol) "La Gloire de Mon Pere", an affectionate childhood memoir from the early 20C. A much easier read and very engaging. There are two companion volumes and films made back in the 90s. Authentically french, but not too demanding intellectually.


              I started reading L'etranger (Camus) and the French wasn't that hard. I'm still not 100% on the tenses so that part was confusing. Is the language hard in Sartre's books?


              Sartre wrote nice novels, especially La Nausée. It's not very hard, much less than his philosophy. Otherwise I would recommend L'Etranger de Camus, a very nice book, very easy to read.


              I'm thinking about the same.

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