10 Books You Can’t Miss for Improving Your English

What sets a million dollars apart from a C1 English level? The fact that they are hard to achieve.

In accordance with the findings of the “English Effect” report released by the British Council in 2013, there were an estimated 1.75 billion individuals who possessed a functional command of the English language worldwide.

Fast forward to 2023, and it is projected that the global count of English speakers has surpassed the 2 billion mark. This encompasses individuals who use English as a second language (ESL). Among this substantial figure, approximately 400 million are native English speakers, while the majority consists of non-native speakers.


Statistic: The most spoken languages worldwide in 2023 (by speakers in millions) | Statista
Find more statistics at  Statista

According to Statista, in 2023, approximately 1.5 billion individuals across the globe were proficient in the English language, whether as native speakers or as a second language. This number slightly surpassed the 1.1 billion Mandarin Chinese speakers recorded at the time of the survey. Hindi and Spanish ranked as the third and fourth most prevalent languages during that year.

According to Statista, in 2023, approximately 1.5 billion individuals across the globe were proficient in the English language

Regarding languages in the United States, the country lacks an official language, but it predominantly employs English, specifically American English, for legislative, regulatory, and other official communications. The United States, characterized by its diverse immigrant population, exhibits linguistic diversity as well. In 2021, the second most commonly spoken language in the United States was Spanish or Spanish Creole, with over 41 million people using it at home. Additionally, there were 3.5 million Chinese speakers (including both Mandarin and Cantonese), 1.7 million Tagalog speakers, and 1.5 million Vietnamese speakers reported in the United States that year.

In 2021, the second most commonly spoken language in the US was Spanish, with over 41 million people using it at home.

The percentage of people in the United States speaking a language other than English at home varies from state to state. California had the highest percentage, with approximately 44 percent of its population speaking a language other than English at home in 2021.

When learning foreign languages, we typically develop four key skills: speaking skills, writing skills, reading skills, listening Comprehension

How to properly learn the English language

When learning foreign languages, we typically develop four key skills:

Speaking skills

This skill involves the ability to articulate and communicate in the target language. It includes pronouncing words correctly, using appropriate vocabulary and grammar, and engaging in conversations or oral communication.

Scientists generally consider speaking to be one of the most important language skills.

Listening Comprehension

This skill focuses on understanding spoken language in the target language. It entails the ability to comprehend spoken words, phrases, and conversations, often in different accents and speeds.

Writing skills

Writing skills pertain to the ability to produce written content in the target language. This includes creating essays, emails, reports, and other written forms while demonstrating proper grammar, spelling, and vocabulary usage.

Reading skills

Reading involves the skill of understanding written text in the target language. It includes the ability to read and comprehend books, articles, newspapers, and various written materials while understanding vocabulary, sentence structure, and context.

Scientists generally consider speaking to be one of the most important language skills. Effective communication through spoken language is crucial for everyday interactions, social integration, and professional success. Being able to express thoughts, ideas, and emotions verbally not only facilitates effective communication but also enhances interpersonal relationships and cultural understanding.

Four Core Skills of English Language Learning

Which of these four skills do you develop?

Best Tools For Practicing Speaking Skills



Key features

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Key features

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Sure thing! But what about the very best books for learning English?(You may ask me)

So, Why do I believe that books in my list will be an excellent choice for those who are learning the English language?

Why Are These Books The Best For Learning English?

In my quest to discover the most effective books for learning English, I scoured the internet to uncover the favorites among English language learners worldwide. I carefully assessed each book, examining its unique strengths and gathering insights from fellow readers. The result is the list below, highlighting the merits of each book and suggesting who can benefit the most from using them.

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So, without further ado, here are the top books to help you on your journey to learn English. Feel free to scroll down to explore more about each of them!

The English Grammar Workbook for Adults: A Self-Study Guide to Improve Functional Writing

About the Author

The author, Michael DiGiacomo, embarked on his journey as an English language educator in 1994, when he began teaching English to adult learners at a private language school in Sendai, Japan. In 2010, he took a significant step forward by establishing his very own ESL tutoring company, Happy English, based in New York. Within this venture, he passionately conducts private lessons, orchestrates a podcast, and curates a YouTube channel.

What is this book about

Mastering the intricacies of English grammar can indeed pose a significant challenge. However, with dedication, practice, and a touch of patience, you can unlock the art of effective communication through self-study during your leisure hours. The “English Grammar Workbook for Adults” steps in as your trusty companion, designed to enhance your writing fluency and boost your confidence in crafting emails, composing cover letters, navigating everyday business communications, and engaging in personal correspondence.

Irrespective of your current proficiency level, this comprehensive English grammar workbook equips you with everything you need to grasp fundamental elements such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, tenses, and more. Moreover, you’ll have the opportunity to apply your newfound knowledge to real-life situations encountered at school, work, social gatherings, creative writing endeavors, online interactions, and beyond.

What I Like About This Book

The “English Grammar Workbook for Adults” stands out for its user-friendly approach, making it an indispensable resource for ESL/EFL students and grammar enthusiasts alike who are eager to refine their English writing skills. Its real-world applications provide valuable insights, helping learners connect grammar rules to practical scenarios effortlessly. Additionally, the book’s convenient text boxes and an extensive index in the back make it incredibly accessible, ensuring quick answers to your English grammar queries.

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The Great Book of American Idioms: A Dictionary of American Idioms, Sayings, Expressions & Phrases 

About the Author

Lingo Mastery is a trailblazing language education brand that is revolutionizing the language learning experience. Their mission goes beyond simply making language acquisition easier; they aim to infuse the process with a healthy dose of enjoyment.

In addition to the impressive selection of books showcased here, Lingo Mastery maintains a dynamic website brimming with invaluable resources to support your path to fluency. Explore www.LingoMastery.com for a wealth of language-learning treasures and guidance.

What is this book about

Are you finding it as challenging as “pulling teeth” to pick up new idiomatic expressions? Do you wish you could effortlessly uncover American idioms and phrases to make communication feel as easy as “a piece of cake”?

While traditional language courses and textbooks are valuable for building your English foundation, mastering the art of speaking like a native requires more. Many idiomatic expressions used by fluent English speakers can’t be found in textbooks, leaving you frustrated with the gap between formal learning and real-life conversations.

The solution? Look no further than “The Great Book of American Idioms”!

Designed as a potent complement to your existing English-learning resources, this book offers you the opportunity to:

*Explore a vast collection of over 1300 idioms and sayings spanning a wide array of topics.

*Understand the precise definitions and proper usage of each expression, ensuring you know when and how to use them in conversation.

*Witness these idioms in action through real-life examples, providing essential context for better comprehension.

*Benefit from valuable tips presented in the introduction and conclusion, enhancing your learning experience and deepening your understanding of the English language.

What I Like About This Book

“The Great Book of American Idioms” shines by addressing the common frustration of learners struggling to bridge the gap between formal language education and natural conversation. This book’s strength lies in its extensive collection of over 1300 idioms and sayings, providing clear definitions, real-life usage examples, and valuable context. The tips shared in the introduction and conclusion elevate the learning experience, making it an essential resource for those striving to speak English fluently and confidently in everyday conversations.

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Word Power Made Easy: The Complete Handbook for Building a Superior Vocabulary

About the Author

Norman Lewis, born on December 30, 1912, in Brooklyn, New York, and passing away on September 8, 2006, in Whittier, California, was a multifaceted writer, grammar expert, lexicographer, and etymology enthusiast. Renowned for his expertise in English-language skills, his bestselling book “30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary,” released by Pocket Books in 1971, offered readers the promise of mastering the art of language and “making words their obedient allies” with just fifteen minutes of daily practice.

What is this book about

“Word Power Made Easy” is the ultimate vocabulary builder for English learners. This timeless classic provides a practical, step-by-step approach to mastering the language. Organized by themes, it covers everything from polite conversation to scientific terminology. The book is approachable, offering insights into etymology, phonetics, spelling tips, and modern grammar usage. With reviews, assessments, and quizzes, it’s a valuable resource that has helped countless individuals enhance their language skills and communication abilities for over six decades.

What I Like About This Book

One of the standout features of “Word Power Made Easy” is its comprehensive and structured approach to vocabulary building. It offers a clear roadmap for language learners, breaking down complex subjects into easily digestible thematic sections. The book’s engaging and often humorous writing style makes the learning process enjoyable, and the emphasis on etymology equips readers with a deeper understanding of word origins. Additionally, the inclusion of phonetic pronunciations, spelling guidance, and insights into modern grammar usage adds practical value. The interactive elements such as reviews, progress checks, and quizzes make it a dynamic and effective tool for language enhancement. Overall, it’s a timeless resource that not only helps expand vocabulary but also enhances language skills with precision and depth.

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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation: An Easy-to-Use Guide with Clear Rules, Real-World Examples, and Reproducible Quizzes

About the Author

Lester Kaufman, the publisher of GrammarBook.com, has had a diverse career in public service. He began as a teacher in the Peace Corps and later worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Following his retirement from the EPA, Lester contributed to the development of GrammarBook.com and edited previous editions of “The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation.” After assuming control of the website, he maintained an engaging weekly newsletter where readers can ask grammar questions and discuss modern English usage. This ongoing interaction with grammar enthusiasts worldwide has kept “The Blue Book” current and relevant.

What is this book about

“The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation” is a highly regarded grammar resource, known for its user-friendly approach. Designed for a wide audience, including middle and high school students, college learners, ESL students, homeschoolers, and more, this book simplifies English grammar and usage with clear rules, ample examples, reproducible quizzes, and pre- and post-tests.

In its concise and engaging format, this updated 12th edition provides the latest insights into English grammar and usage, complete with answers for self-assessment. With straightforward explanations, it covers grammar, punctuation, and usage “just the facts,” making it suitable for students from seventh grade to adulthood in the US and abroad.

Whether you’re aiming to grasp essential grammar rules or fine-tune your language skills, “The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation” offers comprehensive and accessible guidance for learners at all levels.

What I Like About This Book

I appreciate how “The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation” simplifies English grammar and usage. Its user-friendly approach, clear rules, and ample examples create an engaging learning experience. The book caters to various learners, from middle and high school students to ESL learners and more.

The recent 12th edition, with updated content, enhances its value. Answers for quizzes facilitate self-assessment, making it an invaluable tool for learners of all ages, both in the US and internationally. This book delivers essential grammar, punctuation, and usage facts in a concise manner, making it suitable for anyone seeking to improve their language skills.

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English for Everyone: Level 1 Course Book – Beginner English: ESL for Adults, an Interactive Course to Learning English

About the Author

Founded in 1974 in London, DK is the world’s leading illustrated reference publisher and a division of Penguin Random House within Bertelsmann. DK specializes in highly visual, photographic non-fiction for both adults and children, serving consumers in over 100 countries and more than 60 languages. With offices in the UK, India, US, Germany, China, Canada, Spain, and Australia, DK aims to inspire, educate, and entertain readers of all ages. Their unique design approach combines words and pictures to deliver clear and engaging content, covering a wide range of topics. DK’s adult range spans travel, history, science, nature, sport, gardening, cookery, and parenting, while their extensive children’s list offers educational resources and popular licensed titles, including LEGO® books. DK is also the parent company of Alpha Books, publisher of the Idiot’s Guides series.

For more, visit: https://www.dk.com/

What is this book about

The Level 1 Course Book is an excellent resource for beginners in English, ideal for test preparation and ESL lessons. It uses visual teaching methods and includes exercises, audio support, grammar guides, vocabulary lists, and opportunities for personalized learning. Perfect for ESL instructors and adult learners.

What I Like About This Book

I think the Course Book (Level 1) is a fantastic beginner’s guide to learning English. It covers essential language skills, grammar, and vocabulary effectively. It’s ideal for English test prep and ESL lesson planning.

What I like most is its visual teaching approach, making English learning engaging. The book pairs well with the Practice Book (Level 1) for a well-rounded learning experience. It starts with basic topics and progresses to advanced ones.

I appreciate the sample language examples with clear explanations and the integrated audio for oral practice. Visual grammar breakdowns and vocabulary cues are especially helpful for beginners. The write-on lines encourage personalized learning.

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The Perfect English Grammar Workbook: Simple Rules and Quizzes to Master Today’s English 

About the Author

Lisa McLendon, the author of madamgrammar.com, is a seasoned expert in the realms of language, editing, and all things related to words. She holds a doctorate in Slavic languages and has amassed over a decade of experience working on newspaper copy desks. Lisa’s passion for language led her to teach news editing at esteemed institutions like the University of North Texas, Friends University in Wichita, and Wichita State University.

A dedicated member of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) since 2000, Lisa has been a frequent presenter at both national and regional ACES conferences. Her sessions cover a wide array of topics, including grammar, punctuation, crafting headlines, and even mathematical aspects of language.

Lisa’s enthusiasm extends to linguistic humor, a keen appreciation for the correct usage of the verb “comprise,” and a love for numbers that add up correctly.

What is this book about

Mastering English grammar is now more accessible than ever with The Perfect English Grammar Workbook. This comprehensive resource offers a thorough explanation of standard American English grammar and serves as an indispensable tool for students, ESL learners, and individuals committed to achieving error-free communication in both speaking and writing.

Covering a wide range of topics, from punctuation and prepositions to adverbs and abbreviations, this grammar workbook offers clear and concise guidance for every aspect of English grammar. It presents classroom-style lessons that allow you to hone your skills through numerous practical exercises. To assess your understanding and progress, you can take advantage of the comprehensive end-of-chapter quizzes provided in the workbook.

What I Like About This Book

What I particularly appreciate about “The Perfect English Grammar Workbook” is its clarity and comprehensiveness. It excels in breaking down the intricacies of English grammar into easily digestible lessons, making it accessible for learners of all levels. The practical exercises are not only abundant but also thoughtfully designed to reinforce each grammar concept, providing ample opportunities for hands-on practice. Additionally, the inclusion of end-of-chapter quizzes allows me to gauge my progress and identify areas that may need further attention. This workbook is a valuable resource for anyone looking to enhance their English language skills, and its user-friendly approach makes the journey of mastering grammar an enjoyable one.

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National Geographic Readers: Whales (PreReader)

About the Author

Jennifer Szymanski, a versatile science writer and editor in the freelance domain, is dedicated to crafting educational materials that facilitate the achievement of national and state science standards for both educators and students. However, she views her true calling as bridging the gap between science and everyday life for students. Jennifer’s extensive background includes teaching a diverse range of students, from pre-K to college levels. Her experience also extends to her time as a veterinary technician, further enhancing her understanding of the sciences. Jennifer is a passionate advocate for STEM education, enthusiastically championing its importance in our modern world.

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What is this book about

Discover the fascinating world of these immense and majestic marine creatures, ranging from humpback whales to blue whales and belugas! This early reader publication by National Geographic Kids is a treasure trove of knowledge about diverse whale species worldwide. It delves into their habitats, dietary preferences, survival strategies, and more.

Tailored for young and budding readers, National Geographic Pre-readers feature straightforward, expert-reviewed text accompanied by captivating, oversized photographs on every page. At the beginning of the book, a vocabulary tree introduces young readers to key terms grouped by concepts, facilitating word associations and comprehension. Moreover, a concluding activity offers children an opportunity to apply their newfound knowledge while expanding their awareness of the world around them.

What I Like About This Book

What stands out to me about this book is its engaging and informative approach to teaching young readers about whales. The use of vivid images and simple, yet expertly crafted text makes learning about these majestic creatures both enjoyable and educational. I appreciate the inclusion of a vocabulary tree, which helps children grasp essential terms and concepts. Moreover, the wrap-up activity encourages active learning and reinforces the knowledge gained from the book. Overall, this book offers a fantastic introduction to the world of whales for young readers, making it a valuable resource for both learning and exploration.

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Webster’s New World Portable Large Print Dictionary, Second Edition

About the Author

The authorship of Webster’s New World Dictionaries is attributed to a group of accomplished lexicographers, each holding advanced degrees in diverse scholarly disciplines. These editors specialize in immersing themselves in specific subject matter vocabularies, curate materials related to emerging language trends and usage, and collaborate with subject matter experts to guarantee the utmost accuracy and currency of the content presented in our publications.

What is this book about

This generously sized print book proudly carries the endorsement of N.A.V.H., ensuring that readers no longer need to strain their eyes with small text. Enter Webster’s New World Portable Large Print Dictionary, equipped with all the exceptional features found in other editions of Webster’s New World dictionaries, notably its crystal-clear and precise definitions. Derived from the highly esteemed Webster’s New World Dictionary, Fourth College Edition, this resource boasts:

*Over 35,000 entries

*Exact and meticulous definitions

*Syllable divisions, accents, and pronunciations for challenging words

*Crisp, highly legible typography

With its authoritative, up-to-date, and user-friendly content presented in a compact and convenient format, Webster’s New World Portable Large Print Dictionary is an invaluable companion that can be utilized anywhere: whether it’s in the office, the classroom, at home, or anywhere in between.

What I Like About This Book

What appeals to me about this book is its commitment to readability and accessibility. The use of large print ensures that readers no longer have to strain their eyes when seeking information. Furthermore, it retains the hallmark features of Webster’s New World dictionaries, such as precise definitions and clear typography. With over 35,000 entries, this dictionary covers a broad range of words. It also provides valuable aids like syllable divisions, accents, and pronunciations for challenging terms. The convenience of having authoritative and up-to-date information at your fingertips in a portable format makes this book an indispensable resource, whether you’re at the office, in class, or at home.

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The Science of Self-Learning: How to Teach Yourself Anything, Learn More in Less Time, and Direct Your Own Education (Learning how to Learn)

About the Author

Peter Hollins is a renowned bestselling author, a diligent researcher in human psychology, and a passionate observer of human behavior. Holding a BS in psychology and a graduate degree, he has collaborated with numerous individuals from diverse backgrounds. When he’s not immersed in his work, Peter finds solace in family hikes, savoring craft beers, and trying his hand at painting. He calls Seattle, Washington, his home base.

What is this book about

Unlock effective self-learning strategies, whether you’re both the teacher and student. “The Science of Self-Learning” offers replicable methods and insights to build expertise from scratch. Master skills like information gathering, research, and adapting to new knowledge. Discover motivation techniques, speed reading, and efficient planning. Embrace self-learning as your path to lifelong adaptability and success.

What I Like About This Book

What stands out to me about this book is its practicality and real-world applicability. It not only provides valuable insights into self-learning but also offers concrete methods and strategies to implement immediately. The focus on self-regulation, motivation, and effective learning techniques is particularly beneficial. Additionally, the book’s approach to planning and adapting to change resonates with the ever-evolving nature of life and learning. Overall, it’s a valuable guide for anyone looking to enhance their learning skills and adaptability in an ever-changing world.

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Clear Speech Student’s Book with Integrated Digital Learning: Pronunciation and Listening Comprehension in North American English

About the Author

Judy B. Gilbert is a globally recognized expert in the field of English pronunciation instruction. As both a dedicated teacher and instructor trainer, Ms. Gilbert has undertaken extensive international travel to deliver workshops and lectures. Moreover, she has taken on the role of chairing seminars and colloquia on a global scale.

Ms. Gilbert holds the distinction of being a founding member of the TESOL Speech Pronunciation Interest Section, and she is also recognized as a distinguished member of the IATEFL Pronunciation Interest Group.

What is this book about

The Student’s Book of the Fourth Edition of Clear Speech offers straightforward presentations, useful guidelines, and ample exercises for improving pronunciation. This updated edition features fresh content, enhanced visual aids, and a vibrant full-color format.

What I Like About This Book

What I find appealing about this book is its approachability and practicality. It provides clear and actionable guidance on the complex topic of self-learning, offering concrete methods and strategies that readers can readily apply. The emphasis on motivation, effective learning techniques, and adaptability is particularly valuable. Additionally, the book’s real-world examples and relatable insights make it accessible to a wide range of readers.

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Final thoughts

In conclusion, these ten books are invaluable companions on your journey to mastering the English language. Whether you’re a student aiming to excel in your studies, a professional seeking to enhance your career prospects, or simply someone passionate about honing your language skills, these books offer a wealth of knowledge, practical exercises, and insights to propel you forward. From grammar and vocabulary to effective communication and self-learning, each book covers essential aspects of English language proficiency. So, dive into these literary treasures, embrace the joy of learning, and watch as your English language proficiency soars to new heights. Don’t miss the opportunity to transform your language skills; these books are your stepping stones to success. Happy reading and learning!

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