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Foreign Readers

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Initial post: 1 Feb 2013 21:27:02 GMT

I would be pleased if you all could recommend English books for advanced learners. My favourite topic is SciFi.

I am German and 17 years old. I go to 11th grade and my grades are around a B+. In the next year I try to get my IELTS exam and I want to improve my English with reading books.

I hope to get some answers!

Greetings from Germany, Max!

Posted on 1 Feb 2013 22:10:47 GMT
gille liath says:
Greetings from my living room! ;)

There's a sci-fi forum which might be better able to advise you; but I like Michael Moorcock's books, which are sci-fi/fantasy, good stories and fairly well-written without being too long or heavy. He wrote dozens, eg Jewel in the Skull, Elric of Melnibone, Dancers At The End of Time. Should suit an advanced learner.

Posted on 1 Feb 2013 23:08:23 GMT
Anita says:
Greetings from another not native English speaker...

For sheer fun in the best sense of the word I'd recommend The Stainless Steel Rat books by Harry Harrison
The Stainless Steel Rat Omnibus

For a good and not too difficult read try this

Much more difficult, but really good
Eon (S.F. Masterworks)

And for in-between :)
The Uplift War

Posted on 2 Feb 2013 09:30:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Feb 2013 14:14:05 GMT
M. Jolliff says:
For contemporary authors may I suggest
John Scalzi, especially Old Man's War. He also has free stuff on his Whatever blog
Charles Stross, especially Accelerando, which will stretch your brain as well as your English. He also has free stuff on his Charlie's Diary blog.
Neal Stephenson, especially Snow Crash and The Diamond Age

Also Locus have just published their recommended reading list for 2012 here,

Posted on 3 Feb 2013 20:12:51 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Feb 2013 20:15:53 GMT
monica says:
Max, that makes me want a cherry brandy.

I'm not sure what aptitude a Grade 11 advanced student has, but a couple that might be suitable occurred to me: Inverted World (S.F. MASTERWORKS). The writing is straightforward but on an adult level, and it's a wonderful story. Sunshine Garland, Alex ( Author ) Aug-21-2007 Paperback is another good story; again, there's nothing complicated about it but it might be an excellent exercise in a foreign language because it's a film script & therefore you must have a firm grasp of the words in order to be able to picture in your mind's eye the surroundings and what occurs in them.

Good luck. It's nice to see a post like yours--and it's depressing to think that there almost certainly has never been one like that from an English-speaker on . . .

Posted on 3 Feb 2013 21:06:15 GMT
Thank you all for these quick answers. I'm going to read summaries of all these books and I think there will be a suitable for me :)

By the way, I am very surprised to get so friendly answers .. My history teacher always told us that you English people should hate me as a German ;)

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Feb 2013 23:24:13 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Feb 2013 23:26:16 GMT
gille liath says:
You mean because you knocked us out of the last World Cup? ;)

We probably should, by rights, but we have short memories and enough historical guilt complexes of our own to deal with. Besides, two of your respondents aren't English, and are from countries that if anything had pro-German sympathies (if only on the basis that my enemy's enemy is my friend).

But Amazon forums are not that historically-minded, generally speaking...

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2013 00:03:26 GMT
Anita says:

Historically my country has been fighting with Germany for several hundreds of years... :)

(But I swear, I genuinely liked all the books I recommended!!)

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2013 10:09:13 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Feb 2013 10:13:22 GMT
gille liath says:
I know, but am I not right in saying that you were pro-German during the war (I take it that's what MK is referring to)? That's my information, anyway...

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2013 10:53:25 GMT
Anita says:
Not exactly. It wasn't *only* the war here (sounds horrible, but fact) and everything too much in turmoil to be very clear about pros and cons. Still, the pro-German statement would be a mistake

Posted on 4 Feb 2013 12:30:49 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 4 Feb 2013 13:55:55 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2013 13:08:00 GMT
Anita says:
Stella, perhaps the OP doesn't know you are one too ;)

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2013 14:26:05 GMT

I'm always having a giggle slagging off Germans. It's my trade mark joke: Gee, no, never going to Germany, far too many Germans over there.


I used to say 'bloody Germans, they're everywhere' in the club I used to work when German customers were around. Cracked me up every time when they looked at me in confusion, unsure what to make of that. They never picked up that I'm German, too. One night I spoke proper Bremen tongue with one after we had a conversation in English and they complimented my German. Gee, I almost pissed myself. Came clean after that.

Little prankster, me.

Hallo, Max. Ich kann Dir leider nix empfehlen weil ich erst langsam mit Sci-fi anfange. Ich wuerde aber sagen einfach loszulegen und zu lesen. Schreib Dir Vokabeln die Dir unbekannt sind raus und lerne. Ich hab mit 'ner Biografie ueber Jamie Oliver angefangen. Wie es so schoen heisst: Uebung macht den Meister. Lies und lern dabei. Es ist hart am Anfang aber Du gewoehnst Dich schon dran.

Liebe Gruesse aus London.

Posted on 4 Feb 2013 14:33:56 GMT
I just see that my post was deleted. Well, that just made my day.

Posted on 4 Feb 2013 15:10:11 GMT
Schön zu sehen, dass da sozusagen jemand meinen Traum lebt. Aus Deutschland raus und in London leben, ich würde es schon gerne im Studium machen, aber diese 9000 Pfund im Jahr Gebühren sind leider echt zu viel...

For the non-Germans: I didn't want to start a discussion like that. I was happy about your tolerance and then you start talking about war and stuff. I think there was only the the football fan speaking in me, who knows that England can't beat Germany without not fair goals :P

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2013 15:15:00 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Feb 2013 15:18:14 GMT
gille liath says:
"Shrug". You can't seriously have been talking only about football. If you hadn't said anything, neither would I.

There's a long-standing joke over here you know, coming from a TV comedy: 'don't mention the war!'

Anyway, consider the subject closed for my part.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2013 15:16:19 GMT
gille liath says:
I don't speak German as you know, can't be recommending Jamie Olver's book? The poor lad... ;)

Posted on 4 Feb 2013 15:35:17 GMT
You're right, I try to diminish the consequences I cause with my statement, but you all are too clever how I see ;)

My recent sentence in English (so you see that I do not talk about Jamie Oliver):
It's nice to see that somebody's living my dream. To come out of Germany and to live in London. I would like to do this for my studies in 2 years, but the 9000 pound fees are unfortunately too much...

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2013 15:40:48 GMT
Well, it was the first book I bought and read over here. Although I spoke English for many years, it's a different thing to actually read and take it all in. I only read German in Germany, apart from plenty of English music magazine, that is. But novels: only German. Never crossed my mind to read in English to be honest.

But same the other way round: I only read in English, never any German. I'm a 100% kind of girl; I live in the UK and don't plan on returning to Germany, so I read in English which I consider to be my first language now. I really love what Jamie Oliver does; he makes me laugh, too. I remember that I had some difficulties reading it because I needed to stock up on vocabulary and it's exhausting to read in second language when you have to look up words on every page, which I had to do as I read every word in a book, but it was what I wanted.

Whatever floats one's boat: it's important to just sink your teeth into it. No pain, no gain.

Posted on 4 Feb 2013 15:41:41 GMT
Ethereal says:
The fees are too much for the home students too.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2013 15:45:22 GMT
No rush. Seriously, Max. Maybe you can take a year off your studies and come over for a year or so, live in flat shares, work in pubs or whatever your skills are and then go back to finish uni. London's going to be here a little longer, I suppose.

There's a cool site for Germans which helped me make my decision back then. Full to the brim with information. Look up Deutsche In London. Very helpful and a good community. At least it was when I started out with research. You may get jobs through it or at least some insights.

Posted on 4 Feb 2013 15:53:50 GMT
It's strange to talk in English with a German :D Whatsoever, what you say is exactly what I hear in several forums. But even if I make my under-graduate studies in Germany, I will have to keep up learning words .. And INTERESTING books are for me the best possibility to do this .. but not Animal Farm or Midnight Summer's Dream.

Posted on 4 Feb 2013 16:04:26 GMT
It's only respectful to speak in English. We're on an English forum. I rarely speak German anymore. Only with one German friend who lives in Bremen. I know a few Germans here, but we speak in English when English people are around. It's the polite thing to do. Doesn't make a difference to me anyway. I'm more fluent in English now than in German. Ha!

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2013 18:09:05 GMT
M. Jolliff says:
As the other native English, I'd just like to say that I've always found the Germans I've known to be friendly and have a great, though very dry sense of humour which is more than I can say for the French I've met.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2013 18:26:25 GMT
Anita says:
Hey, I have a good friend in France... :)

A compliment for Max: it's always fun when a thread veers to something else instead of dying.

To redeem myself - maybe you'd like this?

On Basilisk Station (Honorverse)
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  50
Initial post:  1 Feb 2013
Latest post:  12 Mar 2013

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