I often get asked how I learnt to speak French. One thing I have found has helped considerably is to read books in French as it increases your vocabulary and knowledge of phases. I started with toddler books but am now able to tackle booked for adults. I do prefer to have read them in English first and so I know the general storyline and it doesn't matter if I don't understand every word. But if a word or phrase keeps coming up that I don't understand I will go and look it up.
So here are a few books I have tackled in French:
All sorts of Roald Dahl books including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, Matilda and the BFG. It was interesting reading the BFG with all the made up words!
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
Spiderwick - Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black - I am now quite the expert of the French terms for elves, goblins and suchlike.
All Creatures Great and Small - James Herriot. The translation managed to put an accent into any farmer who spoke but I very much doubt it bore any resemblance to a Yorkshire accent.
Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone - JK Rowling This is called Harry Potter à l'école des Sorciers in French and Hogwarts gets renamed Poudlard as Hogwarts is not a word the French can say easily.
Longbourn - Jo Baker. I was recommended the book by a French friend so bought the English version, loved it and read the French one straight afterwards. It is a modern day writing of the servants who worked for the Bennets of Pride and Prejudice fame.
The Boy in The Stripped Pyjamas - John Boyne. A painfully sad WWII story
Sarah's Key - Gilles Paquet-
Fear the worst - Linwood Barclay. This was a thriller about a father's search for his daughter and not really my genre at all. However a friend lent it to me and I did enjoy it in French.
And now for some that were a bit more challenging:
The War of the Worlds - HG Wells
Animal Farm - George Orwell. I have read this in English more than once and loved it but found the French incredibly hard. I often finished a whole page without really understanding what had been written and I only got to the end as I knew the story enough to carry me through. It was a couple of years ago so maybe I should try it again.
1984 - George Orwell. This wasn't nearly as hard as Animal Farm but still proved challenging.
Around The World in 80 Days - Jules Verne. Older son read this in second year secondary school so I hope he understood more than me. I did OK but there was plenty I didn't understand, even though I know the story in English.
And finally a French classic:
L'Etrangère - Albert Camus. I think I understood what was going on but having never read in it English I can't be sure. It was what I would call an "interesting" read. Have you read it?
Could you recommend any books for me to read in French? I did want to Try "The Help" but worried that the deep south accent may make it hard.