Books for Learning German

This page is also available in: German

Read, Learn German and Grow!

I read a lot. In 2016 I even read more than 26 books! 😲

As a result, I come across many fascinating and educational books. I would like to recommend the best books to you.

Since there are a lot of good books, this page should be the starting point for your search for book ideas. I would also like to explain to you how reading can help you learn German.

I recommend books that will help you learn German and develop in other areas of your life.

Which book is right for you depends on many factors: Do you want to learn German by reading novels and stories? Or do you prefer to be inspired by books about personal development? Are you perhaps a fan of German grammar and would like to read textbooks about the German language?

That’s why I created a separate page for each book category.


It’s best to take a look at this overview first so you don’t get overwhelmed:

I love stories! Novels and stories can give us a lot of inspiration, emotional connection and entertainment. Immerse yourself in stories that have deeply moved and inspired me.

Jump to the page: Stories and Novels to Learn German

It is a joy to develop yourself further. No matter what problems we have in our lives - and even if we don’t have any - there are many books that can help us live a much better life. If we know ourselves, there is almost nothing we cannot achieve!

Jump to page: Personal Development Books for German Learners

Finally, we come to the books that explicitly deal with the German language. There are some excellent books that will help you learn German grammar or show you the German language in a whole new light.

Jump to the page: Textbooks for Learning German

Of course I don’t stop reading. If I find a good book that could help you, I’ll write a review about it.

Jump to category: Book Reviews

I have divided this page into several sections:

I’m learning Italian and reading Italian texts helps me a lot. The topic of reading is also being researched in linguistics and there are interesting results.

Jump to section: Reading – To Learn German?

Can you already read books in German? I think it’s important to just try it out. You may understand a lot more than you think!

Jump to the section: Jump Into the Deep End!

I also have a few special recommendations:

You’ll probably also want to practice German pronunciation. A translation of the German text might also be helpful. That’s why I launched the Authentic German Learning Academy!

Jump to section: The Authentic German Learning Academy

Would you like to learn German grammar in a humorous way? Then my e-book and audio book are just right for you!

Jump to section: Learn German With Humor: The Awful German Language

Would you like to know more about the method I use to teach you German? Then I recommend the following book:

Jump to section: The Natural Approach by Stephen D. Krashen and Tracy D. Terrell

There is an easy way to support Authentic German Learning: Please click on the links on this page before purchasing a book. These are so-called affiliate links.

Jump to section: Support Authentic German Learning!

After all, your opinion is important! What do you think? Is there a book that helped you a lot? I’m looking forward to your opinion, your feedback and your book recommendations. We would all be happy to hear your recommendation and opinion!

Jump to section: Comments

Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few are to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.

Francis Bacon

Reading – To Learn German?

These cheeky kids are probably learning German.

These cheeky kids are probably learning German.

Sure, of course! It is extremely helpful to read German texts that you understand for the most part.

The following experiment was tried in some schools: some students go to class as normal, others use the time to read.

The students in the second group are allowed to read whatever they want. The reading group was much more successful than the group that went to traditional classes!

I can confirm such studies: I am learning Italian and reading Italian texts has helped me a lot. This gave me a lot of vocabulary and a much better feel for sentence structure.

Prof. Stephen Krashen, the inventor of the natural method, emphasizes the importance of reading. He is a proponent of free voluntary reading (SSR) as it brings the following benefits:

  • You learn new, useful vocabulary.
  • You consolidate old vocabulary words and memorize them better.
  • You get a feel for the German sentence structure
  • You acquire German grammar.
  • You learn to write better German through imitation.
  • You understand more and more of what you read.

However, it is important that you roughly understand what you are reading. That’s why I created this page: I want to recommend books that best suit your level.

Jump Into the Deep End!

idiom: ins kalte Wasser springen β€” to plunge in (at the deep end)

idiom: ins kalte Wasser springen β€” to plunge in (at the deep end)

You may say to yourself: “But I can’t read books in German yet!”

Are you sure? I studied Italian intensively for a few weeks and then read my first book in Italian.

All you need is some basic vocabulary β€” and you probably know more than you think. You may not understand much at first, but don’t worry.

By recognizing individual words, you have a rough idea of the plot. You can also most likely find a summary of the first chapters online.

It is also helpful to look up individual words that are repeated often or are important to the plot in the dictionary. However, this disrupts the flow of reading and should be done rarely.

You will quickly notice that you understand more and more. Believe me, it’s a lot of fun in a short amount of time!

You may look up a lot of words at first, but you should transition to just reading as quickly as possible.

Don’t worry, it won’t take as long as you think. If you don’t understand a word, just read on. In most cases you will understand it from the context.


  • Read a summary or the entire book in your native language beforehand.
  • Look up individual common words.
  • Try to look up as few words as possible.
  • Only read books that are tailored to your level.
  • Often you understand more than you think.
  • After a while it can be a lot of fun!

This site will help you find the books that are right for you.

Special Recommendations

The Authentic German Learning Academy

Authentic german learning academy logo

This is not a book, but an excellent opportunity to read German texts.

At the Authentic German Learning Academy you will find exciting courses about German places, German history and much more.

You can even practice German pronunciation there as I read everything to you. This way you kill two birds with one stone: you hear the German text and can read it at the same time.

This is how you learn to write better and speak better.

I will also provide you with a translation. So if you don’t understand a word or sentence, you don’t need to look up the words in the dictionary.

Just read the translation and you will understand what is meant! πŸ™‚

Visit the Academy

Learn German With Humor: The Awful German Language

Portrait of mark twain by james carroll beckwith

Learn the German language and German grammar with humor!

Many German learners have asked me how they can best learn grammar. The best way to learn grammar is intuitively, through understandable content.

However, it can also be very helpful to know the rules explicitly.

That’s why I wrote this book. I wanted to give German learners an opportunity to learn the German language effectively.

I also wanted to explain the grammatical rules to them without making it boring.

This book is based on an essay by Mark Twain. I translated, corrected, updated, expanded and commented on it. It’s almost as if I wrote it together with the great humorist!

The Natural Approach by Stephen D. Krashen and Tracy D. Terrell

This book explains the method I use to teach you German. This book helped me a lot because it explains the natural method of learning languages very well.

I found these two quotes from the book very memorable:

The core hypothesis of the theory is that language acquisition only occurs in one way: by understanding messages.

Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell

A language is best taught when it is used to convey messages β€” not when it is taught explicitly for conscious learning.

Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell

But that’s just a rough summary. The book explains exactly which principles this language learning method works on and which strategies promote language learning.

(Unfortunately, there is currently no German version of the book available.)

Buy the book (English version)*

Support Authentic German Learning!

If you click on one of the links on the book pages, Amazon (or in some cases another partner) will know that I sent you and will give me a small percentage of the price if you purchase the product.

This won’t cost you a cent more! Great, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰

I would be very happy and it would be a small thank you for me if you click on my links before you buy one of the books.

Please add the following affiliate link to your bookmarks and use it if you want to purchase anything else on Amazon.*

Click on one of the three images:

Affiliate disclosure: Links marked with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links to products I think can help you. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, there are no additional costs to you and you help me out so that I can create even more helpful content for you.

You can read more here.

This page is also available in: German

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