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I have a question of somewhat different kind, not grammar related but rather about learning English in general.

I am learning English mostly from reading books. But my choice of books is quite random. So, I decided to ask this great community for the list of books one have to read to get themself familiar with either English grammar and vocabulary as well as cultural context. (I do understand that not only books but also cartoons, tv series, movies also forms the latter one but unfortunately I don't like such ways of entertainment, so the books only remains) Is it feasible task?

Please understand, this is not "best selling list" what I am asking for (personally I hate "bestsellers" in any language). This is rather "most common books list", books that are so common that usually noone even have an idea of mentioning them. Including even books for children. Books that forms the cultural context, source of widely used idioms, proverbs, common phrases etc.

So, the question is: What is the list of most common English books you recommend for a non-native speaker (preferably available in the digital form)?

On a second thought I rethinked my refusal of other media. So, if you thinks that some movie or cartoon is essential - throw it in!

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closed as not constructive by Matt Эллен, RegDwigнt Jun 27 '12 at 10:12

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List questions are not a good fit for Stack Exchange in general. Please see this network-wide post about list question. –  Matt Эллен Jun 27 '12 at 10:08
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@Col.Shrapnel, You might try a list like this:modernlibrary.com/top-100/100-best-novels And work your way through it. Some of the books are older, and so are often free on e-media. I also love reading from the William Allen White Children's Book award lists, which go back to 1952. Even though my children are grown now, I still read William Allen White books. –  JLG Jun 27 '12 at 11:44
    
@JLG oh thank you so much too. These modernlibrary lists are so exciting, I just can't choose between Joyce's brick of paper and pseudo-philosophical bullshit from Rand and Hubbard. I am curious if you bothered to read any of these yourself. –  Col. Shrapnel Jun 27 '12 at 15:09
    
@Col.Shrapnel, I have not read Ulysses (if that's the brick you are referring to). I have read Rand, but not Hubbard. I tend to read nonfiction. I confess I feel unread when I read a list like this, but it's a place to start. And it beats the books on the best-seller lists. –  JLG Jun 27 '12 at 16:53

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