Growing up in Canada in the 1960's and 1970's, I developed my English skills by reading and having books read to me out loud. Not only did this help me to build an extensive vocabulary and strong grammar skills, but it showed me how people speak, especially people from other parts of North America. It also demonstrated how people often speak ungrammatically and to appreciate the differences. Eventually my reading expanded into a passion for many cultural art forms (movies, drama, painting, photography and so on).

In this section, I'll be providing access to recent public domain literature that shouldn't too difficult for second language learners. These books were taken from Project Gutenberg, a wiki site containing over 33,000 public domain novels. If you click on the title (on the left), an copy of the book will download automatically so you can read it offline. Some (hopefully most) of the books will be in *.epub format; this will make it easier on the eyes to read, but you will need a program or an app (such as iBooks or Kindle) to read them. Unfortunately, some of the books are only available in text format; I have re-formatted these books in *.pdf copies. They should be easy to read but won't be as easy on the eyes as the *.epub books. The *.pdf versions have been formatted into newspaper style columns (2 columns per page) which should help the eyes to focus and reduce eye strain.

The original audio files were borrowed from Librivox; wherever possible, I have slightly slowed down the reading pace so that it will be easier for ESL students to listen. If you would like the original undoctored audio files, go directly to Librivox and download them there. You can listen these files online, or right click to listen to them offline. For those of you who are very computer literate, you can use an audio editing software to slow the reading pace down and make it easier to listen. I use a software called "Audacity" to edit audio files; I have purposely not done so here as some of you might want the reading pace faster or slower than others, and there isn't any way to know the best speed will be for you (which is why you should adjust the speed yourselves).

As always, I accept suggestions for new materials, providing I am able to locate the text for suggested works; the only other provision is that the reading texts and audio files must be public domain works, in order to comply with copyright laws.

**special note: in the novel "The Scarlet Letter", audio for the introductory chapter "The Custom House" has not been included here; readers should skip this chapter and go directly to Chapter 1, "The Prison Door", starting on page 103


The Call of the Wild, by Jack London audio files (chapters)
01   02   03   04   05   06   07

Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens 
Volume 1   Volume 2   Volume 3
audio files (chapters)
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11    12    13    14    15    16    17    18    19    20    21    22    23    24    25    26    27    28    29    30    31    32    33    34    35    36    37    38    39    40    41    42    43    44    45    46    47    48    49    50    51    52    53

Animal Farm, by George Orwell audio files will be uploaded shortly

Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway audio files will be uploaded shortly

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens audio files (chapters)
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11    12    13    14    15    16    17    18    19    20    21    22    23    24    25    26    27    28    29    30    31    32    33    34    35    36    37    38    39    40    41    42    43    44    45    46    47    48    49    50    51    52    53    54    55    56    57    58    59   

Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad audio files (chapters)
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   

The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne audio files (chapters)
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11    12   13    14   15    16   17    18   19    20   21    22   23    24   

copyrighted © John Erick Kenmuir 2018
The contents of this website (hereafter referred to as "the materials") may be used by private individuals for the sole purpose of improving their English language skills.
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