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Challenge Yourself to Increase Your Reading Comprehension

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Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad

Want to improve your reading comprehension?  Reading difficult but engaging novels can help.

Here are some of my personal favorite authors and novels/short stories …

Joseph Conrad … considered one of the greatest English novelists of all time … actually a Pole who didn’t learn English until his early twenties!  You might start with Lord Jim, Youth, or Typhoon.

John Steinbeck … start with Of Mice and Men, then try The Grapes of Wrath. The themes are very tough and emotionally taxing, but beautiful and truthful.

Patrick O’Brian … historical fiction set in the British Navy of the early 1800s.  My favorite novelist bar none!  Very hard to get into initially because he uses so much nautical terminology, but so worth it!  The set of 21 books begins with Master and Commander.  The Master and Commander movie, with Russell Crowe, was based on this series.

Recently, I read Life of Pi, by Yann Martel.  Really enjoyable and insightful.  Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, and Dune, by Frank Herbert, are some of my all time favorite books.  Both are science fiction and both are tremendously smart, complex, and worthwhile.  Science fiction has bad associations for many people because of the excess of real tripe in the genre, but good science fiction can go places other books cannot, with wonderfully revealing results.

What are some of your favorite books/authors, that are also challenging enough to push your  comprehension?[/hidepost]

Speed up your reading

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with this online app

Just thirty minutes of faster-reading practice, twice a week can save you SOOO much time with your studies. Here’s a slick online app that will help you. Just copy and paste your text into the box and Spreeder will play it back to you at the speed you designate. Adjust the settings to modify the reading rate and chunk size (the number of words it flashes at you).