Reading of Czech books is a great activity for training Czech, broadening vocabulary and giving better understanding. But what to read? Do you feel lost in book shops, e-shops and libraries? Here is a help: overview of books suitable for students of Czech.

What to read?

In the first article we were talking about adapted stories: books which exist in original but another author simplified them for students of Czech. It is a perfect way how to start reading in Czech. You can also find a vocabulary (English, German and Russian) and CD in the books. A great combination for practising of reading and listening.

In the second article I offered you 5 books, one adapted and four original books. Today I am going to continue and I recommend you original Czech books again.

What to read?

A1 level

Josef Čapek: O pejskovi a kočičce / About doggie and kitty

Authors of adaptation: Silvie Převrátilová, Petra Bulejčíková

Doggie and kitty are friends, they live together in a house and want to do everything like people do: they clean a floor, celebrate birthday and holidays, go for a trip and a visit. Original texts were written and illustrated by Josef Čapek. There are 10 short fairy tales, a CD/DVD, Czech-English-German-Russian vocabulary and a few exercises related to the texts in the book.

Level: A1

For whom: For readers-begginers who like fairy tales and want to start reading in Czech but they haven´t learned enough words yet (workbooks Čeština expres 1 is a good basis).

Bonus: You will remember your childhood during reading. And you will be introduced to one of the most important Czech writers and painters – Josef Čapek. Most of Czech children know his fairy tales.

I want to start reading! Where can I buy the book? – For example here.

A2 level

Česká čítanka / Czech reading book

Adaptation author: Ilona Kořánová

Would you like to get to know Czech kind of humour? You can try to read Česká čítanka (Czech reading book). It contains adapted texts by Czech authors (K. Čapek, J. Hašek, J. Seifert, Z. Svěrák, B. Němcová…), stories, anecdotes, film screenplays, dramas… You can get closer to Czech mentality and typical humour. There are 17 texts in the book and a few exercises related to the texts. There is also a grammatical overview in three versions: English, German and Russian. You can download the texts in audio format for free or buy two CDs.

Level: A2

For whom: For readers who like short stories and want to get to know Czech authors´ texts.

Bonus: You will broaden your vocabulary a lot during reading.

I want to start reading! Where can I buy the book? – For example here.

Level B1–B2

Tajný deník Adriana Molea / Secret diary of Adrian Mole

Author: Sue Townsend

Adrian Mole is an English boy, he is 13 and he understands everything. He often criticizes parents, friends, teachers. He lives hard life! Why? Because he is a teenager and the world doesn´t understand him. He fell in love for the first time, too, and… That´s why he writes his diary. It´s his only friend, he can tell everything to him. Adrian is ironic, sad, happy, in love, depressed… All of this in one day.

Level: B1–B2 (for students who have been studying B1 level or they soon reach the end of this level)

For whom: For readers who remember how they felt as teenagers and can laugh at it. If you like English kind of humour, similar to Czech one, you will like the book. You can also visit a theatre play about Adrian.

Bonus: If you like Adrian you can continue in reading  – there are seven another books of his diary.

I want to start reading! Where can I buy the book? – For example here.

Level B2

Kluk / The Boy

Author: Roald Dahl

You may know Roald Dahl, one of the best-selling English authors in the world, and his books (e.g. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Switch Bitch etc.). The book Boy is his authobiograpfy – stories that happened to him when he was a boy and young man and they were so strong he remembers them forever. Funny, sad, suprising ones, typical for children.

Level: B2

For whom: For readers who like returns to the childhood and remember it with nostalgia, smile and new experience. And for those who like very good-written stories.

Bonus: Roald Dahl is a master of a story. His narration is very vivid. You also find out a lot about England.

I want to start reading! Where can I buy the book? – For example here.

Level B2–C1

Hrdý Budžes

Author: Irena Dousková

Helenka Součková is an 8year-old girl, visiting primary school. Her parents are actors and they live in a small Czech town, Ničín. We are in the seventies of the 20th century, in communism era and Helenka watches the world. There are events absolutely clear to her and she doesn´t understand why adults deal with them. On the other hand, there are matters she doesn´t understand at all. This book is very popular in Czechia, it is full of humour and you can get to know how life in communist Czechoslovakia was like.

Level: B2–C1

For whom: For readers who want to know Czech modern history of the 20th century and they like fun.

Bonus: If you like Helenka´s stories you can visit a theatre play Hrdý Budžes.

I want to start reading! Where can I buy the book? – For example here.

Which book do you choose?

Read also the first and second part of the article: I want to read a Czech book. But which one? 1 and I want to read a Czech book. But which one? 2.

Czech version of this article

12nd May 2020

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