If the Russian person starts reading English literature

Hello! I ask Americans and British. What are you reading now? Do you read a fiction? Do you like more an old writers or a modern authors? I ask because I want to know: how much the modern English language and the English language about 100 years ago are different?
We know many ways to increase own lexicon for beginner. A most fine way - reading favourite books. Since the childhood I like a tales by Jack London. I have read many times tales about arctic travels and about south seas. But my the most favourite novel is the “Martin Eden”. I read that at least 3 times . Also I like novel “The Moon and Sixpence” by William Somerset Maugham. But his text is more difficult. Of course it was a Russian version. And now I’m reading the original version. First times I was reading slowly. I consulted dictionary often. I have seen a words many times and I have tried to remember. Today I consult dictionary less often than yesterday.
Perhaps I spend my time in vain. Perhaps only old residents use phrases of Jack London? And now Americans and especially British speak by more modern phrases? If it’s true, please, show me the fiction with beautiful style and without slang.
Perhaps I did much mistakes in the letter. Correct me, please!

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The absolute silence! I see my question is unclear or illiterate!

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Your question is fine, and in fact you are doing a great job in learning English. How long have you been studying English?

I’ll tell you my personal preference is for books in English published before 1960, as I find a decline in the beauty of writing after that time. It is an interesting question about how that came to pass.

As for your question about the diction of old residents, I would have to say that many people in their eighties or above are unusually well spoken. It appears we younger people have a weaker command of the language. That should be a contentious topic.

There is an abundance of great literature. You might find the writing of John Steinbeck too simple if you were reared on Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, but at least take a look.

I treat history as fiction, so I would recommend Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”. Certainly more advanced English than you’ll find in Steinbeck. But I like both authors.

If you want further guidance, just ask. I applaud your efforts to learn English.

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I read mainly non-fiction and like biographies. A recently published autobiography might give lots of first-person sentences. Just an idea?

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I am a great fan of 19th century and early 20th century literature in all the languages that I learn. I have read the following in Russian, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Kuprin, Ostrovsky and Pushkin. The differences in language from today don’t bother me at all.

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I’ve been currently reading “The Norse Myths” by Kevin Crossley-Holland. Since I like vikings, I decided to read a book that tells the stories of Norse Mythology. I had read a book for my school called" The Call of The Wild" by Jack London, which was a little bit simple. My favorite 19th century American story is the Tell-Tale Heart. I hope that my feedback was of some use to you, Igor.

If you had a free account at Amazon.com, and sort searches in the Kindle store by price, you’ll find free ebooks for Kindle. They have an app for reading on the computer. Independent authors offer books for free to advertise. I’ve found some really good books that way.

Great suggestion. I don’t think Amazon has an app for Linux, but “Kindle Cloud Reader” works well, allowing you to read ebooks within Firefox and Chrome browsers.

The Kindle Cloud Reader works on Windows 7 as well, and I’ve read that it works in the Safari browser (OSX OS).

You can manage your Amazon ebook library by logging in to your account and visiting this URL: https://read.amazon.com/

A right click on a book image gives you the option to download ebooks to your PC.

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Сейчас я изучаю химия и физику, так конечно, я много читаю! К сожалению у меня не сдоводно время читать ‘novels’ хотя я хочу.

Do you read a fiction?
Это больше правильно сказать ‘read fiction’.

Do you like more old writers or modern authors?
This is more correct. I had this same problem with Russian because there are no articles in Russian!

I ask because I want to know: how much the modern English language and the English language about 100 years ago are different?

Hmm, I would change that to “How much different is modern English language and English language from 100 years ago?”

Other than that, your English is great. I only pointed out the major mistakes, because I think it’s pointless to correct small mistakes because even native speakers forget as well.

Can you tell me how my Russian is? Спасибо большое!

Thank you! John Steinbeck and Gibbon – I never heard these names. But I will look in Wikipedia.
I started to learn English 4 months ago, I’m beginner. I enjoy English. Now I can read and write, but I say bad. I’m learning and I’m 44. I think what I’ve time.
I see Russian literature changes itself too. Communistic censorship was finished 25 years ago, came freedom. It have been good. We began to read the forbidden writers before (Solzhenitsyn, Voynovich…). At the same time many primitive books came to bookshop’s shelfes. There were rough phrases which normal people try not to tell. But all the same in Russia there is an interest in classical literature. Always it had been published, made a screen versions and theatr performances.

I’ve thank for sensible advices! I hope to read something. It’s true what now I’m reading English texts slowly. I’d spent very much time! My favorite Russian literature come to me only in my car. I’ve got a audiobooks.

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You only started 4 months ago??!!?? That is rather impressive, as you have made thus far significant progress. Keep learning and you will become fluent eventually.

Thank for correcsions! I think your help lets me write better in future.
Ваш русский язык понятен мне. Если ваше произношение на том же уровне, что и письмо, то можете смело приезжать в Россию без переводчика. В любом провинциальном городе вас поймут.
You wrote " I had this same problem with Russian because there are no articles in Russian!" Yes, it’s true.
But there are no cases in English. And you did mistakes.
Предложение “Сейчас я изучаю химия и физику, так конечно, я много читаю! К сожалению у меня не сдоводно время читать ‘novels’ хотя я хочу.” правильно следует писать “Сейчас я изучаю химию и физику, также конечно я много читаю! К сожалению у меня нет свободного времени читать романы, хотя я хочу.”
Have a good time!

You could also visit gutenberg.org for copyright-free works, mostly authors who have been dead for over 70 years (after which their works become public domain unless someone else holds the rights).
Then there’s smashwords.com who has a good number of free books by indie authors. They even have a few books in Russian, which might help if you can get both versions.

I, too, prefer books that are either written before 1970 or at least set in times before 1970 with well-done research so that the language is right. I do, of course, love Agatha Christie for mysteries and have read many of her books ten or more times :slight_smile: and then there’s Earl Derr Biggers for a mystery series with a Chinese touch (available for free from gutenberg.org), also for free are the Sherlock Holmes books from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

For modern authors I prefer those who don’t churn out more than one book a year, preferable every other year if it’s a long one. Let’s see… Michelle Moran for historical fiction, Phil Plait for non-fiction astronomy, Mercedes Lackey or Marion Zimmer Bradley for Fantasy, Conrad Allen writes mysteries set on old-fashioned liners, Emily Brightwell for Victorian mysteries (probably not for men as the main person is a housekeeper), Sarah Addison Allen for paranormal romance (again most likely not your taste but there might be females reading this, too).