If you are learning the language or planning on learning it, you have probably Google’d what the best books to learn French are. Whether you’re a beginner just starting out or an advanced learner looking to refine your skills, there are plenty of great books and textbooks available to help you along the way. And that comes with a cost! 

As an FLE teacher, I have used many French books and have deciphered which ones are worth purchasing. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best options for learners of all levels, along with reviews of each book.

I will cover: 

My favourite French Learning book collection.

Best French books for beginners.

Best French books for intermediates.

Best French books for advanced.

My favourite French Learning book collection 

My favourite collection: Français progressif. 

It’s for me the most comprehensive and complete collection of books. Although it’s a bit old school, it has everything you need to start with and is separated in levels and learning types. If you are on a budget, I recommend getting these only. You’ll be good. 

Why I like these books: 


    • Real life conversations and dialogues

    • Expressions French people use, not the typical “textbook” French

    • One book for each type of learning (vocabulary, grammar, communication, spelling, etc), rather than one book that tries to combine everything and fails to teach everything. 

Buy the collection:


Vocabulaire Progressif du Français

Grammaire Progressive du Français

Communication Progressive du Français

Civilisation Progressive du Français

Orthographe Progressive du Français

Teacher tip: You might not be able to get all of these books, and that’s okay! I recommend you getting Grammaire Progressive and Communication progressive first.


Vocabulaire Progressif du Français

Grammaire Progressive du Français

Communication Progressive du Français

Civilisation Progressive du Français

Orthographe Progressive du Français

Littérature Progressive de la Francophonie


Vocabulaire Progressif du Français

Grammaire Progressive du Français

Communication Progressive du Français

Civilisation Progressive du Français

Orthographe Progressive du Français

Littérature Progressive de la Francophonie

Best French books for beginners

If that collection is not enough for you, there are some other books for beginners I recommend. 

When you are a beginner, there seems to be so much to learn and so many resources to get you there that it can be overwhelming. 

“Easy French Step-by-Step” by Myrna Bell Rochester 

This book is perfect for beginners who want to learn French in a step-by-step manner. It covers basic grammar and vocabulary and includes plenty of exercises to help reinforce what you’ve learned.



    • Quick and easy-to-understand content 

    • Goes through all the basic grammar you need

    • Comes with a CD so you can practise pronunciation and speed. 

    • Extensive content for beginners

    • Very accessible


    • No pictures, not the most fun French textbook out there 

“French for Dummies” by Erotopoulos, Dodi-Katrin Schmidt, and Michelle M. Williams 

This is a great option for beginners who are looking for a comprehensive guide to the language. I mean, it’s a worldwide famous collection for a reason! It covers all the basics of grammar and vocabulary, as well as providing useful tips on pronunciation and common phrases.



    • Loads of vocabulary and dialogues 

    • Plenty of extra resources if you need them 

    • Comes with a CD so you can practise pronunciation and speed 



    • On the more expensive side if you want to get all the books

    • It’s written down specifically for English-natives so if you aren’t, it might not be the best option for you. 

What’s the best French Grammar book?

Again, I vouch for Grammaire Progressive du Français. However, if you want another option: 

Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French Grammar” by Annie Heminway is a good place to start. It covers all essential grammar points including all tenses, pronouns, and important adverbs. 

Buy the book

Best French books for intermediates

In my classes with intermediate learners, I mainly use Edito B1 and Edito B2 (and of course Français Progressif) because it is based on the DELF exams and covers a wide range of topics. 

Another one of my favourite ways to learn a language is through extensive reading. At an intermediate level, you probably won’t be able to read a French novel. However, a great place to start is French story books for beginners and intermediates. 

For grammar, “Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French Grammar” by Annie Heminway is, again, a good resource. It’s suitable for beginners but it also covers more intermediate and advanced grammar topics such as the subjunctive (I know you hate it!) and the conditional mood. 

French Grammar Drills” by Eliane Kurbegov is also pretty great for grammar. This book is full of drills and exercises to help you master French grammar. It covers a wide range of topics, from basic verb conjugation to complex sentence structures. I always compare grammar to maths, as the more you repeat it and the more exercises you do, the easier it becomes.

Once you know basic vocabulary and grammar, and you are comfortable enough with the language, a great way to start improving is through input. 

Short Stories in French for BeginnersandShort Stories in French: Intermediate” by Olly Richards are great options. They were created by a polyglot who understands what it’s like to learn a language and what is often missing from language learning resources. I have myself used the Chinese version of these short story books and have found them particularly  helpful. 

Best French books for advanced learners

Progressing when you’ve reached an advanced level is quite tough. After a few years of learning, it’s very common to reach a plateau and not be able to progress as much as you wish to. These are the best books to learn advanced French and keep progressing. 

Now more than ever, it’s time for one thing and one thing only: INPUT INPUT INPUT. 

Read French books and stories like you would in your native language. Although English is not my first language, 90% of the books I read are in English (And I read +/- 30 books a year, that’s a lot of English books!). 

To really progress, you must surround yourself with French. If you do not live in France, that’s okay. Read French, watch French, listen to French, simulate a French environment. 

If you have never read anything solely in French, start with comics. Both France and Belgium have a huge comic culture and you will not struggle to find comics in French. And yes, they are enjoyable for adults too, not just children!


Everyone in France knows this, and knowing them will not only allow you to improve your French but also to understand French cultural references in conversations with native speakers.

When you get used to comics, it’s time for the real stuff! Some French novels you can start with:


I had to add it because it’s so iconic, but if you want actual French novels for adults, here they are:


    • Les yeux jaunes des crocodiles” by Katherine Pancol. Katherine Pancol is one of the most famous contemporary French authors and you should definitely add her books to your reading list. 

    • Les Impatientesby Djaïli Amadou Amal. An amazing book I’ve recommended to pretty much all my advanced students. 

    • Le Crime de l’Orient-Expressby Agatha Christie, another iconic French author whose characters every French person knows. Impress your French friends by reading it!

Some contemporary French-speaking authors to look into:


    • Mélissa Da Costa

    • Leila Slimani

There you go! You cannot say I didn’t plug you! All the French textbooks and storybooks I recommend are right here. Don’t forget you don’t need and shouldn’t buy all the books just because they’re on this list. I took time to put it all together to make sure I adapt to everyone’s taste and preferences. You can very easily learn French for FREE online or at the very least for very very cheap.

If you liked this post, here are a few things you can do to support me:

* Leave a comment below with the most useful verbs in this list

* Share this post with a friend or Pin it on Pinterest

* Sign up to my newsletter below so you don’t miss any discounts or freebies

* Book a class with me and get $10 off to achieve your Portuguese learning goals (just scroll down a bit to see my profile, if you can’t see it, click in the image below but make sure to sign up with the link above first to get your discount)

Scroll to Top