By embracing new words and language styles, you will not only improve your own linguistic competence, but also train your mind to handle it.

One of the best ways to learn new vocabulary and to improve your grammar is to read books which push the boundaries of your language skills.

The books on this list will challenge you to keep reading, teach you new words and sentence structures.

With the quality of their writing, theywill no doubt force you to push yourself to a new level of language competence.

8 Books That Will Enrich Your Vocabulary

1. Ulysses by James Joyce

Reading Ulysses is a mission and a hefty challenge, but when you decide to embark on this journey, you have to fully commit to completing it, no matter how you feel.

After the first few chapters, as you struggle and grapple with the complex language, it will click and you will attain a new level of understanding.

Ulysses is filled with words, some of which Joyce, like Shakespeare coined himself — words that vocabulary buffs will revel in.

2. The Apology by Plato

This book examines the argument and reasoning as laid down by Socrates in his trial and is one of the most well reasoned arguments to this day.

When a book has been around for 2400 years, you can be pretty sure it’s a good book that is well worth reading. This one is no exception.

There are a dozen lines worth remembering, and by the end, you can hear the ironic desperation in Socrates’s voice:

“The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways, I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.”

3. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

This book will not only challenge your thoughts and your vocabulary, but it will make you question your own morals more than any other book on this list.

4. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

(Featured in 5 Best Dystopian Novels Ever Written)

The book takes place on a future Earth where human beings are mass-produced and conditioned for lives in a rigid caste system.

As the story progresses, we learn some of the disturbing secrets that lie underneath the bright, shiny facade of this highly-ordered world.

5. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

In Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created one of the world’s best known and most fully realized literary characters.

The stories are some of the best mysteries in the English language and fun to read as a picture of life in the Victorian era.

In general, you’ll be amazed at Doyle’s ingenuity and his convincing portrayal of life in many different sectors of society.

6. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid – Douglas R. Hofstadter

(Featured in 10 Books That Will Broaden Your Life Perspective)

This book really teaches you about logical thinking and logical vocabulary in an entertaining way.

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid debates, beautifully, the question of consciousness and the possibility of artificial intelligence.

It is a book that attempts to discover the true meaning of “self.”

7. The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The book is beautifully written. Steinbeck’s style flows so smoothly and is accessible as well as being challenging.

Each descriptive chapter has little gems of vocabulary you are reminded of or introduced to, which help fuel your own verbal repertoire.

8. The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

(Featured in 10 Epic Books Every Man Must Read)

A great book about the dangers of holding on to vanity and pride.

The Picture of Dorian Grey is a remarkable book filled with moments of great self-reflection.

We see Dorian Grey go on a sensual quest and the outcome of that is the final twist in the book.

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