1. What are you reading?

Transcript item

What are you reading?

Jo: I'm reading this book at the moment. It's called Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine, by Hannah Fry.

Kirk: The Amber Spyglass, which is the third book of His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman.

Jonathan: At the moment I'm reading this book, called Do Nothing.

Joanne: At the moment I'm reading, or rather rereading, this book. The title is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and the author is Mark Haddon.

What's it about?

Jo: So, it's basically about the power, but also the dangers, of algorithms.

Kirk: The story really involves a young man and woman, named Will and Lyra, who are trying to escape from the authorities, who don't like something that they've discovered.

Jonathan: This book is about doing nothing! Yeah, so, in modern life, we often work quite hard and we're quite busy. And it can be stressful. And the book explains how life came to be that way and what could be the downsides of living that way.

Joanne: The main character in the story is a 15-year-old boy named Christopher. Christopher has high-functioning autism. He's really, really good at maths, but there are some everyday situations that he finds really difficult. And anyway, the story, it's sort of a murder mystery. It starts when he decides to solve the mystery of his neighbour's dog being murdered. But then as he does all the detective work, he discovers lots of other secrets about his family.

Are you enjoying it?

Jo: Yeah, I'm really enjoying it! It's very clear, very stylish, with lots of really interesting examples.

Kirk: It's philosophical, it makes you think. But it's also very engaging. There are adventures, the world is rich, the characters are believable and very interesting.

Jonathan: Yes, I am enjoying this book. Yeah, I think it's really good, and I've learned a lot so far, but I've only just started, really.

Joanne: I'm really enjoying this book. What I really like is seeing the world through Christopher's eyes.

Would you recommend it?

Jo: So, yes, I would definitely recommend this book to anybody who is interested in technology and society.

Kirk: Almost everyone I know who's read it has really enjoyed it. I think the only people who maybe wouldn't enjoy it are people who really, really dislike fantasy. But it's not a normal fantasy book.

Jonathan: Yes, I would recommend this book so far. But I have only just started it, so I'll tell you later once I've finished it.

Joanne: I'd definitely recommend this book. It's a really good read. And I think that it could be good for people learning English, as the language used in it is quite simple.

Watch the video and find out what the LearnEnglish team are reading these days.

Your turn

We'd love to hear from you as well! Write a comment or record a SpeakPipe and let us know:

  • What are you reading? (title and author)
  • What's it about?
  • Are you enjoying it? 
  • Would you recommend it?

Try to respond to other people's comments! Just a few words can be really motivating for other learners, and it's good practice for you too.

Go to SpeakPipe voice recorder

* Recordings are kept on SpeakPipe server for three months. Please don't include any music in your recording.


Average: 5 (4 votes)

Submitted by Doloma on Mon, 10/06/2024 - 16:10


I have just read ¨Dr. Cole¨, written by Noah Gordon . 

Dr Cole is a family Dr who works in a hospital in Boston, she is married but she is not happy because she feel that cannot help to patients that haven´t an insurance, She doesn´t feel comfortable in Boston so she decide to move on Massachusetts to practice rural medicine in the mountain´s village. 

Her father told her that is probably that she has a ¨Don¨, consist in when she touch the hand of a person, she can feel the death and if she act quicky, she can save his life. working in this villages she discover the ¨don¨and she can save some lives and also her father´s life.

In my opinion is a wonderful novel, easy to read. The descriptions of the mountain of massachusetts are incredible, you can imagine it.

I recommend it a lot

Submitted by spolanco on Sat, 18/05/2024 - 17:03

  • I'm currently reading a book called "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" by Harlan Ellison.
  • The story is set against the backdrop of World War III, where a sentient supercomputer named AM, born from the merging of the world's major defense computers, eradicates humanity except for five individuals. These survivors—Benny, Gorrister, Nimdok, Ted, and Ellen—are kept alive by AM to endure endless torture as a form of revenge against their creators.
  • I'm really enjoying it because it's a book you can analyze repeatedly and always find new and interesting things to discuss.
  • Yes! I highly recommend it to people who love this sub-genre of science fiction called "evolutionary horror."

Submitted by Learnenglish2025 on Sun, 12/05/2024 - 10:19


I am currently reading "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is a classic novel set in the Roaring Twenties, depicting the extravagant and shallow lives of the wealthy elite in New York.

I am enjoying it so far, the writing is beautiful and the story is engaging. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in literature or who enjoys stories about love, wealth, and the American Dream.

Submitted by Denise2024 on Tue, 07/05/2024 - 07:50


Hi everyone, what a lovely conversation. I'm happy to join you :).

I'm reading a book by Dolores Cannon titled "The search for hidden sacred knowledge". Dolores worked as a hypnotist for most of her life. She put the people into a deep hypnoptic somnabulistic state and asked questions these people wanted to know the answers for. This particular book talks about the ancient, sacred knowledge which has always been present here on our planet but has been safeguarded for the purpose of its safety. And now the knowledge is being slowly and gradually released to people. Very interesting. 

As for my children, they are 13 and 9 and now they're reading the books by Roald Dahl. I bought the whole collection of books (16 altogether) and they're reading them aloud with me. I'd say it's a great opportunity for them to improve their reading skills and enlarge their vocabulary :).

Profile picture for user Brian_503854

Submitted by Brian_503854 on Mon, 06/05/2024 - 00:46


I am reading nothing for pleasure at the moment. But I am reading a book to prepare a test next year. It involves the constitutional law of my country. 

This law can be the base of all the laws as the name says. It says all the basic human rights and nation's duties.

I am ashamed to say it, but I didn't know them exactly before. So now I can understand how our society works throughout the constitutional law.

It may sound boring and difficult. But once you read it, I am sure you will find more interesting things related to it around you.

Submitted by Nakeme on Thu, 02/05/2024 - 13:43


Hello everyone,

At the moment, I'm reading a book by a French author who is also a music composer and singer.

His name is Mathias malzieu and the book is titled : "La Mécanique du Coeur".

To me, this book resonates as a fairy tale- the main character possesses unreal features- he's got a clock-heart in his chest.

This remind me of the the movie called "Edward Scissors hand" by Tim burton that I find similar in genre (fantasy).

I find this book quite original and amusing.

I haven't finished reading it yet but I would definitely recommend it as through innonce and the emotions of the characters, it  delivers a sincere message about human nature and relationships.

Profile picture for user Herath

Submitted by Herath on Thu, 02/05/2024 - 10:12


I am passionate about reading different verity of books because it creates my mind more knowledge about the world. it also helps  me keep my mind free. 

Profile picture for user maceciliaherrera93

Submitted by maceciliaherrera93 on Wed, 01/05/2024 - 18:15


Today, I finished reading "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. The book aims to help people with artistic creative recovery, teaching techniques and exercises to boost self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills. I have enjoyed it thus far, not only for the subject matter but also because it has greatly helped me gain confidence an courage. Since I started writing three pages everyday, I have felt more connected to my inner artist. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who feels that their work is unfulfilling, doesn't align with their values and dreams, and is beginning to experience physical, mental and spiritual symptoms due to not being encouraged to do what their are really passionate about. Or to anyone who simply wants to change course and dare to pursue a livelihood from their passions and interests and don't know where to start.

Hello maceciliaherrera93,

Thank you for your recomendation. This kind of book is useful to anyone who is looking to better know him or herself and willing to live a more meaningfull life:)

Profile picture for user Diadem

Submitted by Diadem on Mon, 29/04/2024 - 02:36


Hello everyone,

I'm currently reading a book by Onyeka Owenu titled 'My Father's Daughter'. It's a memoir and gives insight into her life struggles as an African woman, Nigerian to be precise. She also educates the reader about the Civil War (Biafran war) that happened in Nigeria years ago.

It is an amazing book that causes the reader to think deeply, especially if you are a Nigerian living in Nigeria and also if you are an African woman.

Hello Diadem,

Thank you for this share. As a African woman myself (West Africa but not from Nigeria), I feel concern about what happens in Africa and your comment echoes:)

Submitted by Julie Bobitko on Sat, 27/04/2024 - 09:17


Hi everyone,

I am reading Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone. But I am just started. And I think,  it is quite good read for me as a beginner.

Thanks a lot

Submitted by bcan on Fri, 26/04/2024 - 18:05


Hey everyone!

Currently, I am reading After Bhopal by Kim Fortun. Kim Fortun is an ethnographer and she wrote about Bhopal Gas Disaster. She is doing ethnography and interviewing with many actors who are involve in some ways to this disaster. It's a really good read. I suggest this book for everyone want to engage in some Science and Technology Studies area. 

Submitted by Joey51 on Fri, 26/04/2024 - 14:04


Hello, actually I am rereading a book from Dostoievky called "the player".

The author explains the story of a Russian family who goes on a trip to play games, it's the casino. To be more precise, the story traces the daily life of the tutor of this Russian family. Almost the entire story is seen from his point of view, we have access to his comments on the people around him. He talks about the girl he loves, people's behavior, people from different nationalities as he describes "French, English, Polish..." I like this book because, first of all, it is easy to read and understand. We can feel what the author transmits to us through this tutor. Addiction, love, greed, pride, dark desires... are part of the basis of this book.

Submitted by maryamKeihani on Fri, 26/04/2024 - 10:33


I am reading the book which name is "live your unlived life" written by Robert Alex Janson and translated to persian by Simin Movahed this book is about when our thirties end little by little we feel that our time is going to finish. we work hard and maybe our responsibilities have covered all our whole life and its boring or maybe our cuurrent job is not satisfying or we are not married and it makes us depressed. or if we are married our partner ignores us in other word our expectations from marriage have not provided. in some cases we are married and we have babies but their limitless expectations are beyond our control. 

In short, we think that its the right time to get ourselves out of the jail that we have built. this book tells us how to do that.

Hello Maryam,

I really hope you will get to see this reply because I joined the party late. I just need to let you know that I appreciate you for discovering, reading, and sharing this great book.

One sentence stood out for me; We think it's the right time to get ourselves out of the jail that we have built. This is a powerful statement.

I can't wait to read your recommended book. Thank you once again.

Profile picture for user laura_vanmart

Submitted by laura_vanmart on Wed, 24/04/2024 - 23:42



Currently, I'm reading "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott. The book is about the life of four sisters, their desires, hopes and day to day; each of them have unique personalities and different adventures to tell. It's the second time I read this extraordinary novel, I'm enjoying reread their stories, feelings, adventures and life prospects. I would recommend it if you like to laugh, think and cry a little, this book is perfect when you want to read something light and fun.

Profile picture for user iEdd

Submitted by iEdd on Fri, 19/04/2024 - 18:41


Thsnka for sharing. I took notes of them. 


I currently am reading "Making news" by G. Tuchman. It's a sociological essay about what is behind the NEWS industry. From the events to the editing processes. It also reffers why they were, are and will be important in our societies.

I reckon despite I just started two days ago, I am enjoying it moslty since this topic amuses me. I recommend it without any doubt if you want to be a more aware person nowadays.

Hello iEdd,

Thank you for sharing a little insight into the book. I will also check it out because I want to be aware of what is going on around me.

Call it being inquisitive.

Submitted by bahoaison on Thu, 18/04/2024 - 16:06

  • What are you reading? (title and author)
    • At the moment, I am reading a book named "Trên đường băng" (On the airport runway).
  • What's it about?
    • The book has a lot of chapters to talk about life skills for young people.
  • Are you enjoying it? 
    • Definitely, yes. I really enjoy reading this book. It's helping me to figure out how to build a quality life. I wished I had known this book earlier.
  • Would you recommend it?
    • I super recommend young people who are students should read this book.

Hi bahoaison,
It sounds like a very helpful book, and I really like the analogy of the airport runway - a place to gather knowledge before you take off and reach your goals :-)

Happy reading!
Jo (LearnEnglish team)

Submitted by Mira-nda on Thu, 18/04/2024 - 07:17


The book I read  last  was  " siddhartha"  by  Hermann Hesse . I think it is  about   a  journey  of  the  main charecter, mostly  spiritual, to find   himself, enlightment, or the  right  way to learn  what  was  important  in his life. I can not say  exactly Iiked it or  not, it was a bit extraordinary  in my  view, though interesting. I read this  book in English and  regarding  to  new  vocabulary  was  quite  rich:-) 

Hi Miranda,

Thank you for sharing this book even though you are not fully sure if you enjoyed it. This is coming at the right time for me, because I am currently in the process of finding myself.

Submitted by MartaJ. on Wed, 17/04/2024 - 12:41


The World Book Day is about to come. I´d better not mention the books I´m reading now, because I´m used to read many at the same time... This message would be then too long, I´m afraid :) But I´d like to share a very kind Spanish habbit regarding this celebration. It consists of giving a red rose and a book as a gift.  Spanish people call it Saint George´s Day and it comes from the city of Barcelona. I wonder if there´s a habbit of giving something that day in England?

Hi MartaJ,
I was once in Barcelona for Saint George's Day and saw this fabulous tradition of giving a rose and a gift. Although Saint George is the patron saint of England, we don't have the same tradition. In fact Saint George's Day isn't actually celebrated in a big way. In the UK, World Book Day is celebrated on a different day - the third Thursday in March. It's a day which aims to get children and young people reading. Each school child receives a free book, and schools celebrate reading in lots of different ways, for example children and teachers dress up as characters from a stories. It's a lot of fun for kids. 
Will you be giving someone a rose or a book next week?
Best wishes,
Jo (LearnEnglish team)

Submitted by Hala abdelnaeem on Thu, 01/06/2023 - 17:46


I'm hala from Egypt and i love reading novels that make me uncomfortable so i reading now "دوائر الانتقام"by Amir Atif it's Based on man looking for find his wife and revenge for his killed children

Submitted by Nusly Martinez on Mon, 08/05/2023 - 22:07


Hi, I´m Nusly from Honduras

I´m really interested to be immerse in English, so I´m reading the book "Look" number 5, it´s focus in grammar and real stories by National Geographic.

In all my lectures I try to understand gramma. I had learned a lot, but I know I have to practice, practice to improve my English skills every day. With this book my grandchild Danna studies every day at school.

I recommend it because it has very good stories.

Hi Nulsy,
I think it's a good approach - to use the books of your grandchild.
I look through the school books of my daughter (she's 13 years). It's a simple and effective way to refresh some common knowledge.
Good luck with your studying!

Submitted by Jane_ on Fri, 28/04/2023 - 15:18


I am currently reading a book based on a girl who achieved her dream of becoming a nurse despite obstacles such as family struggles. The title is Florence Nightingale, also known as The Lady with the Lamp, and was written by Kitson Jazynka. I truly recommend this book since it is about the story of an inspiring woman who is also a part of history. It also has some illustrations in it, so it doesn’t make you feel overwhelmed. The book only contains a few pages, so I am sure you can finish it in a short time.

Hello Jane,

Thanks for recommending this book, I will look it up too.

I mean - we all and still are struggling at some point in our lives.

Hello Jane, thanks for your sharing. I am interested in the book that you read because I am a nursing lecturer, are you a nurse?. Florence Nightingale is a woman that really inspiring in nursing.

Submitted by bushra abdunour on Fri, 28/04/2023 - 15:02


I have read an English stories that might help to improve my English skills especially writing ✍️ 😅

Submitted by Rafaela-lima-melo on Wed, 26/04/2023 - 22:45


Hi everyone!

That's so cool :)

I'm reading The Power of Habit (by Charles Duhigg), I started today.. I want to be more discipline and then to reach my goals!

Submitted by Luneuma on Wed, 26/04/2023 - 15:06


Hi there!
I am reading some books at the moment, trying to finish all of them, but one of them is about hope and it has been really interesting because the language is accessible and anyone can understand it. I recommend it for people who want to know more about hope. The title is Espeança Viva, uma escolha inteligente by Ivan Saraiva.

Profile picture for user Andres Felipe Murillo Ayala

Submitted by Andres Felipe … on Tue, 25/04/2023 - 23:59


I read a lot of books when I was studying English in an institute, but there is one that I loved the most, It was called History about planes. I loved reading that book because it showed how aviation was born. and why planes are important now.

Submitted by Roye on Fri, 21/04/2023 - 06:28


I am reading (born a crime) by Trevor Noah at the moment, it is a very interesting book, well written and I am completely immersed in it.
The book is a biography of the South African stand-up comedian who hosted the daily show for a few years in the USA, at the book Noah tells his story as a colored child who was born during apartheid time in South Africa to a black mother and a Swiss father (which was illegal that time and forbidden by the low) so he chose this title (born a crime)!

Although the book is written with his great sense of humor, reading this book and wearing Noah’s shoes for while made me feel heartbroken many times.

I recommend the book to everyone because it's easy to read and it was my first time reading a big book in English without using a dictionary.
It's a good read for beginners and those who avoid reading because of their limited vocabulary. (:

Thank you for sharing, Roye.
This book is in my wish list for a long time and I'm glad to hear that it is understandable for beginner students.

Thank you so much for your information.
I am also interested about this book.
After finishing to read Atomic Habit I will definitely read that book.

Profile picture for user marcelobj

Submitted by marcelobj on Wed, 19/04/2023 - 19:20


I'm reading two books, Spare by Prince Harry and Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor by Avraham Perlmutter. Excellent books, I love real life books.

Submitted by israel kouassi on Wed, 19/04/2023 - 11:34


thank you for sharing. I admit i'm a bit curious about the one on title "doing nothing "

Submitted by Rudresh Singh on Tue, 18/04/2023 - 17:58


Thanks for uploading the video. It was really helpful. Currently, I am re-reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. It's a philosophical novel based on the philosophy Objectivism given by Ayn Rand. It is a wonderful read and you will get a clear distinction between the words self-less and selfish after reading this book. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in Philosophy. This is a deeply engaging book which grips you and ruthlessly shatters the foundations of some of your beliefs.

Profile picture for user Helen-75

Submitted by Helen-75 on Sat, 15/04/2023 - 18:46


The video is great ! Thank you for sharing. I read 'Oxford Reading Tree' with my daughter every day. It's a good way to learn English for us . The book is about a family's daily life .Their stories are really interesting. I would like to recommend this book / this set of books to parent whose English is as limit as me. Read it with kid together. It would be fun and helpful.

Hello Helen-75,

That's wonderful! Thanks for mentioning these books here. Which of the stories do you children like the most?

If you can, it would be great if you could write a review on our Book recommendations page!

All the best,
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by User_1 on Fri, 14/04/2023 - 16:18


I will come back later for comments, but I would like to let you know the audio of the videos is low.
Except for Jo, in general the audio is low and it is difficult to listen to.
This happens not only on this topic, but also on all subjects of the Learning hub.