The 13 Best Books to Learn German in 2024

There are many ways to learn German, from online courses and immersion programs to audiobookspodcasts, TV series and more.

But among all the modern-day learning tools, a solid language learning book never fails to offer invaluable knowledge and practice. 

In this post, you’ll get 13 fantastic options for your next trusted German language book, all written by expert authors.

Many provide useful learning tools like exercises and quizzes to test your knowledge, and some even come in e-book format!


All-Around German Course Books

1. “The Everything Learning German Book” by Edward Swick

The Everything Learning German Book: Speak, write, and understand basic German in no time (Everything® Series)

This book is for the basic German learner who needs simple phrases for things like ordering food and drinks.

You’ll learn phrases like Wie viel kostet der Käse? (How much does the cheese cost?) or Ich möchte ein Berliner, bitte (I want a Berliner, please).

With the included CD, you can improve your pronunciation and hear native speakers using the German language naturally. It comes with easy-to-understand exercises and everything from basic introductions to interesting cultural insights.

This guide is not for the more advanced users, but if you just started in your quest for German fluency, it can add some ease to your learning.

2. “Living German” by RW Buckley and Paul Coggle

Living German: A Grammar-Based Course

This is a good option if you want to immerse yourself in German culture, people and events. Whether you’re a beginner or have some prior knowledge, it offers a comprehensive guide to mastering German.

The book uses a traditional approach with grammatical foundations, practical vocabulary and conversational phrases. Its exercise key lets you check your answers, and the CD helps with alternating between talking and listening.

The key advantage of this book is that it offers real-world examples and dialogues that drop you into authentic German situations. By leveraging and expanding on your current German knowledge, it can help you start communicating with people instead of just struggling through conversations.

3. “German Made Simple” by Eugene Jackson and Adolph Geiger

German Made Simple: Learn to Speak and Understand German Quickly and Easily

This popular book is the ideal option if you consider yourself a self-learner. It’s designed to help beginner and intermediate German learners develop their language skills in a simple and effective manner.

With its straightforward approach, this book covers essential grammar concepts, vocabulary and conversational phrases, enabling readers to build a strong foundation in German. It caters to learning the basics with the goal of picking up common phrases fast.

It also includes various reading exercises and a pronunciation guide so you can improve multiple language skills. Its common expressions are useful for travelers, and the review exercises test your knowledge. Don’t forget to check the answers in the back when you’re done!

4. “Living Language German” by Living Language

Living Language German, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning

This is a comprehensive all-in-one language learning book suitable for beginners to advanced learners. It offers a digestible, well-structured guide that can take you from little or no knowledge to fluency.

The package includes three books, nine audio CDs and an online training course, allowing you to learn through various mediums. Backed by linguistic science and over 65 years of experience, the materials are designed based on proven techniques.

The trademarked Living Language Method consists of four steps: Building a Foundation, Progress with Confidence, Retaining What You’ve Learned and Achieving Your Goals. With its extensive resources and systematic approach, “Living Language German” offers a complete language learning experience.

5. “German: How to Speak and Write It” by Joseph Rosenberg

German: How to Speak and Write It (Beginners' Guides)

Illustrated with 1950s drawings, this book combines engaging stories, interesting facts about Germany and numerous exercises. It provides entertaining reading and a nice, gradual language buildup. Meanwhile, a simple phonetic code helps with pronunciation.

The main focus of the book is on developing fluency. It’s a good idea to accompany it with a good pocket grammar, like the “Oxford German Grammar” (more on this later on).

6. “German Demystified” by Edward Swick

German DeMYSTiFieD, Second Edition

“German Demystified” will work equally well for beginners and intermediate learners who want to review beginner language. Thanks to an efficient step-by-step structure, this book manages to debunk the myth that German is a difficult language to learn.

Rich in colorful examples and to-the-point in its grammar explanations, it features quizzes at the end of each chapter to help progress tracking.

Sections are organized by skills and language learning goals. These range from asking questions to comparing things, expressing wishes, linking ideas together and much more. If you’re feeling a bit apprehensive about getting started with German, this book is for you!

Books for Building German Vocabulary

7. “Berlitz German Phrase Book and CD” by Berlitz

Berlitz German Phrase Book & CD

This is one of Berlitz’s all-time bestsellers, revamped for the current times. It features hundreds of common German phrases, color-coded and organized in helpful categories. The color coding system and the book’s accompanying audio CD dramatically improve readability, pronunciation and language retention.

Approachable, simple and easy to use, this book provides all of the quality people have come to expect from Berlitz materials.

8. “Mastering German Vocabulary: A Thematic Approach” by Veronika Schnorr

When learning a foreign language, vocabulary is half the battle. This comprehensive vocabulary book puts words in context, using a thematic approach.

It consists of 40 chapters, each dedicated to a different topic. There are chapters on eating, behaviors, clothing, feelings and much more. For each listed word, the authors make sure readers will understand its meaning in different contexts and are ready to use it in conversation.

“Mastering German Vocabulary” is a small book that’s easy to carry around. It’s concise and simple. Supplement this with a good grammar book, and you’ll be ready to face any challenge. Ideal for trips!

9. “2,001 Most Useful German Words” by Joseph Moser

2001 most useful german words - book

Both as a travel companion and as reference material, this book is faithful to its title.  Each of the common words listed is presented with a definition, in-context examples and an English translation.

Travelers will surely appreciate the sections on restaurant orders, directions and the like. It also includes vocabulary on digital technology and consumer electronics.

10. “Learn German with Stories: Café in Berlin” by André Klein

cafe in berlin book

This captivating book is designed for beginners seeking an engaging way to learn German. The compilation of 10 short stories offers an alternative to repetitive language guides.

The book provides insights into German culture and its people by introducing intriguing characters, such as a young man who moves from Sicily to Berlin. From romances to peculiar living situations, the story evokes curiosity about his language journey and adaptation to a new country.

The book’s well-structured table of contents allows you to flip through the stories, and its in-book dictionary helps you build your vocabulary and better understand the text. In addition, the introduction provides a helpful guide on how to utilize the stories for effective learning.

German Grammar Books

11. “Hammer’s German Grammar and Usage” by Martin Durrell

Hammer's German Grammar and Usage (Routledge Reference Grammars) (German Edition)

This is a comprehensive guide that delves deep into German grammar, challenging intermediate and advanced students

A notable feature is the grammar reference section which allows you to check back in to see if you’re using words properly. The grammar examples are taken from contemporary German, ensuring relevance to today’s world.

With a clear format and vivid descriptions, the book helps readers visualize situations and objects. It also breaks down common usage forms, clarifying the appropriate usage of words in formal and informal contexts.

And if you plan on writing in German, this guide is ready to assist. It covers important topics such as spelling reform and evolving word meanings.

12. “German Quickly: A Grammar for Reading German” by April Wilson

German Quickly: A Grammar for Reading German (American University Studies)

Combining brainy German grammar with light entertainment and fun, this book provides the keys to unlocking the meaning of German texts at any difficulty level. With clear grammar explanations, a 3,800-word vocabulary and a selection of interesting German proverbs, it succeeds in making German grammar approachable.

The exercises included after each chapter can enhance the learning experience, while the book’s overall humorous tone can make an otherwise bleak topic lively and fun.

13. “Oxford Easy German Grammar” by William Rowlinson

Oxford Easy German Grammar

This pocket-sized book is a comprehensive guide to German grammar. In 250 pages, it offers a useful glossary of grammatical terms, clarifications about spoken language, irregular verb lists and explanations of most common grammar structures. Because it includes no exercises, it’s best used as reference material and as a supplement to any German learning book.

“Oxford Easy German Grammar” can be helpful for learners of any level. If you need a portable grammar to come to your aid in times of trouble, this is it!

How to Choose the Right German Book for You

How do you choose from the vast selection of German books available? Follow this three-step approach to narrow down your options:

  • Level: Start with an inner evaluation of your German language knowledge. Are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner? Some German books cater to all of these groups, but you can cut down the selection for many.
  • Age: Next, think about your age. Some German books are only designed for children, with cartoon images and simpler learning procedures. Some might be more aimed toward teens and young adults, with slang and informal language, while others are for adults in general. 
  • Goals: You should compile a list of goals you want to achieve by learning German with a book. Are you looking for fluency? Do you just need to get by for your two-week trip to Berlin? Write down these goals to connect them with the proper books.

The Benefits of Learning German with Books

Books that combine engaging content with efficient grammar are one of the best kinds of material for studying German as a foreign language. Here are some reasons why:

  • Books can offer comprehensive grammar and organized vocabulary. When learning with a mix of offline and online resources, you can sometimes get lost in the chaos of it all. A book offers clear goals and provides the materials to achieve them.
  • Books have a wider scope than a lot of other resources. Books can devote a lot of space to offering examples, testing newly acquired skills and providing tools for better retention of new structures and vocabulary.
  • Books can offer complexity and a carefully selected variety of reading material. Great language books present carefully curated content that can really engage learners.
  • Many books offer texts and exercises designed for every stage of learning up to the most advanced levels. Many other learning options are intended primarily for beginners, while books often provide material for a wide range of levels.


With a trusted book as your study buddy, you’ll advance your understanding of the German culture and language.

So choose one or two of these books and integrate it into your current study regime. Just don’t forget to reinforce your book learning with authentic German content, like the kind on the language learning program FluentU.

FluentU is one of the best websites and apps for learning German the way native speakers really use it. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

Watch authentic media to simultaneously immerse yourself in the German language and build an understanding of the German culture.

By using real-life videos, the content is kept fresh and current. Topics cover a lot of ground as you can see here:


Vocabulary and phrases are learned with the help of interactive subtitles and full transcripts.


Hovering over or tapping on any word in the subtitles will automatically pause the video and instantly display its meaning. Interesting words you don’t know yet can be added to a to-learn list for later.


For every lesson, a list of vocabulary is provided for easy reference and bolstered with plenty of examples of how each word is used in a sentence.

Your existing knowledge is tested with the help of adaptive quizzes in which words are learned in context.


To keep things fresh, FluentU keeps track of the words you’re learning and recommends further lessons and videos based on what you've already studied.

This way, you have a truly personalized learning experience.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

Soon enough, you’ll be navigating the language with confidence and ease! 

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