It’s very possible to learn French without taking classes and you can make just as much progress on your own as you would in a class. You can learn a lot of French with French literature. Though, this requires a lot of discipline and the ability to learn on your own. It also requires identifying which learning methods best suit you so you can apply them to when you start to learn French.
One book that can be useful for beginners who want to learn French is “Short Stories in French.” This is a parallel text, meaning one page is in French and right across this page is the translation in English. This can save time from having to look up words in a dictionary.
Another useful book is “Easy French Reader,” a book that progressively introduces French students to new vocabulary and that offers plenty of repetition. Read a chapter two or three times and you will have memorized most of the words. While this book does have a glossary in the back, it’s more recommended for those who already speak another romance language, such as Spanish, Portuguese or Italian, for example, or for those who have already studied French somewhat.
For French grammar, there are two really good books. One, which is really great for practice, is Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French Grammar. The French practice workbook not only offers up plenty in terms of French grammar, but it also gives you tons of writing practice. Not just fill in the blanks, but single sentence translations and full paragraph translations.
Finally, if you really want to develop superior French grammar skills, give the Ultimate French Review and Practice book a chance! You won’t regret it. Detailed French grammar explanations and plenty of exercises!