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Top 5 books by Indian writers in English

My bookshelf is filled with several books by Indian authors. Though not everyone will like the kind of books I love to read, here's presenting my list of Top 5 books by Indian authors you must buy and read! (in no particular order).

Note: There are many other books that feature in my "Must Read" list of books which maybe better than the ones that feature on my list right now. They maybe updated in another list soon.




1. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth


Do not judge this book by those 1500 odd pages. A suitable boy is one of the best books that I have read so far. As the title suggests, the central theme of the story is a mother's hunt to find a suitable boy for her daughter. Set in India during the early 1950's, fresh after partition, it provides a window into the culture & history of India during that time. The opening section of the novel itself attracted me towards it. I couldn't stop reading till I finished the last page of the book. As I finished reading the book, I just felt -  "Wish it could just go on forever." Yes, the book is worth Rs 799, but it is worth every penny. The author is a pure genius. His book "An Equal music" is next on my wishlist now!

2. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie


 This one earned Salman Rushdie a Booker prize in 1981 and also the Booker of Bookers prize in 1993. Midnight's Children was the 2nd novel written by Rushdie. It's the story of Saleem Sinai whose life is destined to follow the ebb and flow of India’s own fortunes. He is telepathically linked to the other children born in the first hour of India’s independence, all of whom have their own gifts.
The book is definitely a must read. But it's strictly for those who can accept the writers imagination. A must buy!

3. The Hungry Tide - Amitav Ghosh


One of my favorite authors, my favourite books from the Ibis trilogy & the rave reviews urged me to buy this book. It turned out to be one of the most amazing novels I have read till date. It is a contemporary story. The main characters in this novel are Piyali Roy, a young marine biologist and Kanai Dutt who is a businessman from Delhi. The novel explores humanism & environmentalism in an interesting way, Specially when they come in conflict against each other.The Morichjhanpi  massacre incident of 1978-79, when the government of West Bengal forcibly evicted thousands of Bengali refugees who had settled on the island, forms a background in some parts of the novel.
Amitav Ghosh's style of writing is splendid. His stories always travel throughout time and space. His writing has an asymmetrical flow. I also love the mixture of fact and fiction in his writings. Oh well, I won't give out all the details so soon. So I suggest you go out and buy this book. Amitav Ghosh has touched upon a lot of social issues in this novel.
Other books by Amitav Ghosh that you must read include - The Ibis trilogy (Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke), The Glass Palace.

4. Mahashweta -  Dr. Sumati Kshetramade/Sudha Murthy


I always wanted to explore the world of Sudha Murthy's work. She has written many novels and I have read 3 of them. But personally, I really liked Mahashweta. Fabulous piece of work and it is so emotional. The novel was first written in Marathi by Dr.Sumati Kshetramade, and was also adapted into a TV series.Later,Mrs Murthy wrote the book in Kannada which dealt with the same theme. I was awestruck by the character of the protagonist, who goes through major ups and downs in life due to Leukoderma, which is treated in India as a curse. Although the book looks simple with little pages (when compared to books like A suitable boy or The Hungry tide), the impact of this book is big! It took me just 4 hours to finish this book, but the story has left a long lasting effect on my mind and heart. It is definitely a book lovers delight. Also read Sudha Murthy's "Gently falls the Bakula", which is also very well written!

5. The Great Indian Novel - By Shashi Tharoor


The Great Indian Novel is a Satire. A fictional work that takes the story of the Epic, Mahabharata and recasts as well as resets it in the context of the Indian Independence Movement. The novel has 18 books within the book (very similar to the Mahabharata).The author very cleverly begins the story with Mahabharta as reference and then juxtaposes our prominent freedom fighters and leaders in his story (Characters like Ved vyas, Amba, Pandu in Mahabharata are referred to as C.Rajgopalachari, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Subhash Chandra Bose respectively).The main protagonist of this novel is Bhishma Gangaji, a combination of Mahabharta’s Bhishma Pitamah and the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi.What surprised me the most is Tharoor's narration and the concept of the novel. It is so DIFFERENT! Books like The Great Indian Novel teach us that our Mythological stories are so versatile, that they can be retold in 100 different ways and yet, each story will sound different from the other. These stories themselves can continue to entertain us for centuries to come. A must read for those who love to experiment (Ahem, This one is an award winning book, So read it anyway. You can't afford to miss it).


I could well have written a TOP 10 list. But to help those who still need some recommendations,
here are some more books which you must read:

1. Moving On by Shashi Deshpande
2. Raavan and Eddie by Kiran Nagarkar
3. Rudaali by Mahashweta Devi
4. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
5. Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh

So now that you've got a whole lot of reading to do, go dive into an ocean full of books!
Happy Reading.

71 comments:

  1. I have read The Namesake; it's just wonderful!Planning to read "A suitable Boy" now. :)

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  2. I also love Indian writers some of my FAVORITE INDIAN BOOKS are one night @call center, my three mistakes and some other books. Your blog is nice having some great information

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    1. hey can yu suggest some good novels to read pls. . .think me as yuh new friend. . .my email id. . .sandysandhu.sandeep80@gmail.com

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    2. Depends on the genre that you like reading, Sandeep!

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  3. There goes my salary.... Thanks.. :)

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    Replies
    1. Haha I know right! :)

      You are most welcome.

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  4. I love collection of books in below video
    http://youtu.be/e_5P8rqti08

    best Quote- "Calling an IIT-ain a commerce student was one of the worst insults the profs could accord to us, like a prostitute calling her client a eunuch.”

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    Replies
    1. hey i think this quote is from fps right?

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    2. No its from Five point someone

      Check in video
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_5P8rqti08

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    3. fps means Five Point Someone.... he he he...

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  5. my favorite book is 3 mistakes of my life and all chetan and amish books no book can overcome them.

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  6. How can you forget The God of small things!!!

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    Replies
    1. Personal opinion - Didn't find the book that great.

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    2. Oh come on! It is the best book ever written by an Indian!

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    3. U hav to hav that book in the list at any rate !!!

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. I just read and enjoyed Ravan and Eddie. I strongly endorse A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

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  9. Hi! I am a scholar. I am confused about topic selection. I am interested in Indian Eng Lit. Kindly advise me in choosing topic. My email id is: syedataullahkdp@gmail.com

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  10. as a beginner to read novels,what are the most interesting novels to read at the initial days?colud you pls suggest me some?

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    Replies
    1. if needed my mail id is janettcatherine@gmail.com pls suggest me with interesting and must read novels pls :)

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    2. Hi Janet,
      Can you tell me what genre of books would you be interested in reading?

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    3. The diary of a young girl by ANNE FRANK..... i would strongly recommend this, Will touch your heart.

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    4. Yes it's really heart touching & heart trembling at the same time.

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  12. Yes, and "A Fine Balance" should also be on the list.

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  13. Shiva triology must be in the list ...

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    Replies
    1. The Shiva Trilogy is interesting. Maybe, it can be a part of another post, considering this was written way before I read the series.

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  14. Hello..
    Revolution 2020 of Chethan Bhagat Book is Superb. Everyone should read that Book.
    I am one of the fan of Chethan Bhagat..

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  15. Wings of fire is also a must read book

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  16. I saw you blog and read Top 5 books by Indian writers in English you must read , really amazing information you are provide here. you want any traveling info please open this link..taxi delhi airport to chandigarh

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  17. You people forgot about White Tiger by Avind Adinga.It s super book.

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    Replies
    1. Got the book last month! Will read it soon.

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  18. GUYS Read "the Alchemist" its awesome....though it's not Indian writer but i suggest to read that book...

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  19. Enter another list Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance. Its fabulous

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  20. dont u think u are biased?cant u find anything fascinating in hindi language.i wud be happy if u give equal importance to hindi literature too........

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    Replies
    1. Hi Vaibhav,
      I think it's pretty clear from the title itself that this list is only for books in English.
      I am avid reader of Marathi and Hindi literature too. So, the word biased doesn't really apply.

      Thank you

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  21. three mistake of my life....best one

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  22. immortal's of maluha and i too had a love story is also listed,

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  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  24. Hey Guys why everyone asking for suggestions?.........I think every written peace gives some thing remarkable and one can discover best from that words. Just go to your nearest book stall and choose one whichever you like and start enjoying.........and off course time to recover from Chetan Bhagat's Blind Worshiping. Tc

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  25. All the 5 books are really good; the best being "The Great Indian Novel" by Shashi Tharoor. I will like to suggest to read "We the people" & "We the nation" both by Nani Palkhivala. :)

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  26. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  27. Are you not a Chetan's fan! You didn't mention anyone who wrote about Bhagat. In fact I'm not a big fan too... But I'm curious about your opinion since you are vivid...

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    Replies
    1. Your first statement said it all! :)

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  28. after reading all three books of amish tripathi i am kinda addicted towards the adventure novels , can someone plz suggest any novel (fiction and to be more precise adventure)

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. To all Chetan Bhagat's fans: I think Chetan Bhagat's novels are more of a movie screenplay than a novel.

    BTW, Liked the list. I think it is awsome. Planning to read 3 out of it.

    --RV

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    Replies
    1. I second that. His stories and writing lacks depth.

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  31. Hi to all who wants to read motivational Books ,One book for life success is the best.Its the Modern Bhagwat Gita.

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  32. Hi Priya,

    Thank you for mention such great books.

    Regards
    Jithin George

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  33. hi guys..read the novel 'Soulmate by chance' awesome novel by
    heenashree.. thn send me ur feedback..hemsingh517@gmail.com

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  34. really want to read novels and not the screenplays try khuswant singh, vikram seth, arundhati roy, amrita pritam and likes, come above chetan and amish. try reading authors not just writers.

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  35. Hello Admin,
    I love to read novels based on love stories. I started to read since last 2-3 months , and now i have gone mad for it. The books which i have read are the super chosen books from the authors like Chetan Bhagat, Nikita Singh, Ravinder Singh, few of Sachin Garg. But Now i want u to suggest me some awesome novels that is based on modern love. Please suggest the best as i dont want to waste my salary on lengthy n boring novels.
    My email address is pawan0097@gmail.com

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  36. Couldn't agree more.

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  37. Hi,
    I have just started reading books from this year. Now i am reading "The 3 mistakes of my life" by Chetan Bhagat. Please suggest me some books by different authors and different genre to read. This is my mail id anandaraman2910@gmail.com.
    Thank U.

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      you must read novel "The Krishna Key" by Ashwin Sanghi its really awesome book.

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  38. Thank you Priya for posting, I am working in South Korea and and was thinking of what to read next, your suggested authors is just will help.
    Thanks again.,
    Kiran

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    Replies
    1. Most welcome! Although another list is coming up soon and will be include books that I recently finished reading and loved.

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  39. Recently concluded reading "a truth, love and little malice" an autobiography by Khushwant singh and looking forward to read more of his work

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  40. I think Siva Trilogy can also be listed among the best. http://www.flipkart.com/oath-vayuputras-shiva-trilogy-3/p/itmdgggg9gmuqrmy?affid=sandeepsem

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  41. Go for durjoy datta & preeti shenoy's books.

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  42. Nothing is bad,it's depend on you that how far you can think about the Novel ,you read.

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  43. Thanks for putting list together. My fav in English by Indian author Shiva trilogy and wings of fire. In marathi , nothing beats Pu La Deshpande !! ( just can't right P L Deshpande)

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    Replies
    1. Same here. Big time fan of PL Deshpande.

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  44. What about late khuswant singh, there was a little bit of eroticisim in his books but the main story and humurous style of story telling was awesome...

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  45. Great list. Also, I really like your approach to Chetan Bhagat fans. Will try to teach myself to behave this way in the future.

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  46. Quite fruitful information. I must say your blog is too informative. I will recommend it to my friends. Also visit best online magazine INDIAFORBES.COM

    ReplyDelete

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