The Ultimate List of Top Indian Books and Authors

I’m a die-hard bookworm and you’ll often find me curled up in bed with a book rather than watching TV or hanging out with friends. To me, reading a book, allows you to experience a joy like no other and is education at its finest. I began reading books when I was about 8 years old and since then, I’ve not looked back and devoured book after book, independent of genre or author.

In recent times, Indian books and authors have really come to the fore and we’re seeing some really great books and stories being penned by Indian writers. The rise of this phenomenon started with Chetan Bhagat who brought about the idea of campus stories to India and has recently reached a peak with Amish Tripathi and his intermingling of fantasy, reality and mythology!

All in all, this is a great time for the Indian publishing industry and an even better time for the average Indian reader like me who’s being literally spoilt for choice with some amazing books out there in the market.

Top 50 Famous Books and Authors – Detailed Guide & Chart

Before I move onto my review of the top 5 best Indian books, I think you should check out this detailed chart below because there are some real gems out there. What I’ve done is that I’ve compiled a huge tabular guide that lists out all the top Indian books in the market along with their key metrics such as date of release, publisher, author and price (current price on Flipkart as of May 2013)

Note – You can click on any of the columns to sort the data. Also click on individual links for detailed book reviews

Book
Author
Publisher
First Published
Price in India (Rs.)
The Immortals of MeluhaAmish TripathiWestland2011137
The Emperor Of All MaladiesSiddhartha MukherjeeHarperCollins2010788
I Have A DreamRashmi BansalWestland201198
Chanakya's ChantAshwin SanghiWestland2010135
I Too Had A Love StoryRavinder SinghSrishti Publishers & Distributors2009100
The Secret Of The NagasAmish TripathiWestland2011146
Life Is What You Make ItPreeti ShenoySrishti Publisher201165
Revolution 2020Chetan BhagatRupa & Co201185
The Inheritance of LossKiran DesaiPenguin2007299
The White TigerAravind AdigaFree Press2008189
Sea of PoppiesAmitav GhoshPan Books2008247
The Oath of the VayuputrasAmish TripathiWestland2013217
Poor Little Rich SlumRashmi BansalWestland2012145
The God Of Small ThingsArundhati RoyPenguin2002243
A Little Book of LifeRuskin BondRainlight Rupa2012183
The Glass PalaceAmitav GhoshHarperCollins2011209
A History of the SikhsKhushwant SinghOxford University Press2004348
Back Seat: A Mumbai TaleAditya KripalaniNeurotic Ink2009221
The BanksterRavi SubramanianRupa Publications India2012140
Can Love Happen TwiceRavinder SinghPenguin201188
What Young India WantsChetan BhagatRupa Publications201285
2 States: The Story of My MarriageChetan BhagatRupa Publications200985
The Monk Who Sold His FerrariRobin SharmaJaico Publishing House2003125
Stay Hungry Stay FoolishRashmi BansalWestland201293
Women And The Weight Loss TamashaRujuta DiwekarWestland2011120
34 Bubblegums and CandiesPreeti ShenoySrishti Publisher200865
The Incredible BankerRavi SubramanianRupa Publications India2011155
The Freethinker's Prayer BookKhushwant SinghAleph Book Company2012282
The Krishna KeyAshwin SanghiWestland2012135
Battle for BittoraAnuja ChauhanHarperCollins2010200
The Zoya FactorAnuja ChauhanHarperCollins2008218
River of SmokeAmitav GhoshPenguin2012349
The NamesakeJhumpa LahiriHarperCollins2007241
Five Point SomeoneChetan BhagatRupa Publications200488
Prince of AyodhyaAshok K BankerPenguin2005279
Wings of FireAPJ Abdul KalamUniversities Press2000160
The Sergeant's SonAshim ChoudhuryRupa Publications2013165
The Alchemy of DesireTarun J TejpalPan Macmillan2006299
Johnny Gone DownKaran BajajHarperCollins201099
3 Mistakes of My LifeChetan BhagatRupa Publications200691
One Night at the Call CenterChetan BhagatRupa Publications200588
Horn Ok Please: Hopping to ConclusionsKartik IyengarRupa Publications2012181
Corporate AtyaachaarAbhay NagarajanSrishti Publishers201098
The Story Of My AssassinsTarun J TejpalHarperCollins2010308
Simoqin PropheciesSamit BasuPenguin2005339
The Valley of MasksTarun J TejpalFourth Estate2011499
The Taj ConspiracyManreet Sodhi SomeshwarWestland2012145
The Shadow ThroneAroon RamanPan Macmillan2012125
SethjiShobhaa DePenguin2012150
The Mineby Arnab RayTranquebar Press2012138

My Review of the Best Indian Books

There are a lot of Indian books out there that are a real treat to read and often, I get a lot of mails from people asking me for some good recommendations. That’s why I’ve decided to write a brief review on the Top 5 Indian books that I’ve read till now so that others may too experience the same joy that I felt while reading them.

Please note that this is a personal choice so I’m sure some of you will not agree with me. Also, these 5 books are chosen independent of genre and are simply a personal opinion based on my reading habits and taste. So without further ado, let’s move onto these amazing Indian books and their authors.

1. The Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi

Yes, I know this actually is a trilogy but the series in itself is such a good read that I had to include it at the #1 position of the top Indian books.

shivatrilogy

The first book in the Shiva Trilogy series was titled The Immortals of Meluha and was released in 2010 and immediately went on to become a national sensation. With its unique inter-blending of history and mythology, Amish carved his own niche among the readers and enthralled people with the mystical plot.

Then came the second book in the series, The Secret of the Nagas”, which was released in August of 2011 and followed its predecessor on the bestseller charts and soon the series had sold over a million copies and had been translated into regional languages as well, winning numerous awards along the way.

And just a while ago, Amish released the third and final part of the Shiva Trilogy titled The Oath of the Vayuputras. Although this book received mixed reviews from the readers, by then Amish had already created a loyal fan following thanks to the earlier books and thus, this too, was a national bestseller.

Personally, I loved the plot of this trilogy although the language was not up to the mark as per my standards and left a lot to be desired. All in all, though, Amish and his Shiva Trilogy are a must read for all Indian book lovers.

2. The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi 

Yes, it’s another mythological themed book that makes it in at #2 on this list of the best Indian books and authors. Honestly, when Ashwin Sanghi first burst onto the literary scene a few years ago, I was not very impressed his first book,” The Rozabal Line”. However, his second book titled “Chanakya’s Chant” was a really enjoyable read and I was pretty impressed by his writing skills.

The Krishna Key

Then last year, he came out with another great book called “The Krishna Key” that was inspired by the Mahabharata and provided a historical context to the mythological figure of Krishna by re-inventing him in a modern avatar.

An explosive and fast-paced novel, Ashwin hit all the right notes in this book and left the readers wanting for more. From the ruins of Dwarka, to the heights of Mount Kailash; from Vrindavan temple to the mystic Somnath lingam, this book had all the elements to make it a national bestseller!

Read the full book review here.

3. River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh

One of the most under-rated yet supremely talented Indian writers in recent times is Amitav Ghosh and no wonder then that his last book, “River of Smoke”, was long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2011 for Fiction.

A delightful book from start to end, Amitav’s style in River of Smoke is more like a travel writer than a fiction author. The plot builds up slowly and steadily and the author ensures that full justice is done in developing each character and contributing to the plot while bringing about such a depth to the book which is rarely seen in today’s authors especially the “rom-com junta”.

Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke

As one fellow reviewer rightly pointed out “Amitav Ghosh paints rich history-woven tapestries, yet also shows the minutest of character developments… he has an uncanny knack of starting from threads and ending up making a whole gamut knitting together Nation Culture History Language”.

Click here to read a detailed review of Amitav Ghosh’s River of Smoke.

4. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish by Rashmi Bansal

If you’ve not heard of this book by Rashmi Bansal, then surely you would have heard of the same quote by the late and legendary Steve Jobs! I’m a huge Steve Jobs fan and that’s one of the biggest reasons why I picked up this book in the first place thanks to its catchy title but kept reading thanks to Rashmi Bansal’s unique storytelling prowess.

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish is one of those rare books that will leave an everlasting impact on you in more ways than one and features the success stories of 25 IIM Ahmadabad graduates who dared to step away from the corporate rat-race and made it big as entrepreneurs.

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish

Each chapter tells a new story and it’s obvious that a lot of research and time went into choosing the right people to feature because every story is different yet has a common thread binding it – the ability to challenge the status quo!

The title gives us a message right at the beginning that we need to be hungry at every stage in life to be successful and there come moments in our lives where we need to do something foolish, something unexpected in order to realize our dreams.

For a complete detailed review of this book, you can check out my post here.

5. Wings of Fire by A.P.J Abdul Kalam

And finally, completing this list of the best Indian books and authors is one of the most inspirational books written by one of the most inspirational man in the world, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam! I remember reading this book for the first time during my engineering days and the impact it had on me was simply unbelievable and changed my thinking forever.

Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam or “The Missile Man of India” as he’s fondly known, is one of the key architects in making India a superpower in the area of missile technology and space programs. Not only will this book teach you about professionalism, humility and simplicity, it will also give you a glimpse into how India developed their space program and defense capabilities.

wings

Spread over 4 main sections namely Orientation, Creation, Propitiation and Contemplation, Wings of Fire is a must read for every Indian out there!

You can read a detailed review of this book by Clicking Here

Want to see some more Books and Authors on this List?

Even though I’ve tried my best to list down some of the most famous books and their writers, I’m pretty sure this list is incomplete and inadvertently, I’ve missed out on quite a few gems out there. If you’re of the same opinion, then why not drop in a comment below and tell me about such books.

Not only will this help me in continuously updating this list, it’ll help other genuine book lovers as well. So go ahead, don’t be shy and tell us what other books and authors you would like to see in this list.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

k r indira July 15, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I have read a few books among these and found some of them are mere trash

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