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
Price in India (Rs.)
|The Immortals of Meluha||Amish Tripathi||Westland||2011||137|
|The Emperor Of All Maladies||Siddhartha Mukherjee||HarperCollins||2010||788|
|I Have A Dream||Rashmi Bansal||Westland||2011||98|
|Chanakya's Chant||Ashwin Sanghi||Westland||2010||135|
|I Too Had A Love Story||Ravinder Singh||Srishti Publishers & Distributors||2009||100|
|The Secret Of The Nagas||Amish Tripathi||Westland||2011||146|
|Life Is What You Make It||Preeti Shenoy||Srishti Publisher||2011||65|
|Revolution 2020||Chetan Bhagat||Rupa & Co||2011||85|
|The Inheritance of Loss||Kiran Desai||Penguin||2007||299|
|The White Tiger||Aravind Adiga||Free Press||2008||189|
|Sea of Poppies||Amitav Ghosh||Pan Books||2008||247|
|The Oath of the Vayuputras||Amish Tripathi||Westland||2013||217|
|Poor Little Rich Slum||Rashmi Bansal||Westland||2012||145|
|The God Of Small Things||Arundhati Roy||Penguin||2002||243|
|A Little Book of Life||Ruskin Bond||Rainlight Rupa||2012||183|
|The Glass Palace||Amitav Ghosh||HarperCollins||2011||209|
|A History of the Sikhs||Khushwant Singh||Oxford University Press||2004||348|
|Back Seat: A Mumbai Tale||Aditya Kripalani||Neurotic Ink||2009||221|
|The Bankster||Ravi Subramanian||Rupa Publications India||2012||140|
|Can Love Happen Twice||Ravinder Singh||Penguin||2011||88|
|What Young India Wants||Chetan Bhagat||Rupa Publications||2012||85|
|2 States: The Story of My Marriage||Chetan Bhagat||Rupa Publications||2009||85|
|The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari||Robin Sharma||Jaico Publishing House||2003||125|
|Stay Hungry Stay Foolish||Rashmi Bansal||Westland||2012||93|
|Women And The Weight Loss Tamasha||Rujuta Diwekar||Westland||2011||120|
|34 Bubblegums and Candies||Preeti Shenoy||Srishti Publisher||2008||65|
|The Incredible Banker||Ravi Subramanian||Rupa Publications India||2011||155|
|The Freethinker's Prayer Book||Khushwant Singh||Aleph Book Company||2012||282|
|The Krishna Key||Ashwin Sanghi||Westland||2012||135|
|Battle for Bittora||Anuja Chauhan||HarperCollins||2010||200|
|The Zoya Factor||Anuja Chauhan||HarperCollins||2008||218|
|River of Smoke||Amitav Ghosh||Penguin||2012||349|
|The Namesake||Jhumpa Lahiri||HarperCollins||2007||241|
|Five Point Someone||Chetan Bhagat||Rupa Publications||2004||88|
|Prince of Ayodhya||Ashok K Banker||Penguin||2005||279|
|Wings of Fire||APJ Abdul Kalam||Universities Press||2000||160|
|The Sergeant's Son||Ashim Choudhury||Rupa Publications||2013||165|
|The Alchemy of Desire||Tarun J Tejpal||Pan Macmillan||2006||299|
|Johnny Gone Down||Karan Bajaj||HarperCollins||2010||99|
|3 Mistakes of My Life||Chetan Bhagat||Rupa Publications||2006||91|
|One Night at the Call Center||Chetan Bhagat||Rupa Publications||2005||88|
|Horn Ok Please: Hopping to Conclusions||Kartik Iyengar||Rupa Publications||2012||181|
|Corporate Atyaachaar||Abhay Nagarajan||Srishti Publishers||2010||98|
|The Story Of My Assassins||Tarun J Tejpal||HarperCollins||2010||308|
|Simoqin Prophecies||Samit Basu||Penguin||2005||339|
|The Valley of Masks||Tarun J Tejpal||Fourth Estate||2011||499|
|The Taj Conspiracy||Manreet Sodhi Someshwar||Westland||2012||145|
|The Shadow Throne||Aroon Raman||Pan Macmillan||2012||125|
|The Mine||by Arnab Ray||Tranquebar Press||2012||138|
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.