Are you confused about which book to read next? Are you searching for the best Indian books and novels by Indian authors to read? Do you have a particular genre in mind?
Indian English Literature has come a long way – from just a few English books releasing a year previously to thousands of new titles launching every year now.
In 2020, India’s book market is valued at an with an estimated Rs 739 billion. India ranks second, after the US, in English language publishing with over 9000 publishers.
From a humble start in the 20th century, after Independence, India published 21,600 new English titles in 2010.
With so many books releasing and Indian literature developing by leaps and bounds, it can be a daunting task to find the best Indian novels amongst the lot.
To make this easier, we have compiled this list of “Best Indian Books” of all the different categories and genres.
NOTE: We have not included books by many award-winning authors of Indian-origin like Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses, Midnight’s Children), Jhumpa Lahiri (The Namesake), V.S. Naipaul (A Bend in the River), Rohinton Mistry (A Fine Balance) etc.
Table of Contents
(Click on an genre to navigate to the particular section)
- Literary Fiction
- Religion and Mythology
- Historical Fiction
- Mythological Fiction
- Thriller and Mystery
- Sci-Fi and Fantasy
- Biography and Memoir
- Travel and Places
Best Indian Classics
THE GUIDE BY R.K. NARAYAN
The Guide is a 1958 novel written in English by the Indian author R. K. Narayan. Like most of his works, the novel is based on Malgudi, the fictional town in South India.
The novel describes the transformation of the protagonist, Raju, from a tour guide to a spiritual guide and then one of the greatest holy men of India.
The novel brought its author the 1960 Sahitya Akademi Award for English.
MALGUDI DAYS BY R.K. NARAYAN
Malgudi Days is a collection of short stories by R.K. Narayan published in 1943.
The book includes 32 stories, all set in the fictional town of Malgudi, located in South India. Each of the stories portrays a facet of life in Malgudi.
THE PRIVATE LIFE OF AN INDIAN PRINCE BY MULK RAJ ANAND
The Private Life of an Indian Prince is a novel by Mulk Raj Anand first published in 1953. This book deals with the abolition of the princely states system in India.
UNTOUCHABLE BY MULK RAJ ANAND
Untouchable was inspired by Anand’s aunt’s experience when she had a meal with a Muslim woman and was treated as an outcast by his family.
The plot of this book revolves around the argument for eradicating the caste system.
TRAIN TO PAKISTAN BY KHUSHWANT SINGH
Instead of depicting the Partition in terms of only the political events surrounding it, Singh digs into a deep local focus, providing a human dimension which brings to the event a sense of reality, horror, and believability.
GODAN BY MUNSHI PREMCHAND, TRANSLATED BY JAI RATAN
Godan is a Hindi novel by Munshi Premchand, translated into English as The Gift of a Cow.
It is themed around the socio-economic deprivation as well as the exploitation of the village poor. It was translated into English in 1957 by Jai Ratan.
THE ROOM ON THE ROOF BY RUSKIN BOND
The Room on the Roof is the story of an orphaned Anglo-Indian boy, Rusty, living in a European colony in Dehradun with his guardian Mr. Harrison, who wants him to stay away from Indians and groom him as a pure Englishman.
Related: A list of Ruskin Bond’s Best Books
THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF FELUDA BY SATYAJIT RAY
Between 1965 and 1992, Satyajit Ray wrote a total of 35 Feluda stories, featuring the master sleuth Pradosh C. Mitter, AKA Feluda.
These stories are now available in 2 volumes of The Complete Adventures of Feluda. They were translated into English by Gopa Majumdar.
COMBAT OF SHADOWS BY MANOHAR MALGONKAR
Manohar Malgonkar’s Combat of Shadows is the tale of an Anglo-Indian woman, Ruby Miranda, who dreams of becoming a pucca memsahib to an Englishman but has to face the reality of racial discrimination prevalent in pre-independence India.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN UNKNOWN INDIAN BY NIRAD C. CHAUDHURI
The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian is an astonishing work of self-discovery. In this book, he mingles the growth and changes of India’s politics, societies, and national feelings with those of his own personality. It is a serious and introspective narrative and historical testimony.
Best Indian Literary Fiction Novels
THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS BY ARUNDHATI ROY
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is a story about the childhood experiences of fraternal twins Esthappen and Rahel, whose lives are destroyed by the “Love Laws” that are laid down by society.
The book explores how small things affect people’s behaviour and their lives. It won the Booker Prize in 1997.
THE WHITE TIGER BY ARAVIND ADIGA
The White Tiger provides a darkly humorous perspective of India’s class struggle in a globalized world. The novel has been well-received, making the New York Times bestseller list in addition to winning the Man Booker Prize.
It is a first-person narrative of Balram Halwai, an impoverished young man from a small village who moves to Delhi to work as a chauffeur for the rich.
THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS BY KIRAN DESAI
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai follows the journey of Biju, an illegal immigrant in the US who is trying to make a new life; and Sai, an Anglicised Indian girl living with her grandfather in India.
The major theme is colonialism and the effects of post-colonialism.
A SUITABLE BOY BY VIKRAM SETH
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth is set in a newly post-independence, post-partition India.
The novel follows the story of four families over a period of 18 months, and centres on Mrs Rupa Mehra’s efforts to arrange the marriage of her younger daughter, Lata, to a “suitable boy”.
It is one of the longest novels published in a single volume in the English language.
SEA OF POPPIES BY AMITAV GHOSH
At the heart of the story of Sea of Poppies is a vast ship, the Ibis.
Her destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean shortly before the outbreak of the Opium Wars in China and onboard are a diverse cast of characters.
Another famous novel by Amitav Ghosh is “The Hungry Tide”.
NARCOPOLIS BY JEET THAYIL
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil is about the lives of a few people, bound together by a common passion – Opium, and about Bombay, in a way we have never heard of before.
Bombay is stripped of its glamour, riches, beaches, and skylines and we are taken to Shuklaji Street, to Rashid’s opium den, and are impelled to see the other side of Bombay.
THE GREAT INDIAN NOVEL BY SHASHI THAROOR
The Great Indian Novel is a satirical novel by Shashi Tharoor which takes the story of the Mahabharata and recasts and resets it in the context of the Indian Independence Movement and the first three decades post-independence.
FASTING, FEASTING BY ANITA DESAI
Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai is the story of a family living in a small town in India, where provincial customs and attitudes dictate the future of all children: girls are to be married off and boys are to become as educated as possible.
THE HOUSE OF BLUE MANGOES BY DAVID DAVIDAR
A gripping family chronicle, David Davidar’s The House of Blue Mangoes spans nearly half a century and three generations of the Dorai family as they search for their place in a rapidly changing society.
The novel brings vividly to life a small corner of India while offering a stark indictment of colonialism.
VANITY BAGH BY ANEES SALIM
Vanity Bagh is about the life of a boy from the minority community. The book is not about hope. It is about hopelessness.
More than anything else, it is about distress and religious intolerance that can divide humanity and win elections.
Best Books on Indian History
EARLY INDIA FROM THE ORIGINS TO AD 1300 BY ROMILA THAPAR
Romila Thapar’s Early India explores India’s past quite vividly, helping readers to visualize the formation of a nation and how it grew and flourished over generations.
It explores all varieties of hue that India represented from then to now and documents India like it has never been documented before.
HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL INDIA BY SATISH CHANDRA
History of Medieval India provides a comprehensive overview of the history of medieval India.
It covers the thousand-year period between the eighth and the eighteenth century.
It deals with the histories of many known and lesser-known kingdoms. Kingdoms included are the Cholas, Rajputs, Turks, Vijayanagara, Bahmanis, Mughals, Marathas etc.
FROM PLASSEY TO PARTITION: A HISTORY OF MODERN INDIA BY SEKHAR BANDYOPADHYAY
From Plassey to Partition is an eminently readable account of the emergence of India as a nation.
It covers about two hundred years of political and socio-economic turbulence – 1757 to 1947 – and maps a wide and often complicated terrain of historical happenings.
It presents the entire history of the rise of various Indian freedom fighters. It also talks of the Partition that led to the creation of India and Pakistan.
INDIA’S STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE BY BIPAN CHANDRA
Bipin Chandra’s book, India’s Struggle for Independence, is a well-documented history of India’s freedom struggle against the British rule.
It is one of the most accurate books which has been painstakingly written after thorough research based on legal and valid verbal and written sources.
The book also explains in detail Mahatma Gandhi’s non-cooperation and the civil disobedience movements.
INDIA’S WAR: WORLD WAR II AND THE MAKING OF MODERN SOUTH ASIA BY SRINATH RAGHAVAN
In India’s War, historian Srinath Raghavan paints a compelling picture of battles abroad and of life on the home front, arguing that the war is crucial to explaining how and why colonial rule ended in South Asia.
LAND OF THE SEVEN RIVERS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF INDIA’S GEOGRAPHY BY SANJEEV SANYAL
In Land of the Seven Rivers, Sanjeev Sanyal sets off to explore India and look at how the country’s history was shaped by, among other things, its rivers, mountains and cities.
HIMALAYAN BLUNDER: THE ANGRY TRUTH ABOUT INDIA’S MOST CRUSHING MILITARY DISASTER BY BRIGADIER JOHN DALVI
Himalayan Blunder dealt with the causes, consequences and aftermath of the Sino-Indian War of 1962, which ended in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army inflicting a defeat on India.
Brigadier Dalvi served in the Indian Army and gives a first-person account of the war.
The book was banned by the Indian Government after its publication.
WHAT HAPPENED TO NETAJI? BY ANUJ DHAR
What Happened to Netaji talks about the controversy surrounding the death of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and lights the factual position with regard to the air crash theory.
It provides three prominent theories of Bose’s death zeroing in on what has come to be known as the Faizabad angle of the Bose mystery.
AN ERA OF DARKNESS: THE BRITISH EMPIRE IN INDIA BY SHASHI THAROOR
In this explosive book, An Era of Darkness, bestselling author Shashi Tharoor reveals with acuity, impeccable research, and trademark wit, just how disastrous British rule was for India.
Besides examining the many ways in which the colonizers exploited India, he demolishes the arguments of Western and Indian apologists for the Empire on the supposed benefits of British rule.
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda is an 8-volume set and contains all the books, lecture, discussions, prose, poetry, and letters written by Swami Vivekananda, a spiritual teacher who introduced Hindu philosophies such as Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world.
MAHABHARATA BY C. RAJAGOPALACHARI (Translator)
Originally published in the year 1951, this book is an abridged English retelling of Vyasa’s Mahabharata.
The Mahabharata is not a mere epic; it is a romance, telling the tale of heroic men and women, and of some who were divine; it is a whole literature in itself, containing a code of life, a philosophy of social and ethical relations, and speculative thought on human problems.
YAJNASENI: THE STORY OF DRAUPADI BY PRATIBHA RAY
Yajnaseni makes a determined effort for a balanced portrayal of the epic character of Draupadi and brings to the surface the broader and deeper aspects of her mind that lay submerged in the majestic sweep of the grand Mahabharata.
It was translated into English by Pradip Bhattacharya.
RAMAYANA (Series) BY ASHOK K. BANKER
Ashok K. Banker’s Ramayana Series is a retelling of Valmiki Ramayanam.
It is a set of 8 books – Prince of Ayodhya, Siege of Mithila, Demons of Chitrakut, Armies of Hanuman, Bridge of Rama, King of Ayodhya, Vengeance of Ravana and Sons of Sita.
MYTH = MITHYA: A HANDBOOK OF HINDU MYTHOLOGY BY DEVDUTT PATTANAIK
In Myth = Mithya, Devdutt retells sacred Hindu stories and decodes Hindu symbols and rituals, using a unique style of commentary, illustrations and diagrams.
The aim is not to outgrow myth, but to be enriched and empowered by its ancient, potent and still relevant language.
my HANUMAN CHALISA BY DEVDUTT PATTANAIK
In my Hanuman Chalisa, acclaimed mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik demystifies Hinduism’s most popular prayer for the contemporary reader.
His unique approach makes the ancient hymn accessible, combined as it is with his trademark illustrations.
THE DEVIL’S WIND BY MANOHAR MALGONKAR
The Devil’s Wind by Manohar Malgonkar tells the story of Nana Saheb, who played a leading role in the 1857 War of Independence.
It provides a sympathetic portrait of a man whom the British portrayed as a great villain.
The book is written as an autobiography in which Nana Saheb describes his life in his own words.
CHANAKYA’S CHANT BY ASHWIN SANGHI
In Chanakya’s Chant, Ashwin Sanghi takes the greatest strategist of Indian History, Chanakya and makes us question –
“What if Chanakya were alive today?”; “What if he were a player in today’s politics?”; “Would his brilliance and principles be relevant even in today’s murky politics?”
TAJ MAHAL TRILOGY BY INDU SUNDARESAN
The Taj Mahal Trilogy is a woman-centric tale of power, passion and love.
The first part, The Twentieth Wife, narrates the story of Mehrunnisa, the powerful wife of Jahangir.
The second part, The Feast of Roses, narrates the story of Mumtaz Mahal.
The third part, Shadow Princess, is the story of Jahanara, the daughter of Shah Jahan and the sister of Aurangzeb.
HARAPPA: CURSE OF THE BLOOD RIVER BY VINEET BAJPAI
Harappa: Curse of the Blood River knits 3,700 years of powerful ancient and modern-day characters and a nail-biting conspiracy – all in one literary thriller.
It is the first among a series of four books. A saga of violence and deceit, gods and demons, love and ambition.
EMPIRE BY DEVI YESODHARAN
Devi Yesodharan’s Empire is the tale of an archer and warrior in the empire of Rajendra Chola, who ruled a vast empire from 1014-44.
This warrior is not from South India but rather a Greek woman, who has been surrendered in defeat by a raiding party bested by the Cholas.
ZELALDINUS: A MASQUE BY IRWIN ALLAN SEALY
Zelaldinus is a fictional story which involves the great Mughal Emperor Akbar, and a current-generation tourist Irv. Together they rediscover the gloomy city of Fatehpur Sikri; a city which was abandoned soon after its completion.
Best Mythological Fiction Books by Indian Authors
SHIVA TRILOGY BY AMISH TRIPATHI
The Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi is on a radical idea that all Gods were once human beings; it was their deeds in the human life that made them famous as Gods.
The three books of the trilogy are – The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas and The Oath of the Vayuputras.
ASURA: TALE OF THE VANQUISHED BY ANAND NEELAKANTAN
Anand Neelakantan’s Asura: Tale of the Vanquished depicts the tale of Ramayana from the viewpoint of Ravana and a common Asura, Bhadra.
The book attempts to highlight the voice of the vanquished as opposed to the victor’s version of Ramayana that is commonly known.
THE PALACE OF ILLUSIONS BY CHITRA BANERJEE DIVAKARUNI
The Palace of Illusions is a rendition of the Hindu epic Mahabharata as told from Draupadi’s viewpoint, namely, that of a woman living in a patriarchal world.
The novel traces Princess Panchaali’s life, beginning with her birth in fire and following her spirited balancing act as a woman with five husbands who have been cheated out of their father’s kingdom.
THE ARYAVARTA CHRONICLES BY KRISHNA UDAYASANKAR
The Aryavarta Chronicles (Trilogy) isn’t the usual tale of Mahabharata.
Rather, it is a completely new myriad of characters woven into the familiar story of the Kauravas and the Pandavas seen through the eyes of Govinda Shauri.
THUNDERGOD: THE ASCENDANCE OF INDRA BY RAJIV G. MENON
Thundergod by Rajiv G Menon is the story of Indra, born of a prophetic union between the Earth Goddess Gaia and Daeyus, chief of the Devas.
It is a compelling saga, blended by history, spiced by legend and mutated by myth.
KARNA’S WIFE: THE OUTCAST’S QUEEN BY KAVITA KANE
Karna’s Wife: The Outcast’s Queen tells the extraordinary story of Karna, the unsung hero of the Mahabharata, through the eyes of his wife Uruvi, bringing his story to the reader from a unique perspective.
SARASWATI’S INTELLIGENCE BY VAMSEE JULURI
The Kishkindha Chronicles re-imagines the ancient prehistory of India from a startlingly new perspective that will make us rethink what it means to be human and animal.
Saraswati’s Intelligence is the first book in the trilogy.
Raavan: Enemy of Aryavarta by Amish
Raavan: Enemy of Aryavarta is worth every minute that you spend reading it.
With the classic combination of action and adventure doused in a generous dose of mythology and fantasy, the book appeals to almost every kind of reader.
That Amish decides to pour in a generous amount of information and detailing is like the icing on top.
Keepers of the Kalachakra by Ashwin Sanghi
Keepers of the Kalachakra is a historical cum mythological cum science-fiction thriller which revolves around an ancient concept in Vajrayana Buddhism – the Kalachakra.
The writing makes use of many mystical concepts, scientific theorems & research, historical incidents and, conspiracy theories which Ashwin blends in beautifully with the story.
Best Romance Novels by Indian Writers
THE ONE YOU CANNOT HAVE BY PREETI SHENOY
Preeti Shenoy’s The One You Cannot Have handles the delicate subject of love failure and depression and puts a different spin on things.
It gives us a message that if the situations are handled in a more mature way all these lives can be saved.
I TOO HAD A LOVE STORY BY RAVINDER SINGH
Not all love stories are meant to have a perfect ending. I Too Had a Love Story by Ravinder Singh is one such saga.
It is a tender and heartfelt tale of Ravin and Khushi — two people who find each other on a matrimonial site and fall in love until life puts their love to the ultimate test.
THIS IS NOT YOUR STORY BY SAVI SHARMA
This is Not Your Story follows the story of 4 youngsters – Shaurya, Miraya, Anubhav and Kasturi, and how they tackle their problems and conquer life.
The book explores what it takes to dream fearlessly and giving love a second chance.
Another good book by Savi Sharma is Everyone Has A Story.
THE GIRL OF MY DREAMS BY DURJOY DATTA
The Girl of My Dreams by Durjoy Datta is the story of Daman who suffers a memory lapse after he wakes up from a coma following a car accident.
All he remembers now is a name — Shreyasi, a girl who was in the same car and whose hazy face now haunts his dreams.
IT’S ALL IN THE PLANETS BY PREETI SHENOY
It’s All in the Planets is the story of how four people’s lives and their two love stories coincide to bring a permanent change in all their lives.
It is a very fresh and unique love story which transcends age and geographical boundaries and makes you go all gooey in the heart.
SORRY YOU’RE NOT MY TYPE BY SUDEEP NAGARKAR
Sorry, You’re Not My Type is the story of one of the reputed Delhi-based college music band, VAYU – Vikrant, Anamika and Yuvi, and they will make you believe ‘When your passion and purpose is greater than your fears, you find a way to overcome them’.
THOSE PRICEY THAKUR GIRLS BY ANUJA CHAUHAN
Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan, set in 1988, revolves around the Thakur family of Hailey Road, which includes Justice Laxminarayan, his wife and their five daughters who are named alphabetically – Anjini, Binodini, Chandrakanta, Debjani and Eshwari.
2 STATES: THE STORY OF MY MARRIAGE BY CHETAN BHAGAT
2 States: The Story of My Marriage by Chetan Bhagat is about a couple coming from two different states in India, who face hardships in convincing their parents to approve of their marriage. The book is partly autobiographical.
A HALF-BAKED LOVE STORY BY ANURAG GARG
A Half-Baked Love Story unfolds a candid narration by a love-struck, dumbstruck and spellbound guy, Aarav, who confesses every last detail of his love story to his drunkard friends on a new year’s night. The tale of his first love Anamika.
JUST MARRIED, PLEASE EXCUSE BY YASHODHARA LAL
Just Married, Please Excuse by Yashodhara Lal is the story of a young couple, a quick-tempered big-city girl and a laidback desi boy, who must learn to adjust to married life and to each other with a little help from their idiosyncratic staff, Zarreena and Vinod, their nutty friend Vivi and, of course, their respective families.
SPY IN THE AMBER BY MANOHAR MALGONKAR
Spy in Amber, first published in 1971, is set during the time when tensions between India and China were at their peak.
Hidden away from the world, in the deep belly of the Himalayas lies the Ragyabas monastery which has a treasure worth millions in its possession.
Fearing a Chinese invasion, the head monk decides to hand over the treasure to India for safekeeping. But, the Chinese have different plans.
SACRED GAMES BY VIKRAM CHANDRA
Sacred Games draws the reader deep into the life of Inspector Sartaj Singh, and into the criminal underworld of Ganesh Gaitonde, the most wanted gangster in India.
It is a story of friendship and betrayal, of terrible violence, of an astonishing modern city and its dark side.
BYOMKESH BAKSHI (SERIES) BY SHARADINDU BANDYOPADHYAY
In the early thirties, a detective by the name of Byomkesh Bakshi made an unobtrusive entry into the world of Bengali fiction.
Within days he was a household name, courtesy of his cerebral skills and the exciting situations he found himself in. The English version is translated by Monimala Dhar.
IF GOD WAS A BANKER BY RAVI SUBRAMANIAN
If God Was A Banker by Ravi Subramanian revolves around two management graduates who are in the rat race for success.
Sundeep is ambitious and selfish, which leads him to achieve his goals through unscrupulous means. Swami is the exact opposite as he sticks to his morals and ethics to ensure success in his career.
MURDER IN A MINUTE BY SHOUVIK BHATTACHARYA
In Murder in a Minute, when a young woman is found lifeless in a pool of her own blood, everyone is convinced that it is her college sweetheart who murdered her.
The victim’s step-brothers, Rishabh and Arya aren’t so convinced. They embark on a journey to unearth the truth, a journey riddled with fallacies and conspiracies, planted intentionally to trap them.
MARRY ME, STRANGER BY NOVONEEL CHAKRABORTY
Marry Me, Stranger is the story of Rivanah Bannerjee, a young and independent girl living alone in Mumbai.
Her life is in danger. Someone has been following her around, watching her every move, trying to get control over her life.
PATANG BY BHASKAR CHATTOPADHYAY
In Patang, a man is found brutally murdered, his body posed like a kite on the tallest cell tower in the city.
As one corpse after another turns up in the unlikeliest of places, maverick investigator Chandrakant Rathod has to pit his sharp instincts against the machinations of the sadistic, ruthless killer.
THE MURDER OF SONIA RAIKKONEN BY SALIL DESAI
In The Murder of Sonia Raikkonen, late one November night, the mutilated corpse of a young Finnish tourist is found in a public garden in Pune.
It looks like a case of brutal rape and murder, but Senior Inspector Saralkar and PSI Motkar find themselves probing further….delving deeper.
DEAD IN A MUMBAI MINUTE BY MADHUMITA BHATTACHARYA
In Dead in a Mumbai Minute, detective Reema Ray is given the case of the year – the murder of Ashutosh Dhingre, former assistant to fading Bollywood superstar Kimaaya Kapoor.
The location of the crime is Kimaaya’s private island. The suspects – her house guests, and Kimaaya herself!
A CUT LIKE WOUND BY ANITA NAIR
A Cut Like Wound begins on the first night of Ramadan when a young male prostitute is killed and burnt alive.
As bodies begin to pile up one after the other, and it becomes clear that a serial killer is on the prowl, Inspector Borei Gowda recognizes a pattern in the killings which no one else does.
PROFESSOR SHONKU BY SATYAJIT RAY
Professor Shonku is a fictional scientist created by Satyajit Ray in a series of Bengali science-fiction books published from 1965.
His full name is Trilokeshwar Shonku, and by occupation, he is an inventor. Professor Shonku was translated into English by Sukanya Jhaveri in 1981.
GAMEWORLD TRILOGY BY SAMIT BASU
Three books, The Simoqin Prophecies, The Manticore’s Secret and The Unwaba Revelations, form the three parts of The GameWorld Trilogy.
The trilogy narrates the reawakening of the terrible rakshas, Danh-Gem, and the arrival of a hero to face him.
THE RISE OF SIVAGAMI BY ANAND NEELAKANTAN
Anand Neelakantan’s The Rise of Sivagami is a prequel to the epic Indian movie Bahubali: The Beginning.
The story revolves around Sivagami, a character of Baahubali. It also tells the readers more about Kattappa, another important character of the story.
THE DEVOURERS BY INDRA DAS
The Devourers is set during the reign of the Mughal Empire in the seventeenth century and extends to modern India.
It features Shape-shifters, more specifically werewolves, and explores the concepts of love, cannibalism, and what it means to be human.
It is told in a multi-layered manner, alternating between different time periods and perspectives.
DARK THINGS BY SUKANYA VENKATRAGHAVAN
Combining fantasy with the rich tapestry of folklore, Dark Things is a strange fairytale wrought of intrigue and enchantment, of shadows and secrets, of evil and those who battle it.
CULT OF CHAOS BY SHWETA TANEJA
Cult of Chaos is the story of Tantriks, who are now overground. They have their own council, police and justice systems.
It narrates the story of Anantya Tantrik who struggles to stop the madness of White and Red Tantriks who are facing off, and of a Black tantric who is brewing some dangerous shakti.
SAVAGE BLUE BY VIKRAM BALAGOPAL
Savage Blue by Vikram Balagopal is the story of two people – Akila Raina, who disappeared when she was only ten, and Shyam, who was with her that fateful night.
Now twenty years later, Akila has mysteriously reappeared, grown-up and gorgeous. She tells him of surreal worlds, her travels between them and her encounters with strange creatures.
NINE TRILOGY BY SHOBHA NIHALANI
For thousands of years, the wisdom of the NINE has protected mankind from destroying itself.
But a vengeful ancient spirit has returned to shatter the peace. With the help of magical powers, he has possessed a young man and mobilised black yogis to destroy the NINE.
SKYFIRE BY AROON RAMAN
Skyfire is set in May 2012 when India is hit by a series of freak weather disturbances and startling epidemics that threaten to bring the country to its knees.
At the same time, children are vanishing from the slums of the capital and nobody seems to care.
Now it is upon journalist Chandrasekhar, historian Meenakshi Pirzada and intelligence operative Syed Ali Hassan to follow the leads and solve the mystery.
ALICE IN DEADLAND (TRILOGY) BY MAINAK DHAR
Civilization as we know it ended more than fifteen years ago, leaving as it’s legacy barren wastelands called the Deadland and a new terror for the humans who survived- hordes of undead Biters.
Alice in Deadland is the story of Fifteen-year-old Alice who has spent her entire life in the Deadland learning how best to use guns and knives in the ongoing war for survival against the Biters.
SERIOUS MEN BY MANU JOSEPH
Serious Men tells the story of Ayyan Mani, a middle-aged Dalit, who works as an assistant to a brilliant Brahmin astronomer at a scientific institute in Mumbai.
Furious at his humble situation in life, Ayyan develops an outrageous story that his 10-year-old son is a mathematical genius – a lie which becomes increasingly elaborate and out of control.
DORK TRILOGY BY SIDIN VADUKUT
The three books of Dork Trilogy are – Dork: The Incredible Adventures of Robin ‘Einstein’ Varghese, God Save the Dork and Who Let The Dork Out?
It narrates the adventures and misadventures of Robin ‘Einstein’ Varghese; a stupendously naïve but academically gifted young man (he was ranked 41st in his class).
This trilogy is for all of those who’ve ever sat depressed in cubicles…and wanted to kill themselves with office stationery.
MRS FUNNYBONES BY TWINKLE KHANNA
Full of wit and delicious observations, Mrs Funnybones captures the life of the modern Indian woman — a woman who organizes dinner each evening, even as she goes to work all day, who runs her own life but has to listen to her Mummyji, who worries about her weight and the state of the country.
GONE WITH THE VINDALOO BY VIKRAM NAIR
Gone with the Vindaloo is 2 stories running parallel – One is in the Mahadev household, where the cook Pakwaan is trying to learn cooking from his father and yearns to one day make the Vindaloo that his grandfather was most known for.
The parallel story is indeed about Pakwaan’s grandfather, Kalaam.
THE COMPETENT AUTHORITY BY SHOVON CHOWDHURY
The Competent Authority is a satire on almost all the power circles of our country – the government, the bureaucracy, the police, the army, social workers, spiritual gurus and others.
In the 2030s, India has been nuked by the Chinese and is in a pitiable state. Pakistan ceases to exist after being bombed by the Americans.
With this backdrop, Shovon contrives a humorous story defacing the power mongers.
Best Chick-lit Novels by India Writers
TRUST ME BY RAJASHREE
Set against the backdrop of the Hindi film industry, Trust Me is a comic story about love, heartbreak and friendship.
The protagonist, Parvati, decides to go off men when she is dumped by her boyfriend.
PIECE OF CAKE BY SWATI KAUSHAL
Piece of Cake is the story of Minal who wants it all – a successful career, a lifestyle to match, and a totally cool guy who’ll buy her diamonds, bring her flowers, and laugh at her jokes.
But given the unending record of her life’s embarrassments, it’s not going to be that simple.
THE ZOYA FACTOR BY ANUJA CHAUHAN
The Zoya Factor, written in the first person, is the story of a cricket-hating ad-executive, Zoya, who is forced to become a part of the Indian cricket team, not as a player nor a cheerleader nor a physiotherapist nor a psychiatrist but as a lucky charm.
ALMOST SINGLE BY ADVAITA KALA
Almost Single, a heartfelt and wickedly funny cross-cultural debut novel, introduces a smart, irreverent young woman, Aisha Bhatia, searching for independence and matrimony in a culture-bound by tradition.
CONFESSIONS OF A LISTMANIAC BY MEENAKSHI REDDY MADHAVAN
Confessions of a Listmaniac is the story of seventeen-year-old Layla who knows that journal writing is way retro but thinks, why not recreate the whole blog thing in a notebook?
Layla’s journal entries often morph into quirky lists that record her observations on her life and times.
I QUIT! NOW WHAT? BY ZARREEN KHAN
I Quit! Now What? is the story of a marketing professional Nimisha, who after having worked 7 years with her current company, is still not treated the way she deserves to be treated and that makes her upset.
ENCOUNTERS OF A FAT BRIDE BY SAMAH VISARIA
Encounters of a Fat Bride is the story of Madhurima Pandey, a twenty-five-year-old single girl who is gradually coming to terms with the annoying ‘you’re next’ nudges from family and friends.
But soon they realize that chances of finding a groom for her are slim – mainly because she’s not.
At 93 kilos, she knows she isn’t the ideal weight for marriage, even if her family believes she’s the ideal age.
THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH BY MAHATMA GANDHI
The Story Of My Experiments with Truth is the autobiography of Mohandas K. Gandhi, covering his life from early childhood through to 1921.
It was written in weekly instalments and published in his journal Navjivan from 1925 to 1929. The English translation was done by Mahadev Desai.
PLAYING IT MY WAY BY SACHIN TENDULKAR
Playing It My Way is the autobiography of the God of Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar.
The book summarises Tendulkar’s early days, his 24 years of international career and aspects of his life that have not been shared publicly.
MY DAYS: A MEMOIR BY RK NARAYAN
In My Days: A Memoir, R.K. Narayan in his usual winning, humorous style, shares his life story, beginning in his grandmother’s garden in Madras with his ferocious pet peacock.
LONE FOX DANCING: MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY BY RUSKIN BOND
In this brilliantly readable autobiography, Lone Fox Dancing, one of India’s greatest writers shows us the roots of everything he has written.
He begins with a dream and a gentle haunting, before taking us to an idyllic childhood in Jamnagar by the Arabian Sea, where he composed his first poem, and New Delhi in the early 1940s, where he found material for his first short story.
WINGS OF FIRE: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY BY A. P. J. ABDUL KALAM
In Wings of Fire: An Autobiography, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam examines his early life, effort, hardship, fortitude, luck and chance that eventually led him to lead Indian space research, nuclear and missile programs.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI BY PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA
Autobiography of a Yogi presents a fascinating portrait of one of the great spiritual figures of our time.
With engaging candour, eloquence, and wit, Paramahansa Yogananda narrates the inspiring chronicle of his life.
Recorded here are his meetings with Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Luther Burbank, the Catholic stigmatist Therese Neumann, and other celebrated spiritual personalities of East and West.
THE ACCIDENTAL PRIME MINISTER BY SANJAYA BARU
The Accidental Prime Minister is a 2014 memoir by Sanjaya Baru, who was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s media advisor from May 2004 to August 2008.
The book alleges that Manmohan was not entirely in control of his cabinet, or even the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Instead, significant power was wielded by the Congress party’s president Sonia Gandhi.
OUR MOON HAS BLOOD CLOTS: THE EXODUS OF THE KASHMIRI PANDITS BY RAHUL PANDITA
The heartbreaking story of Kashmir has so far been told through the prism of the brutality of the Indian state, and the pro-independence demands of separatists.
But there is another part of the story that has remained unrecorded and buried.
Our Moon Has Blood Clots is the unspoken chapter in the story of Kashmir, in which it was purged of the Kashmiri Pandit community in a violent ethnic cleansing backed by Islamist militants.
RAJINIKANTH: THE DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY BY NAMAN RAMACHANDRAN
Rajinikanth: The Definitive Biography recounts Rajini’s career in meticulous detail, tracing his incredible cinematic journey from his very first film, Apoorva Raagangal, in 1975 to memorable forays into Bollywood to the mega-hits.
Along the way, the book provides rare insights into Rajini’s personal life.
VEERAPPAN: CHASING THE BRIGAND BY K. VIJAY KUMAR
No other bandit in recent times has captured the public’s imagination as much as Koose Muniswamy Veerappan.
Be it his trademark moustache, stories of his daring escapades or his ruthless massacre of officers, Veerappan continues to fascinate, even thirteen years after his death.
Veerappan: Chasing the Brigand is a lucid and incisive account of the rise and fall of India’s most dreaded forest brigand.
THE MONK WHO SOLD HIS FERRARI BY ROBIN SHARMA
A wonderfully crafted fable, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari tells the extraordinary story of Julian Mantle, a lawyer forced to confront the spiritual crisis of his out-of-balance life.
On a life-changing odyssey to an ancient culture, he discovers powerful, wise, and practical lessons that give us the wisdom to create a life of passion, purpose, and peace.
WHO WILL CRY WHEN YOU DIE? BY ROBIN SHARMA
In Who Will Cry When You Die?, Robin Sharma offers 101 simple solutions to life’s most complex problems, ranging from a little-known method for beating stress and worry, to a powerful way to enjoy the journey while you create a legacy that lasts.
YOU CAN WIN BY SHIV KHERA
In You Can Win, Shiv Khera reveals that all success is deliberate and there is nothing magical about winning.
Using common sense and varying lessons taken from ancient wisdom to modern philosophy, he shows how we can deal with issues of our daily lives, and how we can turn otherwise bad situations into good ones.
INNER ENGINEERING: A YOGI’S GUIDE TO JOY BY SADHGURU
In Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy, Sadhguru presents readers with a path to achieving absolute well-being through the classical science of yoga.
It is a means to create inner situations exactly the way you want them, turning you into the architect of your own joy.
CHANAKYA’S 7 SECRETS OF LEADERSHIP BY RADHAKRISHNAN PILLAI
Chanakya’s 7 Secrets of Leadership puts forth a model for leadership drawn from the teachings of Chanakya who lived in the 4th Century BC, was prime minister and guru to one of India’s most powerful and successful emperors.
13 STEPS TO BLOODY GOOD LUCK BY ASHWIN SANGHI
In 13 Steps to Bloody Good Luck, Ashwin Sanghi explores that critical, much-longed-for element called luck.
Through entertaining and informative anecdotes, narrations of personal experiences and vignettes of homespun wisdom, Ashwin gives us a whole new insight into how people can work towards being lucky.
THE HABIT OF WINNING BY PRAKASH IYER
In The Habit of Winning, you’ll find stories that can change the way you think, work, live.
Stories about leadership and teamwork, self-belief and perseverance. Life lessons from cola wars and cricket, Olympic heroes and ordinary folks.
THE WELLNESS SENSE BY OM SWAMI
Expounding on the esoteric aspects of ancient wisdom, in simple terms, The Wellness Sense shows you how to take care of yourself better and how to lead a healthier life in our present world — a world where we have all the comforts yet we are restless.
We have organic breakfast on the table but no time to eat it, we have the comfiest mattress but little sleep.
AROUND INDIA IN 80 TRAINS BY MONISHA RAJESH
Taking a page out of Jules Verne’s classic tale, Around the World in 80 Days, Monisha Rajesh embarked on a 40,000km adventure Around India in 80 trains.
Travelling a distance equivalent to the circumference of the Earth, she lifted the veil on a country that had become a stranger to her.
WHEN THE ROAD BECKONS BY RAVI MANORAM
When the Road Beckons is an inspiring odyssey that promises to transform a generation.
Caught in the inescapable hurricane of life, the protagonist decides to snap out of the everyday mendacity and go on a 4000 km motorbike journey across Ladakh.
FOLLOWING FISH: TRAVELS AROUND THE INDIAN COAST BY SAMANTH SUBRAMANIAN
In a coastline as long and diverse as India’s, fish inhabit the heart of many worlds — food of course, but also culture, commerce, sport, history and society.
In Following Fish, journeying along the edge of the peninsula, Samanth Subramanian reports upon a kaleidoscope of extraordinary stories.
HOT TEA ACROSS INDIA BY RISHAD SAAM MEHTA
There’s not a highway, road or dirt track in India where you can’t find a cup of chai whenever you want it.
And with those cuppas come encounters and incidents that make travelling in India a fascinating adventure.
In Hot Tea Across India, Rishad takes you across the length and breadth of India, from Manali to Munnar, from the Rann of Kutch to Khajuraho, with a wonderful combination of wit, sensitivity and insight.
BATTLEFIELDS & PARADISE BY SABIR HUSSAIN
Battlefields and Paradise is a travelogue in which the author writes about his trip from Delhi to Turtuk which is India’s northernmost point on the LoC.
On his journey, he rides a very ordinary bike, travels solo, engages in passionate talks with ordinary Kashmiris while learning about their daily lives and a bit or two about the politics of the state.
BUTTER CHICKEN IN LUDHIANA: TRAVELS IN SMALL TOWN INDIA BY PANKAJ MISHRA
In Butter Chicken in Ludhiana, Pankaj Mishra captures an India which has shrugged off its sleepy, socialist air and has become instead kitschy, clamorous and ostentatious.
Pankaj paints a vivid picture of a people rushing headlong to their tryst with modernity.
ALL ROADS LEAD TO GANGA BY RUSKIN BOND
The Ganges is a river which has held India’s heart captive and drawn uncounted millions to her banks since the dawn of history.
In All Roads Lead to Ganga, Ruskin Bond captures the breathtaking beauty and splendour of Ganga, describing with nostalgia and affection the places and people he has lived with and encountered for over forty years.
THE HEAT AND DUST PROJECT BY DEVAPRIYA ROY
Saurav and Devapriya junk the swivel chairs, gain a couple of backpacks and set out on a transformational journey across India.
On a very, very tight budget: five hundred rupees a day for bed and board. And The Heat and Dust Project begins.
IF IT’S MONDAY IT MUST BE MADURAI BY SRINATH PERUR
This entertaining travelogue around ten conducted tours contains myriad riches: of hanging on to a camel in the Thar; rediscovering music on the trail of Kabir; joining an ancient pilgrimage, and hunting for sex in Tashkent.
THE LAND OF FLYING LAMAS BY GAURAV PUNJ
Beyond the hill stations, the mall roads and the ‘points’ is the ‘other Himalaya’ – a Himalaya where flowers bloom in the green rolling meadows, the streams are bubbly, no-pedal boats ply in the lakes, the glaciers can be felt and the passes crossed to more magical lands – The Land of Flying Lamas.
We hope that you liked this list of the best English Novels by Indian Authors.
Other lists in this series:
A Short Quiz on Books by Indian Authors
Rajmohan’s Wife by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay in 1864
The Travels of Dean Mahomet by Sake Dean Mahomed in 1794. It was not a novel but an autobiographical
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
1. The Guide by R.K. Narayan; 2. Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayan; 3. The Private Life of an Indian Prince by Mulk Raj Anand; 4. Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand; 5. Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh; 6. Godan by Munshi Premchand; 7. The Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond; 8. The Complete Adventures of Feluda by Satyajit Ray; 9. Combat of Shadows by Manohar Malgonkar; 10. The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian by Nirad C. Chaudhuri
The Pulitzer Prize is only given to Americans. The Indian-Americans who have won the Pulitzer for writing are: 1. Jhumpa Lahiri for her short story collection Interpreter of Maladies in the year 2000; 2. Siddhartha Mukherjee for his book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer in the year 2011; 3. Vijay Seshadri for his collection of poems 3 Sections in the year 2014
1. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy in 1997; 2. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai in 2006; 3. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga in 2008
Well, it’s not the US. The answer is INDIA. According to the NOP World Culture Score Index, India is the country that reads the most. An average Indian reads for 10 hours 42 minutes per week.