Which are the bestselling Indian novels? Which book from the non-fiction genre is a must-read for desi book lovers? Are there any good reads by Indian authors when it comes to fiction? Indian bookworms do not need a reason to get hands on written masterpieces and especially when they have been penned by must-read novelists like Arundhati Roy, Amitav Ghosh and Aravind Adiga. Paperbacks or e-books, the beauty of reading always remains the same.
So, let’s dive in right into the opulent world of words and skim through the list of a few top books which should add value to everyone’s library.
1. The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
The winner of Booker Award, The God of Small Things is a perfect take on those small things which affect people’s behaviour and lives in a densely descriptive way. The novel is based on the story of two Kerala-based twins who while trying to cope up with their dysfunctional family go on to question the caste, creed, religion based discrimination.
2. The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga
Aravind Adiga’s debut The White Tiger is a fascinating fictional story of low-class Balram who goes through various obscurities in life and establishes himself as a successful entrepreneur. The novel won the 40th Man Booker Prize.
3. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Termed as one of the most engaging books, A Fine Balance is projected against the era of The Emergency Period of 1984. Rohinton Mistry has been very critical of the then PM Indira Gandhi in the book and exposes the post-Independence changes in the Indian society in a very crisp and melancholic way.
4. The Shadow Lines – Amitav Ghosh
The Shadow Lines is one of the cult-classic novels of the Padma Shree Award winning writer Amitav Ghosh. The invigorating story is pictured against the backdrop of Swadeshi Movement, Second World War, Partition of Indian and Communal riots.
5. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
A Suitable Boy is an acclaimed post-partition story of an Indian mother who is in search of a groom for her daughter Lata. A love story at its core, it also offers author’s satiric view on national political issues and is one of the top rated Indian books.
6. Shiva Trilogy – Amish Tripathi
With a sweeping mythological trilogy based on the most-revered Hindu God, Lord Shiva, Amish Tripathi has conquered the world. His fictional novels titled Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas and The Oath of the Vayuputras came as fresh and unadulterated perspective of Shiva and Parvati’s pure love story and leave a lasting impression on readers.
7. The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai
A panoramic cross-continental story that presents Kiran Desai’s personal experiences with issues like globalisation, multi-culturalism, inequality and love won a lot of laurels across the world.
8. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
As Salman Rushdie himself puts it, Midnight’s Children is one of his contemporary classics and has received a lot of positive response. A kaleidoscopic view of India, it revolves around the story of a boy who was born at the exact moment when India got its independent in 1947.
9. The Great Indian Novel – Shashi Tharoor
A fictional story of Indian history which appears very close to real historical events and includes characters resembling to that of Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose and Indian epic, Mahabharata.
10. The Guide – R. K. Narayan
R.K Narayan classics The Guide and Malgudi Days have been a childhood favourite of nearly everyone. He sketches his characters in a simple way and weaves an extraordinary story out of them. The story of a travel guide Raju and his love Rosie is one of his masterpieces.
11. India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy – Ramachandra Guha
Ramachandra Guha’s piece narrates the plot of post-independence struggles and glory of India altogether. The author gives a precise insight on the lives long serving Prime Ministers, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi in his book.
12. Fasting, Feasting – Anita Desai
Shortlisted for Booker Prize in 1999, Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai weaves an intricate story of two families and cultures. By portraying India as a patriarchal society, the book has also been termed as Anita’s most socially acute piece.
13. Five Point Someone – Chetan Bhagat
Chetan Bhagat’s debut Five Point Someone does not need any introduction at all. A simple and ambitious story of three IITian friends and their hardships in life is worth a read.
14. The Palace of Illusions – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
The Palace of Illusions traces back to the Mahabharata times and centres around a lively Draupadi. Chitra Banerjee has carved a beautiful companionship between Panchaali and Lord Krishna in the novel. Married to Pandavas, the book also reveals her secret admiration for Karna, her husband’s enemy.
15. The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri
A neat and soothing plot which gives way to understanding one’s own culture and helps finding a balance between one’s identity and aspirations. It’s the story of Ganguli family who moves to the US and undergoes different cultural nuances and ideologies.