There’s nothing like getting my geek on and doing a bit of research.  I’ve managed to find most of these in e-book form (though not Shantaram, which oddly is only available in German):


  • The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
  • Ka by Roberto Calasso (well, I guess I’d call it fiction – a re-telling of Indian myths and legends)
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Pleasure Seekers by Tishani Doshi
  • A Passage to India by EM Forster
  • A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (skilfully written and utterly heartbreaking)
  • Shantaram (I have to be honest, I skipped some of the philosophical ramblings, but the story itself is great)

History/Politics/Social commentary

  • Maximum City by Suketu Mehta (can’t rave about this enough. Autobiographical homecoming tale of an expat Indian, along with the inside story on the seamier side of Mumbai society)
  • No Full Stops in India by Mark Tully (the BBC India correspondent for over 20 years, with a sympathetic voice and a good understanding of all facets of Indian society)
  • India in Slow Motion by Mark Tully
  • India: A Portrait by Patrick French
  • City of Djinns by William Dalrymple
  • Nine Lives by William Dalrymple
  • The Open Road by Pico Iyer (one to read on the way to Dharamsala)


  • Lonely Planet India – 2 inches of travel book compressed into one tiny Kindle file!
  • Chasing the Monsoon by Alexander Frater
  • Wanderlust and Lipstick for Women Traveling to India by Beth Whitman (of the website
  • A South Indian Journey by Michael Wood
  • Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald (Aussie writer exploring India while her journo fiance is otherwise engaged – frank and funny)
  • How to Sh*t Around the World by Jane Wilson-Howarth (Ok, not strictly India, but pertinent all the same – and the anecdotes are… erm… enlightening…)

Are there any other must-reads that I have missed?

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