• The Last Nizam: The Rise and Fall of India’s Greatest Princely State by John Zubrzycki, Picador 2012
    A vivid account of the fabled monarchs who held sway over Hyderabad for over two centuries


  • White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth Century India by William Dalrymple, Penguin 2004
    Passion and intrigue weave together the notorious romance of the British Resident in Hyderabad and a Mughal princess


  • The Untold Charminar edited by Syeda Imam, Penguin 2008
    Tales of Hyderabad by those well-known and less so, glittering with memories from the gullies of time


  • Banaras by Diana L. Eck, Columbia University Press 1998
    A luminous and nuanced journey through India’s sacred city and the world’s oldest pilgrim site


  • Songs of Kabir by Arvind Mehrotra, New York Review Books Classics 2011
    India’s renowned poet translates the beguiling wisdom of the 15th century weaver-saint to exultant life


  • The Mahabharata: A Play by Jean Claude Carriere and Peter Brook, Harper Collins 1998
    An incisive yet lyrical condensation of India’s famed epic, one of the greatest stories ever told


  • India: A History by John Keay, Harper Collins 2013
    A panoramic account of one of the world’s oldest civilizations from the Indus Valley to the digital age


  • India Unbound: From Independence to the Global Information Age by Gurcharan Das, Anchor 2002
    A meticulous autobiography from India’s acclaimed CEO ‘with a soul’, that binds history with memoir to expose the colossal failure of Nehruvian socialism and the path that lies ahead


  • Looking Away: Inequality, Prejudice and Indifference in New India by Harsh Mander, Speaking Tiger Books 2015
    Economic prosperity implies intolerance and marginalization and herein lies an impassioned argument for the inclusive growth of India’s poor


  • Target 3 Billion by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Penguin India 2012
    India’s 11th President and Missile Man, wisely delineates a self-sustainable model for India’s villages


  • Reimagining India: Unlocking the Potential of Asia’s next Superpower by McKinsey and Co. Inc., Simon and Schuster 2013
    A compendium of essays from marquee names on India’s economic contradictions


  • The Red Sari: A Novel by Javier Moro, Grupo Planeta 2014
    The story of the Italian matriarch, Sonia Gandhi, whose modest origins belie her stature as one of the most powerful women in the world today


  • Mudras: Yoga in your Hands by Gertrud Hirschi, Red Wheel/Weiser 2000
    Handy hand exercises from ancient India for holistic healing


  • The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan by Robert Kanigel, Washington Square Press 1992
    The humbling story of a great mathematician whose ideas find continued meaning in cosmology and computer science


  • The Great Arc: The Dramatic Tale of how India was Mapped and Everest was Named by John Keay, Harper Collins 2000
    How India was measured from its southern tip to the Himalayas by a cantankerous British colonel in a monumental scientific undertaking


  • A Princess Remembers: The Memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur, Rupa and Co. 1996
    Gayatri Devi, celebrated royal, rebel politician, social activist and legendary beauty, recounts her tryst with destiny


  • Footloose in the Himalaya by Bill Aitken, Permanent Black 2010
    An ode to the mountains by a curious Scotsman who came trekking and never left


  • The Mistress of Spices: A Novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Anchor 1998
    A magical allegory that blends old worlds and new, India and America, to subtly highlight the flavourful differences


  • Taj by Timeri Murari, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd. 1985
    The love, longing and loss that built the Taj Mahal


  • Why Growth Matters by Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya, Public Affairs 2013
    A detailed treatise on India’s varied economic experiments to solve poverty and what needs to be done now


  • India: The Road Ahead by Mark Tully, Random House 2012
    The BBC’s famed correspondent in India examines the country’s challenges as a potential super power


  • The Beatles in Rishikesh by Paul Saltzman, Viking Studio 2000
    A magical mystery tour of the time the Fab Four spent in India, and how the White Album came to be


  • Shantaram: A Novel by Gregory David Roberts, St. Martin’s Griffin 2005
    A searing epic that transverses crime, loyalty, passion and punishment to speak the universal message of love from the slums of Bombay


  • India: The Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant, Phaidon Press 2010
    The definitive guide to the complex culinary heritage of an ancient land


  • Mahatma vs. Gandhi by Dinkar Joshi, Jaico Books 2007
    An account of the troubled relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and his eldest son Harilal


  • The Elephanta Suite by Paul Theroux, Mariner Books 2008
    The eternal paradox of India explained in loosely strung tales of terse and stinging prose


  • Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins, Vikas Publishing House 2011
    A classic documentation of how India gained independence from the British


  • Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire by Alex von Tunzelmann, Simon and Schuster 2008
    The big picture of India’s independence drawn with provocation, compassion and humour


  • Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh, Grove Press 1994
    A border town falls a bitter prey to civil war and partition, only to find endurance in the love of a Sikh boy for a Muslim girl


  • Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God: Retracing the Ramayana Through India by Jonah Blank, Grove Press 2000
    An ancient epic serves as both compass and mirror to examine what really makes India tick


  • Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge, HarperOne 2003
    A glimpse into the exemplary life of Mother Teresa, humanitarian extraordinaire


  • Chasing the Monsoon by Alexander Frater, Henry Holt and Co. 1992
    A delightful account of the bountiful rains that send India and Indians into a tizzy every year, with clockwork precision


  • India: In Word and Image by Eric Meola, Welcome Books 2013
    Beautiful photographs complement the writing of famous Indians in a kaleidoscope of colour and celebration


  • India: A Sacred Geography by Diana L. Eck, Harmony 2013
    An impassioned pilgrimage through India’s spiritual landscape by Harvard University’s renowned professor of Indian studies


  • India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India by Akash Kapur, Riverhead Books 2013
    Skillful vignettes delineate how an India in transition has turned the lives of ordinary people inside out


  • Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1700: Opulence and Fantasy by Navina Najat Haidar and Marika Sardar, Metropolitan Museum of Art 2015
    A lavish catalogue that unfolds the cultural confluence of Islamic art in south India


  • River of Colour: The India of Raghubir Singh by Raghubir Singh, Phaidon Press 2006
    India’s celebrated photographer captures the universal through the lens of the particular in a stunning collection of his images


  • The Longest August: The Unflinching Rivalry between India and Pakistan by Dilip Hiro, Nation Books 2015
    A lucid and balanced retracing of the bitter fault lines that erode the two infamously warring nations


  • Women of the Raj: The Mothers, Wives and Daughters of the British Empire in India by Margaret MacMillan, Random House Trade Paperbacks 2007
    India as seen through the eyes of the memsahibs who came to a strange land to face hardships and heartbreak in the name of empire


  • Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India by Roberto Calasso, Vintage 1999
    Raconteur, savant and theologian Calasso does a star turn in a dazzling retelling of Indian myth


  • Laurie Baker: Life, Work and Writings by Gautam Bhatia, Penguin Books 2003
    The story of the legendary architect and Gandhian from Birmingham who shaped the infinite in India’s spaces


  • Lost and Found in India by Braja Sorenson, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 2015
    Indic sensual overload embraced with wit, humour and absorbing philosophy


  • The Corporation that Changed the World: How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational by Nick Robins, Pluto Press 2012
    How the John Company gormandized from 1600, along with the mandate to rule


  • Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power by Robert D. Kaplan, Random House 2011.
    Travelogue meets geopolitics in this riveting argument for the shift of power eastwards


  • Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War by Raghu Karnad, W.W. Norton and Company 2015
    A moving and well researched account of India’s role in the Allied victory alongside an elegy of personal loss


  • Pattern and Ornament in the Arts of India by Henry Wilson, Thames and Hudson 2011
    Splendid photographs of India’s monuments unravel the symbolism and intricacy of design over 2,000 years of history


  • Jungle at the Door: A Glimpse of Wild India by Joan Myers and William deBuys, George F. Thompson Publishing 2012
    A jungle book for now, that showcases the majesty of India’s wild life and its fragile future


  • Bhairavi: The Global Impact of Indian Music by Peter Lavezzoli, HarperCollins India 2009
    How Indian musical expression has influenced some of the biggest names in pop, rock and jazz


  • Temples of India: Circles of Stone by Kaumudi Marathe, Eashwara Prakashana 2002
    A beautiful introduction to the myth and motif that render India’s temples timeless


  • Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism by Rajiv Malhotra, Harper India 2013
    India’s dharmic and karmic philosophy juxtaposed against Western reductionism and love of order to compelling effect