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Best books to read in India

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Showing 1-25 of 47 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Nov 2012 21:02:24 GMT
I'm off to India and always try to read book set in the country I'm visiting. Have been there 3 times already. Last time read "A Fine Balance" which is terrific, "White Tiger" OK and "Q & A" the basis of the movie Slumdog Millionaire so its a hard act to follow. What are your recommendations?

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2012 22:11:57 GMT
monica says:
Why not take along Bhagavad Gita or Upanishads, or at least a condensed version of or a book explaining them?

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2012 22:24:03 GMT
gille liath says:
No harm in suggesting...

How about 'A Tamil Nadu Vineyard: Adventures in Indian Wine-Making' by Ollie Tebbly-White?

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2012 22:44:03 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Nov 2012 22:50:43 GMT
LEP says:
Far Pavillions - MM Kaye
A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2012 22:46:35 GMT
LEP says:
The Jewel in the Crown - Paul Scott

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2012 23:52:22 GMT
Andrew Fox says:

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Nov 2012 01:58:32 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Nov 2012 12:54:42 GMT
LEP says:
Lou, your book isn't about India, so it's not appropriate to this thread. Advertise on the Kindle page.

Posted on 24 Nov 2012 20:23:17 GMT
A. Green says:
Yes definitely Shantaram

Posted on 24 Nov 2012 21:03:42 GMT
Anita says:
Erm... a book everybody seem to like... except me. So not a recommendation, just a suggestion to check out

A Son Of The Circus

Posted on 25 Nov 2012 14:23:54 GMT

I would suggest Talwar - provides really interesting background on the country and also you might visit some of the places where it was set.

Posted on 25 Nov 2012 17:37:35 GMT
Under the Banyan Tree, The Guide, and A Tiger for Malgudi - all by R.K. Narayan.

Posted on 25 Nov 2012 18:34:52 GMT
Last edited by the author on 25 Nov 2012 18:36:29 GMT
Fee fee says:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Not sure if this is suitable but I enjoyed it very much.
Also The Kashmir Shawl

Posted on 25 Nov 2012 22:02:06 GMT
Frank Mundo says:
A Passage to India is a great book.

Posted on 26 Nov 2012 06:50:08 GMT
Last edited by the author on 26 Nov 2012 06:51:41 GMT
Aftab Khan says:
Read Malgudi Days by R. K. Narayanan
Example below
Malgudi Days: Short Stories from "An Astrologer's Day" and from "Lawleyroad"; and Also Inc (Penguin Classics)

The stories are from innocent times, from the eyes of an indian kid growing up in south india under the british. Each story is based on facts as seen by the author during these times in a fictitious town of Malgudi.

I am from Tamil Nadu and everytime I visit my hometown, I am sad to see the city overtaken (and torn apart) by urbanization and mindless hollywoodization.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Nov 2012 17:31:26 GMT
broxi3781 says:
If you check a review site called dooyoo there is a writer there called koshkha who spends a lot of time in India and reads absolutely everything about teh country. I'd suggest checking out her reviews - or even asking her for suggestions - she also knows the best places to go etc...

Posted on 27 Nov 2012 13:23:51 GMT
ElaineG says:
If you are taking a kindle, I enjoyed these books set in India:

The Ganesha Keystone
Sari Caste

Posted on 27 Nov 2012 14:34:09 GMT
Dan Fante says:
What about 'Kim' by Rudyard Kipling?

Posted on 27 Nov 2012 15:34:11 GMT
pargypu says:
I loved Shantaram, it's a must read.

Posted on 27 Nov 2012 15:41:16 GMT
thanks for all the great recommendations. I'm surprised that Shantaram has been mentioned by several people. I've always thought it was rather "low brow, sensationalist stuff" but I must be wrong. It sit well written as well as a good story?
Narayan is a great thought. Read him yrs ago but worth a re-visit. Have hunted out 'Siege of Krishnapur" as a Booker Winner.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2012 11:48:21 GMT
Jersey Bean says:
I have just looked at this thread and surprised at how many recommended Shantaram - I rarely abort a book but did this one, not because of the story as this was easy to get into, but the repetitious descriptions the author uses drove me insane....
I was going to add, as LEP, A Suitable Boy and Far Pavillions. I read A S B on holiday, wish I'd had a Kindle then but you've just reminded me that I have F P in paperback with small print and keep picking it up and deciding against - now I can purchase on Kindle! I have benefited from your thread too as I have downloaded A Fine Balance but not read and love reading Indian stories so some good suggestions for all -Happy reading

Posted on 28 Nov 2012 12:04:22 GMT
Jersey Bean says:
The Best of Ruskin Bond is a good travel companion, short stories, verse etc.

Posted on 28 Nov 2012 12:04:27 GMT
pargypu says:
I think Shantaram is quite glossy compared to A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, I adored this book too and highly recommend. I liked the descriptions of places in Shantaram, and the character Prabu was believable..although can see how descriptions can get quite wordy and repetitive, but I really dug my heels into it once I got started. (Wasn't there meant to be a sequel?) Also, the section on the war in Afghanistan wasn't my cup of tea, but it's a book I know I can pick up at any time and enjoy.

Posted on 28 Nov 2012 18:46:17 GMT
Garscadden says:
I enjoyed Shantaram a lot, it is quite low brow though. If you like sci-fi you could try River of Gods, Cyberabad Days (or as a set), or Shiva 3000 - a fantastic and quite short sci-fi novel that is an absolute delight (a lot of it is in what is to all intents and purposes an idealised India of a couple of hundred / a thousand years ago).

Posted on 29 Nov 2012 12:44:54 GMT
Mary Bale says:
Have enjoyed most of the previously mentioned, but also the delightful HRF Keating Inspector Ghote series.
The Perfect Murder: The First Inspector Ghote Mystery
Inspector Ghote Trusts the Heart (Inspector Ghote Mystery)
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  31
Total posts:  47
Initial post:  23 Nov 2012
Latest post:  27 Feb 2013

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