Wolpert’s reflections on India — its religion and philosophy, its art, culture and politics — make for a literate, succinct primer.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers
A Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and writer at The New Yorker, Boo turns her four years among the people of a Mumbai slum into an absorbing tale of the clash of India, new and old, prosperous and disenfranchised.
R. K. Narayan
Wonderful tales from one of India’s foremost writers about a fictional South Indian town populated by quirky characters whose unique approaches to tradition and modernity are the stuff of great short stories.
Lonely Planet South India & Kerala
Featuring maps and a good overview of culture, history and nature, as well as information on accommodations, excursions and sightseeing.
India South Map
A colorful, double-sided regional map of India south of Mumbai, including Sri Lanka and the Andaman and Nicobar islands, at a scale of 1:1,500,000. With maps of Goa, Hyderabad, Bangalore (Bengaluru), Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram.
Lonely Planet India Phrasebook
A handy, palm-sized guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
This beautifully made, affectionate guide, printed on hand-made paper, captures the soul of the city, pointing with authority to neighborhoods, shops, markets, restaurants and attractions.
Following Fish, One Man’s Journey into the Food and Culture of the Indian Coast
In yet another revealing journalistic investigation, Samanth Subramanian travels from Hyderabad to West Bangal, Gujarat, Mumbai and beyond, providing a multi-dimensional portrait of the fishing industry of the Indian peninsula.
In Spite of the Gods
Luce tackles the challenges and reality of the world’s largest democracy with insight and balance in this portrait of a nation in transition.
India, A Short History
Robinson’s inviting introduction to India chronicles the rise and fall of India’s kingdoms and the unified nation’s eventual economic decline, which led to the British subjugation of the Mughal Empire in the mid-19th century.
May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons, A Journey Among the Women of India
A wonderfully written and fascinating portrayal of Indian women from Bollywood stars to Indira Gandhi to prostitutes. It’s an insightful portrait of the country as seen through the eyes of its women.
Diana L. Eck
Darśan, Seeing the Divine Image in India
Tremendously useful for the traveler, this rigorous guide explains the significance and meaning of Hindu temples, festivals and ritual. Darśan, which translates as “seeing,” reveals religious expression in India.
Roy C. Craven
Indian Art, A Concise History
This convenient volume in the acclaimed “World of Art” series is a crisp, illustrated overview of the range of Indian art over the centuries.
Mohandas K. Gandhi
Gandhi, An Autobiography, or the Story of My Experiments with Truth
There is no substitute for reading Gandhi in his own simple, direct prose. A highly recommended glimpse into the personality and life of this remarkable figure.
Rushdie’s greatest work is a madcap, comic, unrestrained novel that takes as its subject the birth of modern India. The narrator, born at the stroke of India’s independence on August 15, 1947, is a proxy for the nation itself, and the history of his family is also the history of India.
A Fine Balance
Set in 1975 in an unnamed Indian “city by the sea,” this tender novel follows the intermingled fortunes of a Parsi widow, her boarder and two tailors. A Booker Prize finalist.
Salman Rushdie (Editor), Elizabeth West (Editor)
Mirrorwork, 50 Years of Indian Writing 1947-1997
A selection of 20th-century Indian prose, both fiction and non-fiction, compiled by Salman Rushdie and featuring work by Jawaharlal Nehru, R.K. Narayan, Satyajit Ray, Amit Chaudhuri and Vikram Seth. Published in celebration of India’s 50 years of independence.
The God of Small Things
This luminous Booker Prize-winning novel is part mystery, part family saga — a tale of lost innocence set in Kerala during the tumult of the 1960s.
Hidden World of the Bengal Tiger
Focusing on a tigress called Lakshmi and her three cubs, National Geographic portrays an epic struggle for survival that takes place over two full years. Runtime: 57 minutes.
A folding wildlife guide designed for quick reference in the field. With full-color images and text, it features more than 100 birds often seen in India.
India Wildlife, A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Animals
A folding wildlife guide designed for quick reference in the field. It features more than 140 creatures often seen in India (from tigers and lions to flying lizards) with full-color images and text. Part of the great Pocket Naturalist series.
A Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of India, Including Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan
A handy field guide to 280 bird species common to the Indian subcontinent. In beautiful John Beaufoy style, the guide’s colorful and high-quality photos are accompanied by descriptions, distribution, preferred habitats and nomenclature.