As you’ve probably seen from my Reading on Location posts… I love to read about places I’ve visited, places I’m about to visit and those that I dream of visiting one day. Even before we’d booked our flights I’d always enjoyed reading books set in India.
I now have a long list of books that I’d recommend, so if you’re like me and like to prepare for trips through books check these out (I’ve linked some of them back to reviews on my book blog if you’d like to find out more):
2 States by Chetan Bhagat: I picked up this book written by an Indian author while I was in a bookstore in Bangalore at the beginning of my trip and loved it. What I loved about 2 States, is the simple and no nonsense writing style of the author and his examination of culture differences within a large, divisive country. A good one for the romance fans. See my full review here.
Jasmine Skies by Sita Brahmachari- I came across Jasmine Skies at Delhi airport during one of my stopovers (I was in that airport 4 times!) and was firstly attracted to the cover and then I saw that it was written by an English-Indian woman and was further intrigued. Jasmine Skies is a beautiful story about a teenage girl living in England who travels to India to meet her extended family. See my full review here.
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga- The Man Booker Prize Winner (2008) is well worth the read. Tells the story of a young Indian man who becomes involved in a murder….
Henna for the Broken-Hearted by Sharell Cook- I really loved this memoir, written by Australian, Sharell Cook. What I loved about Sharell Cook’s story is the balance between open-mindedness to experiencing the new and an introspective account that is realistic and shows her flaws. Sharell falls in love with a non-traditional Indian man from a traditional family. So yeah, there’s plenty of conflict in this story! See my full review here.
Dancing to the Flute by Manisha Jolie Amin- Dancing to the Flute is an absorbing and inspirational tale about a young Indian boy named Kalu and girl named Malti, written by Australian author, Manisha Jolie Amin. See my full review here.
Origins of Love by Kishwar Desai- Origins of Love is a beautifully constructed story that spans across India and London and follows various characters whose lives intertwine. It masterfully explores many controversial fertility issues such as IVF, surrogacy, sperm/ egg donation and adoption against a fictional (but could very easily be true!) backdrop. See my full review here.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel- Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize, Life of Pi is about sixteen-year-old Piscine Molitor Patel from Pondicherry, India. He changes his name to Pi because he tires of being called “Pissing.” His father owns the Pondicherry zoo and so Pi has plenty of exposure to animal behaviour that comes in handy when he ends up stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific with a hyena, an injured zebra, an orangutan and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. I’m still yet to see the movie! See my full review here.
Holy Cow by Sarah McDonald- I was lent a copy of Holy Cow by a friend of my fiancé who told him I ‘must read’ this book before we go to India. So I did as I was told and picked it up and was glad that I did! It’s a sometimes hilarious, sometimes upsetting and sometimes inspiring story of a young Australian journalist, Sarah Macdonald who joins her boyfriend Jonathan to backpack around India and find her place in a country full of contradictions. See my full review here.
Do you have a favourite book set in India?