Sifting through an array of books but aren’t sure about them? If you are looking for new books to add to your reading list, look no further than this roundup of the best books which are author-approved. Four authors list their top picks:


Chitra’s latest novel, The Forest of Enchantments, is a re-telling of the Ramayana from Sita’s viewpoint. Here’s her list of five books that she loved reading in 2020:

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, by Deepa Anappara 

Drawing on real incidents and a spate of disappearances in metropolitan India, this book is a triumph of suspense. It captures the resilience and bravery that can emerge in times of trouble.

A Promised Land, by Barack Obama

In the book, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from a young man searching for his identity to the leader of the free world. The book strikes a wonderful balance between Obama’s personal details and professional life.

Shuggie Bain, by Douglas Stuart

It is a story of young Hugh “Shuggie” Bain, a sweet and lonely boy who spends his 1980s childhood in run-down public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Thatcher’s policies have put husbands and sons out of work, and the city’s notorious drugs epidemic is waiting in the wings.

A Burning, by Megha Majumdar

It’s a story about three characters who seek to rise to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies-and find their lives entangled in the wake of a catastrophe in contemporary India

The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World, by S. Jaishankar

The decade from the 2008 global financial crisis to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic has seen a real transformation of the world order. This book analyses the challenges and spells out possible policy responses.


Kishwar’s latest book, The Longest Kiss: The Life and Times of Devika Rani, is the biography of India’s first international superstar in the 1930s and 1940s. Her list of five books includes:

The Emperor Who Never Was: Dara Shukoh in Mughal India, by Supriya Gandhi 

Dara Shukoh was the heir-apparent to the Mughal throne in 1659, when he was executed by his brother Aurangzeb. This biography asks whether the story really would have been different with Dara in power.

Rebellious Lord: An Autobiography, by Meghnad Desai 

It is the story of an intellectual and political maverick Meghnad Desai who has contributed a great deal to our understanding of contemporary politics and governance, and who continues to engage actively with all the important issues of our time. 

Off the Beaten Track: The Story of My Unconventional Life, by Saeeda Bano

Saeeda Bano was the first woman in India to work as a radio newsreader known as the doyenne of Urdu broadcasting. She walked out of a suffocating marriage, witnessed Partition, lost her son for a night in a refugee camp, ate toast with Nehru and fell in love with a married man who became the Mayor of Delhi. 

The Mirror and The Light, by Hilary Mantel 

It is a historical novel. Following Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, it is the final instalment in the trilogy charting the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell, a minister in the court of King Henry VIII, covering the last four years of his life, from 1536 until his death by execution in 1540.

Moustache, by S. Hareesh

Originally published in Malayalam as Meesha, it is a contemporary classic amalgamating magic, myth and metaphor into a tale of far-reaching resonance where ecology, power dynamics and politics become key themes.


Anand’s third and final book in the Bahubali trilogy, Queen of Mahishmathi, has just been released. His list of favourite books includes:

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, by Jaron Lanier

The author is a known Silicon Valley scientist-pioneer who first alerted us to the dangers of social media. In this witty and urgent manifesto, he explains why its toxic effects are at the heart of its design, and, in 10 simple arguments, explains why liberating yourself from its hold will transform your life and the world for the better.

A time for All Things: Collected Essays and Sketchesby Ruskin Bond

Thoughtful, humorous, keenly observed and wise, these essays span more than 60 years of Ruskin Bond’s writing—from reflections on companionship and solitude to lyrical yet finely honed appreciations of nature to nostalgic evocations of bygone people and ways of life

Shuggie Bain, by Douglas Stuart

It tells the story of the youngest of the three children, Shuggie, growing up with his alcoholic mother, Agnes, in the 1980s, in Thatcher-era post-industrial working-class Glasgow, Scotland. 

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson

The book examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

A gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towels

Brimming with humour, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the Count Alexander Rostov’s endeavour to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.


Sweta’s fiction, Nine, is her way of paying gratitude to PM Narendra Modi. This book will give you a fresh perspective at everything happening in India. Here’s her list of five books:

The Strangest Secret, by Earl Nightingale

In this book, Nightingale distils his lifetime of research on human motivation into a simple success formula—the very same one that propelled his achievement.

Atomic Habits, by James Clear

Since we all want to improve and become the better version of ourselves, this one book can help you get those good habits installed in your system. What better than starting 2021 with steps to installing the habits we always wanted to and by removing the bad ones.

The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8 AM, by Hal Elrod

No matter what age you are in, getting up early—as early as 5 am—can propel your life in the right direction. The author has broken it down simply and you can follow the system to become a part of 5 am club.

Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramhansa Yogananda

If you are stuck anywhere in life or you are looking for answers, this book will help you go within. 

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach

Begin this year with this short read—a story of passion and perfection, hits and misses and not conforming to the usuals