Suggested Reading List
An Autobiography, Or the Story of My Experiments with Truth
Author: Mohandas K. Gandhi
Description: 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.
Birds of India
Author: Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp, Tim Inskipp
Description: Thoroughly revised, with 73 new plates and many others updated or repainted, the second edition of the masterful Birds of India now features all maps and text opposite the plates for quicker and easier reference.
Culture Shock! United Arab Emirates
Author: Gina Benesh
Description: Subtitled A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette, this pocket reference covers culture and society.
Culture Smart! Sri Lanka
Author: Emma Boyle
Description: A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with a short overview of the land and people along with practical travel advice.
Goa, and the Blue Mountains or Six Months of Sick Leave
Author: Richard Burton
Description: A facsimile edition of Burton's first book, an account of travels in Goa, the Nilgiri mountains and cities along the Malabar coast of southwestern India, first published in 1851.
Hindu Art and Architecture
Author: George Michell
Description: An excellent survey of Hindu art and architecture, explaining the meaning and construction of principal images and buildings, as well as the development of Hinduism and the corpus of myths that have influenced its artistic tradition.
In Spite of the Gods, The Strange Rise of Modern India
Author: Edward Luce
Description: Luce tackles the challenges and reality of the world's largest democracy with insight and balance in this portrait of a nation in transition.
Author: Stanley Wolpert
Description: Reflections on India - its religion and philosophy, its art, culture and politics - by the dean of the country’s American historians: beautifully written and provocative as well as evocative.
India South Map
Description: A double-sided colorful 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.
India, A Traveler's Literary Companion
Author: Chandrahas Choudhury (Editor)
Description: Each of these 14 stories evokes place and landscape, providing an excellent introduction both to contemporary writers and to India's diverse cultures and history.
Islam, A Short History
Author: Karen Armstrong
Description: Armstrong brings authority and experience to this vivid, clear-headed survey of the history and impact of Islam from the birth of Muhammad to present-day challenges. The best short introduction to the subject.
Lonely Planet Oman, UAE, & Arabian Peninsula
Author: Lonely Planet Publications
Description: A practical guide to the gulf states including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Lonely Planet South India & Kerala
Author: Lonely Planet, Lonely Planet Publications
Description: Featuring maps, a good overview of culture, history and nature, and information on accommodations, excursions and sightseeing.
Author: R. K. Narayan
Description: 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.
Author: Salman Rushdie
Description: Crowned Best of the Booker in 2008, Rushdie's greatest novel is a madcap, comic take on the birth of modern India in all its splendid and unexpected manifestations.
Author: Gyan Prakash
Description: Starting from the catastrophic floods and terrorist attacks of recent years, Prakash reaches back to the sixteenth-century Portuguese conquest to reveal the stories behind Mumbai's historic journey.
My Bombay Kitchen, Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking
Author: Niloufer Ichaporia King, Alice Waters (Introduction)
Description: A detailed guide to the culinary traditions of the Parsi population of India features 165 tempting recipes that capture one of India's most colorful regional cuisines and offers a personal overview of the ideas, tastes, ingredients, and cooking techniques of Parsi cuisine.
The Ajanta Caves, Ancient Paintings of Buddhist India
Author: Benoy Behl
Description: A beautifully photographed overview of the ancient murals and paintings of the life of Buddha carved into a hillside in western India.
The God of Small Things
Author: Arundhati Roy
Description: 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.
The Man Who Knew Infinity, A Life of the Genius Ramanujan
Author: Robert Kanigel
Description: Not just a biography of the unschooled clerk turned master mathematician at Cambridge, this fine book also paints a vivid picture of daily life in Madras at the turn of the 19th century.
The White Tiger, A Novel
Author: Aravind Adiga
Description: Mordant, funny, angry, horrifying, this Booker Prize-winning tale of a village pauper turned success (and murderer) skewers the ambition, inequity and corruption of 21st-century India.
What the Buddha Taught
Author: Walpola Sri Rahula
Description: A classic account of Theravada Buddhism by a respected monk and scholar from Sri Lanka. Provides translations from original texts with explanations for Western readers. A good foundation for any visitor to Southeast Asia.