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India

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXIDA304. Buy these 4 items as a set for $70 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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Eyewitness Guide India

Eyewitness Guide India

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 824 PAGES

A handsome, beautifully illustrated guide to India. It features color photographs, history and plenty of background information. (IDA265, $30.00)

Mughal India, Splendours of the Peacock Throne

Mughal India, Splendours of the Peacock Throne

by Valerie Berinstain | Paul Bahn

  • HISTORY
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 159 PAGES

This illustrated pocket guide presents the history, culture and splendor of the Mughal court and its celebrated architecture in hundreds of archival photographs and drawings. (IDA50, $15.95)

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi

by William Dalrymple

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 350 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Dalrymple infectiously interweaves his own experiences over a year in Delhi with its art, architecture, history and literature. (IDA06, $16.00)

India Adventure Map

India Adventure Map

by National Geographic Society

  • 2011
  • MAP

The most detailed shaded relief map (at a scale of 1:2,100,000) of India available. (IDA18, $12.95)

 
Culture Smart! India

Culture Smart! India


by Becky Stephen

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

A concise, well-illustrated guide to both social and business customs in India. (IDA298, $9.95)

Eyewitness Guide Delhi, Agra and Jaipur

Eyewitness Guide Delhi, Agra and Jaipur


by Anuradha Chaturvedi

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

With chapters on Taj Mahal, Amber Fort Palace, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Red Fort and dozens of other highlights for the traveler, this compact, gorgeously illustrated guide to Delhi and its environs features 900 color photographs, maps and site plans. (IDA151, $25.00)

Lonely Planet India

Lonely Planet India


by Tony Wheeler

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 1229 PAGES

A comprehensive practical guide to India geared for independent travelers. (IDA44, $34.99)

Lonely Planet India Phrasebook

Lonely Planet India Phrasebook


by Omkar Koul

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 398 PAGES

A palm-sized handy guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler. (IDA538, $10.99)

Love Mumbai

Love Mumbai


by Fiona Caulfield

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • BOXED
  • 160 PAGES

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. Third edition. (IDA389, $50.00)

Curry, A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors

Curry, A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors


by Lizzie Collingham

  • FOOD
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

This cultural history with recipes is appetizingly organized as a menu (biryani, vindaloo, chai, etc.). Collingham explores the origins and spread of Indian food and the interplay between Muslim, Hindu, Portuguese and British traditions on the subcontinent. (IDA319, $16.95)

A Traveller's History of India

A Traveller's History of India


by Sinharaja Tammita-Delgoda

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

A condensed introduction to the themes and events that have shaped India from prehistory to Rajiv Gandhi's rule. (IDA57, $14.95)

Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God

Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God


by Jonah Blank

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 370 PAGES

Blank's entertaining portrait of contemporary India and Sri Lanka mixes reporting, anecdote and myth as he travels, sometimes in the footsteps of India's great hero Rama. (IDA250, $18.00)

In Spite of the Gods

In Spite of the Gods


by Edward Luce

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 346 PAGES

Luce tackles the challenges and reality of the world's largest democracy with insight and balance in this portrait of a nation in transition. (IDA349, $16.95)

India

India


by Stanley Wolpert

  • HISTORY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 281 PAGES

Wolpert's reflections on India -- its religion and philosophy, its art, culture and politics -- make for a wonderfully literate, succinct primer. (IDA04, $29.95)

India Becoming

India Becoming


by Akash Kapur

  • HISTORY
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

Kapur returns to the country of his birth for this revealing and rich tapestry of contemporary India as told through the lives of ordinary people. (IDA646, $16.00)

India, A Sacred Geography

India, A Sacred Geography


by Diana L. Eck

  • RELIGION
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 576 PAGES

Professor of comparative religion and Indian studies at Harvard, Diana Eck turns her interest in temples and places of pilgrimage into a celebration of the diversity of popular religious traditions in India in this richly rewarding travelogue. (IDA634, $16.00)

May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons, A Journey Among the Women of India

May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons, A Journey Among the Women of India


by Elisabeth Bumiller

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1991
  • PAPER
  • 220 PAGES

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. (IDA37, $14.95)

The Idea of India

The Idea of India


by Sunil Khilnani

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 263 PAGES

Khilnani confronts the complexities, paradoxes and challenges of the nation in this brief, elegant survey of India since independence. (IDA160, $17.00)

Hindu Art and Architecture

Hindu Art and Architecture


by George Michell

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

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. (IDA147, $19.95)

Indian Art, A Concise History

Indian Art, A Concise History


by Roy C. Craven

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

This convenient volume in the acclaimed "World of Art" series is a crisp, illustrated overview of the range of Indian art over the centuries. (IDA16, $21.95)

Into Thin Air, A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster

Into Thin Air, A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster


by Jon Krakauer

  • EXPLORATION
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 360 PAGES

In this bestseller, climber and journalist Krakauer reconstructs a minute-by-minute account of what went wrong on the great mountain in 1996. (HML13, $15.95)

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal


by M.C. Joshi | Jean-Louis Nou | Amina Okada

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1993
  • HARD COVER
  • 231 PAGES

This lavish portrait features 158 full-color photographs (including four magnificent foldout panels) by the extraordinary Jean-Louis Nou. With grand exterior views, filigreed inscriptions and bejeweled floral mosaics. (IDA108, $75.00)

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal


by Giles Tillotson | Mary Beard

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 190 PAGES

An enlightening pocket guide to the myth, meaning and legends of the celebrated tomb, "the queen of architecture." (IDA528, $14.95)

Gandhi, An Autobiography, or the Story of My Experiments with Truth

Gandhi, An Autobiography, or the Story of My Experiments with Truth


by Mohandas K. Gandhi

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1993
  • PAPER
  • 528 PAGES

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. (IDA163, $16.00)

Nine Lives, In Search of the Sacred in Modern India

Nine Lives, In Search of the Sacred in Modern India


by William Dalrymple

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

From Sufi dervish and Buddhist monk to outcast and temple worshiper: nine people, nine lives, all captured by Dalrymple as he journeys throughout India in search of remarkable individuals transformed by religion. At turns bemusing, dazzling and heart-wrenching, this is his first travel book in 15 years. (IDA587, $16.00)

River Dog, A Journey Down the Brahmaputra

River Dog, A Journey Down the Brahmaputra


by Mark Shand

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 338 PAGES

Shand's touching, eloquent and entertaining chronicle of a journey from Tibet to the Bay of Bengal on the mighty Brahmaputra -- in the company of his Indian hunting dog Bhaiti. (IDA256, $16.95)

A Fine Balance

A Fine Balance


by Rohinton Mistry

  • LITERATURE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 624 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Set in Indira Gandhi's "Emergency Raj" of 1975 in an unnamed Indian "city by the sea," which bears a striking resemblance to Bombay, this tender novel follows the intermingled fortunes of a Parsi widow, her boarder and two tailors. (IDA92, $17.00)

India, A Traveler's Literary Companion

India, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by Chandrahas Choudhury

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

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. (IDA598, $14.95)

Kim

Kim


by Rudyard Kipling

  • LITERATURE
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 432 PAGES

For the sheer pleasure of its prose, insight into the British in India and its extraordinary sense of place, you can't do better than Kipling's Great Game classic about a boy who travels the Grand Trunk Road with the Dalai Lama. (IDA65, $9.00)

Malgudi Days

Malgudi Days


by R. K. Narayan

  • LITERATURE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

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. (IDA59, $16.00)

Midnight's Children

Midnight's Children


by Salman Rushdie

  • LITERATURE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 533 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

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. (IDA12, $16.00)

Mirrorwork, 50 Years of Indian Writing 1947-1997

Mirrorwork, 50 Years of Indian Writing 1947-1997


by Salman Rushdie | Elizabeth West

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 554 PAGES

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. (IDA293, $22.99)

Sea of Poppies

Sea of Poppies


by Amitav Ghosh

  • LITERATURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 528 PAGES

Amativ Ghosh conjures the tumult of the 19th-century Opium Wars and colonial India in this expansive tale, featuring a motley cast of British, Chinese and Indian characters. (IDA529, $16.00)

The Artist of Disappearance

The Artist of Disappearance


by Anita Desai

  • LITERATURE
  • 2011
  • HARD COVER
  • 176 PAGES

In just three sharply drawn, interconnected stories Desai evokes a whole world, showing the contrast between old and new, urban and rural in contemporary India. (IDA635, $23.00)

The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things


by Arundhati Roy

  • LITERATURE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

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. (IDA31, $16.00)

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book


by Rudyard Kipling

  • LITERATURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

Mowgli, an Indian boy adopted by wolves, learns the ways of the jungle as he grows up in the company of cobras, panthers, bears and tigers. Kipling set his adventures in what is now Kanha National Park. (IDA313, $4.99)

The White Tiger, A Novel

The White Tiger, A Novel


by Aravind Adiga

  • LITERATURE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

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. (IDA542, $16.00)

Travelers' Tales India

Travelers' Tales India


by James O'Reilly | Larry Habegger

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 496 PAGES

A collection of 45 descriptive and thought-provoking short excerpts on Indian life and culture, including contributions from Rushdie, Naipaul and Dalrymple, plus some valuable excerpts from books long out of print. (IDA05, $19.95)

India: Kingdom of the Tiger

India: Kingdom of the Tiger


by Bruce Neibaur

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2002
  • DVD

This dazzling film of tigers in the wild and pioneering conservation efforts was filmed on location at Bhandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. (IDA248, $19.99)

Wild India, The Wildlife of India and Nepal

Wild India, The Wildlife of India and Nepal


by Guy Mountefort | Gerald Cubitt

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

An informative introduction to the natural history of the region in a handsome oversize volume. With hundreds of extraordinary photographs of the wildlife and landscapes of the Himalayas, the Indo-Ganges Plain and the Deccan. (IDA02, $29.95)

Birds of India

Birds of India


by Richard Grimmett | Carol Inskipp | Tim Inskipp

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

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. (FG43, $39.50)

Mammals of India

Mammals of India


by Vivek Menon

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 200 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

A Princeton Field Guide edition of Menon's authoritative survey of 400 mammalian species from tropical lowlands to the Himalayas. With large, clear photographs, range maps and introductory chapters on the groups of mammals, conservation and protected areas. (IDA546, $35.00)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

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