I put this list together on an overcast day broken by brief patches of sunlight fading in and out on the lawns. The air is strangely balmy, and I feel nostalgic for some reason. You will forgive me if that, and the weather, affects my choices. I have, however, tried to shake off recency bias and dig deep into years of reading voraciously to make accurate recommendations.

This isn’t a curated Goodreads list; it’s more like me writing down the names that have been caught in the cobwebs of my mind for goodness knows what reason. But I think that’s a good enough reason to recommend something: This stuck with me, that’s it. I usually buy my books from Champaca, Bookworm, Blossom Book House, Walking Bookfairs and surprise bookfairs that show up in convention halls.

Note: Books with * involve triggering topics explained in quite some detail. I don’t recommend them any lesser for it — they are still masterclasses in storytelling.


Standalone novels

  • All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  • A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
  • A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara *
  • Sea of Poppies, Amitav Ghosh *
  • Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
  • The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller
  • Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie *
  • Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  • And the Mountains Echoed, Khaled Hosseini
  • The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy *
  • Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts
  • The Overstory, Richard Powers
  • The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt *
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  • White Teeth, Zadie Smith *


The premise of 'classics' and 'canon' is heavily contested in literature. Who is it a classic for? Who is the list catering to? Who is it alienating? Short note on this forthcoming, but the long and short of it is that these are my classics.

  • Malgudi Days, R.K. Narayan
  • The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
  • Little Womenand the lesser-known Little Men , Louisa May Alcott
  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • Persuasion, Jane Austen
  • Nagamandala, Girish Karnad
  • Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
  • Demian, Herman Hesse
  • Dracula, Bram Stoker
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley


  • The Winternight Trilogy, Katherine Ardern
  • The Stormlight Archives, Brandon Sanderson
  • Six of Crows Duology, Leigh Bardugo
  • The Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martinbrownie points if you read this before watching the show *
  • Gentleman Bastards, Scott Lynch *
  • Shades of Magic, V.E. Schwab
  • The Earthsea Cycle, Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel

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