Best 15 Shashi Tharoor Books To Read 2023

Shashi Tharoor is a well-known personality in India. Although he is often more popularised by being a political figure and former international diplomat. But another reason why people are ware of this name is because of his books. He was always interested in writing and first start writing at the age of six! And till now he has written about 18 books based on the culture, political history and society of India.
He has also written many columns in popular publications such as The New York Times and Washington Post. He has also won the Sahitya Academy Award for his book ‘An Era of Darkness’ in the none fictional category. If you too are looking for the best books by Shashi Tharoor then you are the right place. We have listed the Shashi Tharoor books with a brief explanation of the plot so it will be easy for you to choose the best book, Shashi Tharoor book to start with.

Shashi Tharoor Books

shashi tharoor books

1. An Era of Darkness: The British Empire In India

shashi tharoor books
An Era of Darkness is one of the most popular books by Shashi Tharoor and as we have mentioned before it has also received an award from the prestigious Sahitya Academy of India for the best non-fiction book. It was released in the year 2016 and it is counted among the best selling books of that year.
The book’s content can be described as explosive as the author suggest the British period in India as an era of darkness! The book consists of the highest standard and flawless research, acuity, and trademark wit for the British Rule.
This gripping tale of devastating administration by the British rulers show that how they have looted our country and ruined the textile, steel making as well as the shipping industry along with the negative transformation of the agriculture during that time. The books take you to the history of India and how they have impacted the Indians. The book was later published UK and US under the title Inglorious Empire: What the British Did To India.

2. Why I Am a Hindu

shashi tharoor books to read
The book was published in the year 2018 which takes you to the cultural road and how it suggests numerous elements of Hinduism and its history. The book starts with his own belief in Hinduism and slowly he widens the range and tells us about the Hinduism culture in a more broad manner. He also talks about many people who have contributed to this culture and how they have changed the way people used to think about Hindus!
Tharoor has praised the Hindu Culture and how these cultures have impacted his personality. It is counted as one of the best works by him so you should definitely read the book sometime. It will deepen your knowledge about the Hindu culture and people have also praised how the author has described all these things with pride.

3. The Great Indian Novel

list of shashi tharoor books
It was published in the year 1989 and it was considered as one of the best works by Shashi Tharoor. Interestingly he has taken the story of Mahabharata (a popular Indian mythological epic). And transform it into a modern context. He somehow blends the context of Mahabharata with the Indian independence struggle and the three decades of post inference of India.
He has taken the character as well as the vote idea of Mahabharata with Indian politics with a hilarious touch. The best part of the book is that people who are not familiar with Indian mythology and history can enjoy the book. This book would be a perfect start for the Shashi Tharoor books so we would suggest reading this book at least once because it’s considered as the too good to be missed book!

4. Show Business

shashi tharoor books list
This book will definitely interest the Bollywood fans and even those who have no knowledge of the Indian Cinema! This is the fictional novel that features the character of Ashok Banjara who is a Bollywood superstar. Sometimes you will feel that the author is raining the questions and answers about contemporary India.
The lead character of the book is said to be a self-absorbed man who gives no real thought about the people around him. There are many times when you will find yourself wanting to get answers. It is also said that the lead character of the book has been inspired by Amitabh Bachchan who is the biggest superstar in Bollywood history. Overall the story will keep you interesting through the book and will definitely shock you with an unexpected ending!

5. Riot

best shashi tharoor book
The Riot was published in the year 2004, it is another fictional story by Shashi Tharoor. The story starts with a murder mystery of twenty-four-year-old Pricilla Hart. She was an idealistic American student who came to India to participate in women’s health programs! The book constantly tries to find answers to the death of Pricilla. There are numerous reasons that can explain her death!
Was it the love affair? Or her husband kill her? Or her work become the reason behind her murder? Maybe the riots of 198 to 7 have to lead to the death of her? We don’t know the reason yet but you will definitely enjoy the book and how it talks about politics and history of India!

6. India: From Midnight to Millenium

shashi tharoor books in order
This is the perfect Shashi Tharoor books, which means you can expect all the political and economic situation of India and what was the mindset of the government and citizens of that time. Apart from this, Tharoor has beautifully discussed the wide range of topics such as caste, democracy in India, the partition of India, and the transition of a socialist economy to a free-market economy in India.
Shashi Tharoor has also discussed Indira Gandhi, the former prime minister of India! Other than this, the author has also discussed some questions that are arising at the end of the twentieth century. He has also discussed India being the 6th largest country in terms of population, of course, we are now the 2nd largest. To sum up, the book was entirely based on the era of the 1990s and how he has described the history of India after independence.

7. Bookless in Baghdad

shashi tharoor books
The book is based on the personal experience of Shashi Tharoor when he visited Baghdad on a UN initiative. Soon after the Gulf War. It consists of a collection of previously published articles, book reviews, and columns on writers, books, and literary musings. This non-fiction book was published in the year 2005. If you are interested to know about the gulf war and the Baghdad region then you should definitely read the book.

8. India Shastra: Reflection on the Nation in our Time

shashi tharoor books
Another Shashi Tharoor Book which lets you compare the present and the past of the nation. As you should know by now that this the favorite theme of Shashi Tharoor books, so it’s not a surprise. In this book, the author tries to answer the complex questions about the transitions witnessing by the nation and compare the change to past transitions.
The book consists of many short essays about Indian society and economics as well as the politics of the nation which features the up to date transitions. So unlike other books where he only suggests about the past of India, here you will get an insight into today’s time as well.

9. The Five Dollar Smile and Other Stories

shashi tharoor books
This book actually tells the different sides of Shashi Tharoor’s writing. We are familiar with his political and diplomat writing along with his knowledge for history and economics but not many people think of him as an entertaining author and this book breaks that stereotype.
See the book consists of may short stories that wide range in emotions and genre. At one story you will find yourself laughing and the other one will shock you in many ways. I personally liked the book as it suggests how fascinating Shashi Tharoor’s writing is and that he is perfectly capable of writing some good entertaining stuff as well.

10. When the Lotus Blooms

We have found the perfect Shashi Tharoor Book which every Indian and even the people who haven’t been in India will praise. The book proudly narrates the beauty of India’s diversity and how we all are connected to each other. It takes you through the different landscapes of India as well. The book also features another universal theme that is the struggle of women and they find happiness in a patriarchal society.
The story follows the two Brahmin families during the British colonial era (the 1930s) and the two-child brides and how they try to adjust themselves in their husband’s families. Both the brides have their issues and the story interestingly describes so many things that women go through in India.

11. Unity, Diversity and Other Contradictions

Whenever we ask anyone about India, their first response is often started with “unity in diversity”. Although the reality is not the same for all. As we know there are also some differences too and the most notable one is among the Hindus and Muslims!
We all know that Hinduism is associated with numerous practices, rituals, and customs. The biggest and one of the oldest religions of India has now become a threat to India’s secular status and that was what depicted in the book. The author has intelligently tried to discuss the ‘unity in diversity’ status of the country.

12. Shadows Across the Playing Field: 60 years of India and Pakistan Cricket

This book has been written by Shashi Tharoor and Shaharyar Khan and was published in the year 2009. We all know that cricket might be the only thing that unites our whole nation and the same goes for our neighboring nation as well. And that’s where the book is narrating the cricket relations between the two countries from the past sixty years.
We know about Shashi Tharoor, but the co-author of this book, Shaharyar Khan is equally talented when it comes to writing. He was a former foreign secretary and the former chairmen of the Pakistan Cricket board. Both the author has tried to compile the relations between both the countries regarding cricket and how the passion among the people have grown for the cricket match between the two countries.

13. India Sutra: Reflection on the World’s Largest Democracy in the 21st Century

The whole world is aware of India’s status for being the largest democracy! And Shashi Tharoor takes a look at the winning of BJP snd the arrival of Narendra Modi as prime minister. He is also showing some serious concerns about this changing political power in the country. There are many serious questions raised by the author and he has also tried yo analyze the answers. Overall this book is for political lovers.

14. Nehru: A Biography

You will agree with us when we say that it is a mist read book by Shashi Tharoor. The book talks about Nehru and his contributions to independent India. Its a biography so you will be learning about our former Prime Minister and what kinda person he was.

15. India: the future is now

Another book with the familiar theme, the book is an inspiring vision of India by her young parliamentarians. The book suggests that we should have faith in our nation builders as they are taking the bold and ambitious measures to make India great.


So these are the Shashi Tharoor books that you were looking for. We hope you found the article helpful. He is definitely the right choice for the none fiction category and you will learn a lot about the Indian culture and its political nature through his books. So we definitely recommend the Shashi Tharoor books.
Alright we have come to an end, you can also check other articles for many other popular authors as well. Thank you for giving us your time and keep coming for more such content!

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