Top 10 Remarkable Non Fiction Books

Non fiction book
Non fiction book

Top 10 Remarkable Non Fictions

‘Joseph Anton’, ‘Turning points’, ‘Pax Indica’, ‘Behind the beautiful forevers’ and more. Let’s have a look at the 10 best non fictions of last year……

Below mentioned are the few best non fictions of the year 2012. The specialty of each of the works and details about the authors are also explained in detail.

1. Joseph Anton- Salman Rushdie

Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is a British Indian novelist and essayist. His second novel, Midnight's Children (1981), won the Booker Prize in 1981. Much of his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent. He is said to combine magical realism with historical fiction; his work is concerned with the many connections, disruptions and migrations between East and West.The after effects caused due to his book named, ‘The Satanic Verses’ was very great. It was the centre of a major controversy, provoking protests from Muslims in several countries, some violent.A fatwa was declared against the writer. When there was a threat against his life he was in concealment. When he was in concealment he came to be called Joseph Anton. The name Joseph Anton came from the names of his favourite writers Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekov.

The memories of suffering and resistance are suffused in this book. The memoir is an account of his life in the wake of the controversy over The Satanic Verses, which lasted for ten years until 1998. The book was announced as one of the 14 titles in the longlist for the 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize on 18 September 2012.

In his new memoir Joseph Anton, he describes his life in hiding for more than a decade. Rushdie claims that The Satanic Verses was his "least political book". It was "an artistic engagement with the phenomenon of revelation", albeit from the perspective of an "unbeliever", but "a proper one nonetheless. How could that be thought offensive?" But then authorial intentions barely seemed to matter to readers bringing to the book their own particular backgrounds, worldviews and prejudices.

2. Turning points: A journey through challenges- A.P. J. Abdul Kalam

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was the eleventh president of India, from 2002 to 2007. He is a recipient of the country’s highest civilian awards, including the Bharat Ratna, and has authored several best-selling books.Abdul Kalam is known as the Missile man of India.

‘Turning Points’, takes up the incredible Kalam story from where Wings of Fire left off. It brings together details from his career and presidency that are not generally known as he speaks out for the first time on certain points of controversy. It offers insight not only into an extraordinary personality but also a vision of how a country with a great heritage can become great in accomplishment, skills and abilities through effort, perseverance and confidence. It is a continuing saga, above all, of a journey, individual and collective, that will take India to 2020 and beyond as a developed nation.

The 10 Best Non-Fiction Books Picks by WSJDigitalNetwork

3. Pax Indica- Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor is well known as a novelist, essayist and columnist. His latest book, “Pax Indica” is no academic book – he does not expound any specific theory – but he attempts to bring the topic of India’s place in the world to a wider readership, both in India and abroad. As he points out, “my concern is principally with tomorrow, not yesterday.” In this, the author succeeds. Beautifully written and engaging, like his previous books, Tharoor manages to tell a fluid story without omitting the many complexities that make the topic so interesting. This book is Shashi Tharoor’s look at modern India.

Tharoor’s basic hypothesis is that India can use a combination of her size, trade prowess, soft power and growing influence in the world to ensure an age of domestic transformation. As far as Tharoor is concerned, “Pax Indica” is a foreign policy that allows India to play a role in developing a contemporary “peace system” that will help “promote and maintain a period or co-operative co-existence”.

Those familiar with Tharoor’s writings and speeches will recognize several parts of the text – hence the conversational tone of Pax Indica.

4. Patriots and Partisans- Ramachandra Guha

Ramachandra Guha is the author of the internationally acclaimed India after Gandhi. Patriots and Partisans is the latest collection of essays written by Guha, who has presented some of the wonderful books like ‘Makers of modern India’, ‘India after Gandhi’ etc. This work is entirely different with its scathing history knowledge and political insight.

“Patriots and Partisans” manages to cover almost all grounds of India – political, socio-economical, and of cultural relevance. From what I could gather after reading the first half of the book is that Guha devoutly defends the liberal center from the dogmas of left and right with a lot of examples and relevance of situations, which takes the reader to different thought processes and at the same time challenges the intellectual. He analyses Gandhi’s religious pluralism and moves on to talk about the fall in Nehru’s reputation after his death. This book in true Guha style is introspective and can stand alone as a reference base.

The second half of the book deals with writers and scholars. This without saying was my most favourite part of the book. The essays deal with the decline of bilingual intellectuals in the country, to how literature is not what it seems. In the second half, the reader is familiarized with portraits of a magazine editor, a bookshop owner (my most favourite piece in the entire book), a publishing house and a famous historical archive.

Whether writing about politics or culture, whether profiling individuals or analysing social trends, Ramachandra Guha displays a masterly touch, confirming his standing as India’s most admired historian and public intellectual.

5. From the ruins of empire- Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra is a noted Indian essayist and novelist. Pankaj Mishra’s book, ‘From the ruins of empire: The revolt against the West and the remaking of Asia’ shows how, like their European and American counterparts, Asian intellectuals of the 19th and 20th centuries responded to the colonial encounter by constructing a binary opposition between East and West. Right now, when the emergence of a greater Asia seems possible as at no previous time in history, From the Ruins of Empire is as necessary as it is timely—a book essential to our understanding of the world and our place in it.

From the Ruins of Empire has been shortlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize, a literary award for the world’s best non-fiction book in English on foreign affairs. It is also a finalist for the Orwell Prize, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing.

All Novels of Youth Novelist Chetan Bhagat

All Novels of Youth Novelist Chetan Bhagat
All Novels of Youth Novelist Chetan Bhagat

6. What young India wants- Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Bhagat is an Indian author, columnist, and speaker. Chetan Bhagat is the author of five novels, all of which have gone on to become blockbuster sellers since they were released. They have also been adapted into major Bollywood films. . He was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time magazine and one of the worlds 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company, USA.

‘What young India wants’, is the first essay collection of Chetan Bhagat who had become famous through pulp fiction novels. In this book he asks hard questions, demands answers and presents solutions for a better, more prosperous India. It is based on Chetan Bhagat’s vast experience as a very successful writer and motivational speaker. In clear, simple prose, and with great insight, he analyses some of the complex issues facing modern India, offers solutions and invites discussion on them. The book revolves around Bhagat's thoughts and innovations on how to improve the Indian economy through social reforms. The book criticizes the dis-function of the Indian government as well as moralities regarding the current condition of India. Bhagat writes about how India can be progressive society in the future. He takes about the rampant corruption in India and how society should change to rid it. The theme is central to his dream of a free and forward thinking India.

And, at the end, he asks this important question: Unless we are all in agreement on what it is going to take to make our country better, how will things ever change? If you want to understand contemporary India, the problems that face it, and want to be a part of the solution, ‘What Young India Wants’ is the book for you.

7. Mortality- Christopher Hitchens

The world has known the concepts of Christopher Hitchens through his memoir Hich-22 and books named ‘Arguably’ and ‘Why Orwell matters’. The latest work of this rationalist, who had an untimely death, is ‘Mortality’.

Mortality is the exemplary story of one man's refusal to cower in the face of the unknown, as well as a searching look at the human predicament. Crisp and vivid, veined throughout with penetrating intelligence, Hitchens's testament is a courageous and lucid work of literature, an affirmation of the dignity and worth of man.

Throughout the course of his ordeal battling oesophageal cancer, Hitchens adamantly and bravely refused the solace of religion, preferring to confront death with both eyes open. In this riveting account of his affliction, Hitchens poignantly describes the torments of illness, discusses its taboos, and explores how disease transforms experience and changes our relationship to the world around us.

8. Behind the beautiful forevers- Katherine Boo

Katherine Boo is the author of the extraordinary book named ‘Behind the beautiful forevers’. She is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a former reporter and editor for The Washington Post. Her reporting has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur “Genius” grant, and a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. For the last decade, she has divided her time between the United States and India. This is her first book.

Katherine Boo spent more than three years in Mumbai's Annawadi slum to do research for her book Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Katherine Boo is the wife of Sunil Khilnani who had become very famous through his book named ‘The idea of India’.

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9. Beyond the lines- Kuldip Nayar

Kuldip Nayar is a veteran Indian journalist, syndicated columnist, human right activist and author, noted for his long career as a left-wing political commentator. He was also nominated as a Member of the upper house of the Indian Parliament in 1997.

The life of the journalist, Kuldip Nayar is closely related to the history of India. Hence his autobiography is a historical evidence of the past years.

10 . Music of the spinning wheel- Sudheendra Kulkarni

Sudheendra Kulkarni is an Indian politician and columnist. Music of the Spinning Wheel aims to re-project the life and the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi in the 21 century. This fascinating book looks at the Internet age via Gandhi's ideals, and encourages the reader to think and explore the possibility of the Internet to become an avatar of Gandhi's spinning wheel.

Gandhi's spinning wheel was symbolic of economic independence, spiritual/moral growth and cultural identity. Sudheendra Kulkarni draws a correlation between the amazing potential of the Internet and the moral message of the spinning wheel. The book presents Gandhi's life and mission in an altogether new and integral light. It proposes the marriage of modern technologies with swaraj and satyagraha for the shaping of a non-violent existence. The book also warns its reader that the Internet holds the possibility of ushering a non-violent existence in the human race only if world affairs have a strong ethical grounding. This is exactly what Gandhi had attempted in his time with his humble machine the spinning wheel. It is highly remarkable for its precise evaluation and viewpoint. The book features people who were deeply influenced by Gandhi's life philosophy.

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Comments 4 comments

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

A wonderful hub so interesting and useful.

I vote and share.

Also looking forward to many more by you.

Have a great day.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

Thanks for the list and your comments about each book. I'd like to read the books by Rushdie and Hitchens.

Voted Up++


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 3 years ago from New Jersey

Looks like a great list, I love Rushdie, he has a good sense of humor and tells a good story.

Kevin Peter profile image

Kevin Peter 3 years ago from Global Citizen Author

@Eiddwen - Glad you liked them Eiddwen :)

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