73 books like Into The Hidden Valley

By Stuart Blackburn,

Here are 73 books that Into The Hidden Valley fans have personally recommended if you like Into The Hidden Valley. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Ib's Endless Search for Satisfaction

Anjum Hasan Author Of The Cosmopolitans

From my list on contemporary Indian novels you have never heard of.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started writing fiction and writing about fiction at about the same time. My novels and stories tend to be about solitary characters pulled into the maelstrom that is contemporary Indian urban life and trying to make sense of it. I’ve always believed that to be an effective observer of your society you need to stay in tune with what your peers are doing and the last two decades in which I’ve been writing and publishing have been some of the most exciting for Indian fiction in general.  

Anjum's book list on contemporary Indian novels you have never heard of

Anjum Hasan Why did Anjum love this book?

I am always looking out for talented young writers and this debut really struck me for its narrator’s very distinctive voice, both stylish and sad. An Indian Catcher in the Rye but with a protagonist more hampered by family and circumstances, capable of greater angst, and looking for authenticity in the strangest and loneliest of places. 

By Roshan Ali,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ib's Endless Search for Satisfaction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"And then finally I felt sadness, aided perhaps by those futile notes, by the dust that keeps thickening, by the untouchable past, the inevitable future, and by everything else that pushes us around." 

Ib lives with his schizophrenic father and his "nice" mother negotiating life, not knowing what to do, steered by uncaring winds and pushy people. From his slimy, unmiraculous birth to the tragic death of a loved one, Ib wanders the city, from one thing to another, confused, lost, and alone, all the while reflecting on his predicament. He is searching for something - what he does not…


Book cover of A Patchwork Family

Anjum Hasan Author Of The Cosmopolitans

From my list on contemporary Indian novels you have never heard of.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started writing fiction and writing about fiction at about the same time. My novels and stories tend to be about solitary characters pulled into the maelstrom that is contemporary Indian urban life and trying to make sense of it. I’ve always believed that to be an effective observer of your society you need to stay in tune with what your peers are doing and the last two decades in which I’ve been writing and publishing have been some of the most exciting for Indian fiction in general.  

Anjum's book list on contemporary Indian novels you have never heard of

Anjum Hasan Why did Anjum love this book?

Crimes again women are discussed ad nauseam in the media but this was the first time I read a novel that made the subject painfully uncomfortable for me by telling the story not in the voice of the victim but through the reflections of a witness who probes everyone’s culpability, including her own. This powerful debut shines a very revealing light on what it means to be a comfortably middle-class Indian. 

By Mukta Sathe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Patchwork Family as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

‘In Mukta Sathe we have a new voice that displays a deep understanding of both the old and the young, of their complex relationships, and of how crime and punishment play out under our flawed judicial system. A Patchwork Family is a novel that I found difficult to put down.’ —Shanta Gokhale, author, columnist and translator

Young and idealistic, Janaki is eager to serve the cause of justice as a lawyer. Her only confidant is Ajoba, an elderly friend of her grandfather’s, who supported her throughout her childhood. They are unrelated by blood or marriage ties, but they have both…


Book cover of The Forest Beneath the Mountains

Anjum Hasan Author Of The Cosmopolitans

From my list on contemporary Indian novels you have never heard of.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started writing fiction and writing about fiction at about the same time. My novels and stories tend to be about solitary characters pulled into the maelstrom that is contemporary Indian urban life and trying to make sense of it. I’ve always believed that to be an effective observer of your society you need to stay in tune with what your peers are doing and the last two decades in which I’ve been writing and publishing have been some of the most exciting for Indian fiction in general.  

Anjum's book list on contemporary Indian novels you have never heard of

Anjum Hasan Why did Anjum love this book?

This is a marvellous novel about an area in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas that is not far from where I grew up. It’s a story about people and nature, how the relationship is at once very elemental for those who live off the land, as well as very convoluted and destructive because it’s driven by greed, politics, and fear. The narrator is a visitor to the region, looking to solve a mystery from his past, and this device of the curious outsider looking in works really well to make the whole place come to life. 

By Ankush Saikia,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Forest Beneath the Mountains as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Description
Shaken by the news of his mother’s death, a man leaves his job in Delhi and
returns to Assam. Twenty-five years ago, his father, a forest officer here, was
found shot dead in his jeep. With the passing of his mother, the man learns new
and startling details of his father’s life, and trying to reclaim an entire life suddenly
made unfamiliar, he starts digging into events from far back in time, visiting
places where his father had served, in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas.
But the forests he had once roamed as a boy with his father…


Book cover of Legal Fiction: A Novel

Anjum Hasan Author Of The Cosmopolitans

From my list on contemporary Indian novels you have never heard of.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started writing fiction and writing about fiction at about the same time. My novels and stories tend to be about solitary characters pulled into the maelstrom that is contemporary Indian urban life and trying to make sense of it. I’ve always believed that to be an effective observer of your society you need to stay in tune with what your peers are doing and the last two decades in which I’ve been writing and publishing have been some of the most exciting for Indian fiction in general.  

Anjum's book list on contemporary Indian novels you have never heard of

Anjum Hasan Why did Anjum love this book?

This slim novel I read in one sitting not because, in the way of conventional thrillers, one hopes for a decent resolution, but because the story is so devastating. Its very hopelessness somehow pulls one in. Pandey has written a very gentle account of the very brutal forces ranged against one couple who have committed what can be a crime in modern India – marrying outside one’s caste and religion. 

By Chandan Pandey, Bharatbhooshan Tiwari (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Legal Fiction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is like Kafka in Deoria. Or Camus in the cow belt. But more accurate to say that Legal Fiction is an urgent, literary report about how truth goes missing in our land. I read it with a racing heart.

-- Amitava Kumar, author of The Lovers

Chandan Pandey goes looking for the story that lurks just out of sight, getting under the skin of news headlines and extracting a story that is as compelling as it is devastating.

-- Annie Zaidi, author of Prelude to a Riot

Chandan Pandey has written a brilliant, gripping political novel. Legal Fiction is…


Book cover of Kim

Nicola Rose O'Hara Author Of Girl With Two Fingers

From my list on taking you where you can’t go.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve chosen these books because they take me to times and places I can’t go (although I did serendipitously get to Kerala, and am hoping to go to the West Coast of America one day). Girl with Two Fingers takes you into the studio, hopefully as if you could have been there yourself. I want readers to be able to share something of the experience I was so lucky to have. And to be able to see perhaps more questioningly when they look at art.

Nicola's book list on taking you where you can’t go

Nicola Rose O'Hara Why did Nicola love this book?

Another 13-year-old boy protagonist, Kimball O’Hara. No relation. 

I read parts of Kim to Lucian in the studio, he liked the epigraph at the beginning of chapter five: the prodigal son does not stay comfortably in his father’s forgiving embrace, but returns ‘to the styes afresh.’

Kim is a magnificent adventure: the orphan boy who belongs but does not belong to two nations, and a description of the peoples, the ways, the mountains, and the plains of India. 

A vicarious journey around a world of the past, and a particularly male world, which Kipling takes us to.

By Rudyard Kipling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kimball O’Hara grows up an orphan in the walled city of Lahore, India. Deeply devoted to an old Tibetan lama but involved in a secret mission for the British, Kim struggles to weave the strands of his life into a single pattern. Kim and the holy man roam about India. Kim’s intimate knowledge of India makes him a valuable asset to the English Secret Service, in which he wins renown while still a boy.

Charged with action and suspense, yet profoundly spiritual, Kim vividly expresses the sounds and smells, colors and characters, opulence and squalor of complex, contradictory India under…


Book cover of Maria Murder and Suicide

Martin Daly Author Of Killing the Competition: Economic Inequality and Homicide

From my list on why people sometimes kill one another.

Why am I passionate about this?

When my late wife Margo Wilson suggested, over 40 years ago, that we should study homicides for what they might reveal about human motives and emotions, her idea seemed zany. But when we plunged into police investigative files and homicide databases, we quickly realized that we had struck gold, and homicide research became our passion. Our innovation was to approach the topic like epidemiologists, asking who is likely to kill whom and identifying the risk factors that are peculiar to particular victim-killer relationships. What do people really care about? Surveys and interviews elicit cheap talk; killing someone is drastic action.  

Martin's book list on why people sometimes kill one another

Martin Daly Why did Martin love this book?

People share a complex core of humanity that transcends cultural differences. Rather than being incomprehensibly strange, the passions that move people in "exotic" societies are all too familiar. Compendia of homicide cases in tribal societies that are in many ways different from the one we inhabit support this claim, and my 5th pick is a particularly readable example. Anthropologist Verrier Elwin amassed court records on 107 homicides among the "Bison-Horn Maria" of central India in the first half of the 20th century. The Maria then lived as slash-and-burn horticulturalists and part-time hunter-gatherers, and were, like other "tribals," left to their own devices by the British Raj unless a violent death provoked state intervention. The killings described here are tragic, and the protagonists, though sparsely introduced, fully human.     

By Verrier Elwin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Maria Murder and Suicide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After providing a brief sketch of Maria life and custom, Elwin goes on to examine the records of one hundred cases of murder and fifty cases of suicide, and finally makes valuable suggestions for improving the treatment of aboriginal in jail. The commonest motives for crime among the Bison-horn Maria were found to be sexual jealousy and resentment or shame caused by public rebuke; fatigue and the use of alcohol were also found to be factors.


Book cover of The Sun in the Morning

Annie Murray Author Of Letter from a Tea Garden

From my list on India under the Raj that are not about princesses.

Why am I passionate about this?

Abi Oliver is a pen name as my real name is Annie Murray—I write under both names. My first book, A New Map of Love, set in the 1960s, featured an older woman who had been born in India. She developed into such a character—a bit of an old trout to be truthful—that I wanted to tell her story. It also tapped into my family’s many connections with India and the fact that I have travelled a lot there. I finally got to travel, with my oldest daughter, and stay in one of the tea gardens in Assam—a wonderful experience.

Annie's book list on India under the Raj that are not about princesses

Annie Murray Why did Annie love this book?

M.M Kaye was best known for her blockbuster The Far Pavilions. This beautifully written book, however, is a first volume of memoir—another record of a European child in India. Having travelled there a lot myself and had a family relative close to me in age grew up in the tea gardens there, I have long wondered what that experience was like, quite apart from the politics of whether we should have been there or not. Kaye’s childhood eye describes her upbringing in Shimla in the Himalayan foothills as well as Delhi, before her inevitable banishment to cold England. The book has a sunlit feel to it and it full of vivid detail and fond memories of this childhood caught between two worlds. 

By M.M. Kaye,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sun in the Morning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Sun in the Morning is the first volume of autobiography by the beloved British author M. M. Kaye. It traces the author's early life in India and later adolescence in England. As The Guardian wrote, "No romance in the novels of M.M. Kaye... could equal her love for India."

" … [Kaye's] kaleidoscopic story of a long-lost innocence just before and after World War I helps to explain Kaye's idealization of the British Raj and her love for Kipling's verse." - Publishers Weekly


Book cover of Calcutta: A Cultural and Literary History

Tom Vater Author Of Kolkata Noir

From my list on Kolkata (Calcutta India).

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a writer and journalist with an eye on South and Southeast Asia. I first visited Kolkata, or Calcutta as the city was known back then, in 1995 and fell in love with its spirit, culture, architecture, politics, and decrepitude. I have been back regularly reporting on the city’s cultural life for media like CNN and Nikkei Asia. In 2019, I was selected as artist-in-residence for the Indo-European Art Residency by the Goethe Institute and spent 10 weeks writing a crime fiction set in the Bengali capital. Kolkata is, hands down, my favorite city in the world – despite its poverty, systemic injustice, and political cruelty, there is an energy in the place that is hard to beat.

Tom's book list on Kolkata (Calcutta India)

Tom Vater Why did Tom love this book?

Another nonfiction similar in scope and outlook to Kushanava Choudhury’s The Epic City, this title dispenses with the personal narrative and offers a highly structured rundown of the main attractions/points of history/social and cultural issues, etc of the Bengali capital. Not quite a guidebook, Calcutta offers short texts on particular aspects of life in the city, then and now. Well written, the book suffers from the same issue as all other recent books on Kolkata – the British get away with way too much and the post-independence period is seen through the eyes of Calcutta’s privileged elite. That said, this title does well at dissecting cultural currents, and the section on artistic Kolkata is especially rewarding. A great, practical introduction for the first-time visitor.

By Krishna Dutta,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Calcutta as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Dutta, Krishna


Book cover of Boats on Land: A Collection of Short Stories

Venkataraghavan Subha Srinivasan Author Of The Origin Story of India's States

From my list on discovering a modern India you’ve never seen.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by maps all my life. The map of India has always held special interest. As I’ve lived in different parts of India, I’ve seen firsthand how India is one country, but its stories are multiple. I chronicled India’s varied stories through the origins of each of its states. Similarly, I’ve curated a diverse and inclusive reading list. It covers different parts of the country and contains different types of books—graphic novel, travelog, memoir, and short story collections. The authors also cut across religion, gender, and social strata. I hope you discover a whole new India!

Venkataraghavan's book list on discovering a modern India you’ve never seen

Venkataraghavan Subha Srinivasan Why did Venkataraghavan love this book?

I love how this short story collection traverses time but not locationthe setting is the northeastern state of Meghalaya while the stories span 150 years. In these fifteen tales, folklore mixes with modern life and myth is steeped in the mundane. The result? The reader journeys through a rich smorgasbord of a multi-faceted Meghalaya and its people. Given the tendency to clump the seven northeastern states together, this book helps us view one of those states distinctively.

By Janice Pariat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Boats on Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Boats on Land is a unique way of looking at India’s northeast and its people against a larger historical canvas—the early days of the British Raj, the World Wars, conversions to Christianity, and the missionaries. This is a world in which the everyday is infused with folklore and a deep belief in the supernatural. Here, a girl dreams of being a firebird. An artist watches souls turn into trees. A man shape-shifts into a tiger. Another is bewitched by water fairies. Political struggles and social unrest interweave with fireside tales and age-old superstitions. Boats on Land quietly captures our fragile…


Book cover of Flashman

Austin Grossman Author Of Crooked

From my list on set in alternate histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a lot of things. I design games. I study literature and theater. I write novels that are messy fusions of literary and genre fiction. I'm endlessly curious. Each of my books starts with when I hear in my head, the voice of a character asking a question. It's always a silly question, and it's always the one that matters more to them than anything else in the world. "Why does being superintelligent make you evil?" became Soon I Will Be Invincible. "What are people who play video games obsessively really looking for?" became You. Answering the question isn't simple, but of course that's where the fun starts.

Austin's book list on set in alternate histories

Austin Grossman Why did Austin love this book?

Flashman does a thing I love, which is to tell the story of another book's least notable character.

Harry Flashman comes from Thomas Hughes's 1850 novel Tom Brown's School Days (the entire basis for the Harry Potter novels), where he's a sub-Draco Malfo figure, a useless bully.

Flashman tells the story of his later years as the Victorian Empire's most cowardly soldier, rattling around British colonies, stumbling through their various atrocities and debacles. I wish the book were even harsher on the Brits, but it's a deeply fun counter-text and a lovely bit of escapism nonetheless.

By George MacDonald Fraser,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Flashman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For George MacDonald Fraser the bully Flashman was easily the most interesting character in Tom Brown's Schooldays, and imaginative speculation as to what might have happened to him after his expulsion from Rugby School for drunkenness ended in 12 volumes of memoirs in which Sir Harry Paget Flashman - self-confessed scoundrel, liar, cheat, thief, coward -'and, oh yes, a toady' - romps his way through decades of nineteenth-century history in a swashbuckling and often hilarious series of military and amorous adventures. In Flashman the youthful hero, armed with a commission in the 11th Dragoons, is shipped to India, woos and…


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