Top 15 unmissable books to read in Hindi this holiday season!

books to read in hindi

If you have been an ardent fan of Hindi literature and the ‘desi’ stories from the hinterlands of the subcontinent pique your interest like no other, then this is where your search ends! At a time when ‘desi web-series’ speaking about the trials and tribulations of the small towns of India, attracts viewer’s attention –  Premchands and Ramdhari Dinkars may seem to be long lost. However, the smell of paperbacks is far from gone! When scrolling through this listicle of books to read in Hindi – you will find for yourself, how those rusty pages could present a distinct canvas of India, perhaps far from the ‘contemporary’ portrayal that we seemingly ‘love!’

So, without further ado, here’s introducing you to some of those texts that depict the rich cultural heritage of India, recorded in one of the official tongues of the country –

Listing books to read in Hindi you must check

For all the lovers of the language, here are your picks for the holiday season –

1. Kitne Pakistan

books to read in Hindi

The pioneer of the ‘Nayi Kahani’ movement in the 1950s, Kamleshwar Prasad Saxena reimagines the tragic reality of Partition through the lenses of allegory in his pathbreaking novel – Kitne Pakistan. Standing in a tumultuous post-independence India, the author debates the concept of Nehruvian secularism, while keeping the facets of Hindutva politics at the backside – as he vehemently questions the future of the ‘new-born’ countries.

A rewarding treasure trove of historical information, Kamleshwar’s novel is a poignant analysis that tugs at the edges of humanity, that it has been reduced to amidst this turmoil. When the unnamed ‘abeed,’ stands in the court of law listening to the various ‘purported’ versions of history, it seems that even the Gods in heaven are having a good laugh!

The novel is one of the best Hindi books to read and is the winner of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award. It has been adapted into a play in 2013. Penguin India released a translated version of it – called Partitions.

  • Author: Kamleshwar
  • Publisher: Rajpal & Sons
  • Genre: historical novel
  • Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Pages: 361
  • Audio Book: Available on Audible (Amazon) – narrator: Uplaksh Kochhar

Find it: https://www.amazon.in/Kitne-Pakistan-Kamleshwar/dp/8170284767

2. Kashi ka Assi

books to read in Hindi

According to Hindu mythology, life comes to a full circle on the ghats of Kashi. Written in the typical Banarasia ‘fakkad’ language, this book, the epicenter of which is Mohalla Assi – brings alive the ‘character’ of the ghats in its literary characters. The narrative spins the simplicity of the Banaras’ life, with the commercialization of grief at the ghats – while the socio-political and communal issues of Mandal politics and Ramjanmabhoomi spruce up the life of its people.

As one of the best books to read in Hindi, this tragic satire ends by noting how the attractive farce of consumerism is eating into the ‘laughter’ of today’s society. The 2018 film, Mohalla Assi is based on this book.

  • Author: Dr. Kashi Nath Singh
  • Publisher: Rajkamal Prakashan (11th Edition, 2016)
  • Genre: Social Satire
  • Release Date: 2004 (original)
  • Number of Pages: 171
  • Audio Book: Available on Storytel – narrator: Nandkishore Pandey

Find it: https://www.amazon.in/Kashi-Ka-Assi-Kashinath-Singh/dp/8126711469

3. Maila Aanchal

Maila Aanchal

One of the finest books to read in Hindi in the post-Premchand era, Renu’s Maila Aanchal is set against the landscape of Bihar, during the Quit India Movement. Termed one of the first ‘Anchalik Upanyas’ in the true sense, this social novel, in due course of its narrative has interlinked the colloquialism of Purnea, with the Maithli folklore and idiosyncrasies that are considered ‘typical’ to the land. The spark comes when the narrative suddenly shifts – from the rigid village mentality that the world believes doesn’t change, to the gentle sensitivity exhibited by the villages as India strides towards becoming part of the modern world.

The diversity of characters, and the depiction of social and casteist prejudices that ails the hinterlands of India to fight against adversities to step into a brighter world – make this one of the ‘must-read’ books.

The novel was adapted for a televised version by DD National, India.

  • Author: Phanishwar Nath Renu
  • Publisher: Rajkamal Prakashan (1st Edition, 2016)
  • Genre: Social, Medical Fiction, and Pastoral
  • Release Date: 1954
  • Number of Pages: 353
  • Audio Book: Available on Pratilipi FM – narrator: Pratilipi FM

Find it: https://www.amazon.in/Maila-Anchal-Phanishwar-Nath-Renu/dp/8126704802

4. Swaraj

Swaraj

If you righteously stand for equality and social justice, when the shackles of social pressures bound you down – Swaraj is a book for your soul. One of the noted books to read in Hindi, this novel presents a compact understanding of the ‘minimal’ powers that the ‘true leaders’ hold while those who apparently have ‘no evident power’ seem to be holding the mantle of power.

Noted to be one of the top bestsellers in Hindi, this book amalgamates the democratic set-up with the true demands of the people who have created that democracy and laces it with the capitalistic ambitions that seem to control the country.

  • Author: Arvind Kejriwal
  • Publisher: HarperCollins-Hindi
  • Genre: Socio-Political novel, Manifesto for Anti-graft movement
  • Release Date: 2014
  • Number of Pages: 176
  • Audio Book: Unavailable

Find it: https://www.amazon.in/Swaraj-Arvind-Kejriwal/dp/935029544X

5. Bharat Vikhandan

Bharat Vikhandan

Many complain that when picking up the catalog of some of the best books to read in Hindi, not many have depicted how modern India is losing its essence as it approaches the Western methodology at every step of its functioning.

Taking the Dravidian Movement as its base, this piece of content is both confrontational and historiographical – setting it aside amongst the plethora of novels that tried to deal with the socio-political identity of India. A powerful book, this shows the stark comparison between the famed country of the past that was built on the tenets of Dravidian beliefs and cemented with the faith of Dalit identity. With the world’s contemporary niceties taking over, India’s true essence seems to be vanishing – and that loss is something the book questions and mourns.

Originally, this book was written in English as Breaking India, and later was translated into Hindi. Kannada and Tamil.

  • Author: Rajiv Malhotra and Aravindan Neelakandan
  • Publisher: HarperCollins-Hindi
  • Genre: Society and Culture
  • Release Date: 2014
  • Number of Pages: 588
  • Audio Book: Unavailable

Find ithttps://www.amazon.in/Bharat-Vikhandan-Rajiv-Malhotra/dp/9351365972

6. Gaban

Gaban

This is probably one of the biggest ills of society – to want more, despite having enough for living. A masterpiece that is considered a benchmark in Hindi literature, this list depicting books to read in Hindi will not follow up, if Gaban does not get a mention.

A true depiction of Indian society, Jalpa’s unending desires that cannot be matched by the meagre income of Ramanath, and how he warps around his morality to fulfill the same – is what Indian corruption tabloid news in current times look like.

This book has been translated by Christopher R King.

  • Author: Munshi Premchand
  • Publisher: Saraswati Press (India)/ Oxford University Press(US). Multiple publications by Rajpal & Sons, Fingerprint! Publishing and others
  • Genre: Social and moral values, Fiction
  • Release Date: 1931
  • Number of Pages: Differs from publication to publication
  • Audio Book: Available on Audible(Amazon) – narrator: Sameer Goswami

Find it: https://www.amazon.in/Gaban-Hindi-Munshi-Premchand/dp/9389053048/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=8LBYBNGLO6KT&keywords=godan+by+premchand+in+hindi&qid=1690377315&s=books&sprefix=godan%2Cstripbooks%2C202&sr=1-1-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY&psc=1

7. Godaan

Godaan

Hori is you! That’s precisely what the power this book holds. Noted to be amongst the best books to read in Hindi, Godaan is a depiction of rural India and its intricate problems. There are endless issues – whether social or familial, with the masses facing a predicament, that is typical to the pre-independence era, the borderline lies in how despite all the issues, everyone strives to be at their best!

This book was adapted for a Hindi film, of the same name in 1963. It was also part of the DD National 27-episode series: Tehreer …Munshi Premchand Ki.

  • Author: Munshi Premchand
  • Publisher: Multiple publications by Fingerprint! Publishing/ Manoj Publications and others
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Release Date: 1936 (latest edition released by Fingerprint! Publishing in 2019)
  • Number of Pages: 412
  • Audio Book: Available on Audible(Amazon) – narrator: Sameer Goswami

Find it: https://www.amazon.in/Godan-Premchand/dp/9350336626/ref=sr_1_3?crid=O2P3GTAW4MF8&keywords=godan+by+premchand&qid=1690377402&s=books&sprefix=godan+by+premchand%2Cstripbooks%2C196&sr=1-3

8. Arthala

arthala

What’s a book-reading experience, if you are not thrilled enough? Cementing its position as one of the best books to read in Hindi, by kids and adults alike – this poignant tale of a relationship between ‘Guru’ and ‘Shishya’ is a must-read. For those who wish to have a little more knowledge of the value system of this country, and celebrate certain relationships – this is a cult classic!

  • Author: Vivek Kumar
  • Publisher: Anjuman Prakashan (2016)/ Hind Yugm (2017)
  • Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
  • Release Date: 2016
  • Number of Pages: 448
  • Audio Book: Available on Storytel – narrator: Surjan Singh

Find it: https://www.amazon.in/Arthla-Sangram-Sindhu-Gatha-Part/dp/9384419907/ref=sr_1_1?crid=NG2QXWIRLV1T&keywords=arthala&qid=1690377516&s=books&sprefix=arthala%2Cstripbooks%2C202&sr=1-1

9. Suraj ka Satva Ghoda

BOOKS TO READ IN HINDI

Imagine what would be a story when a man relives the tales of three failed romances all involving him! Jamuna, Lily, and Satti were all in love with Manik Mulla at one point in time. However, fate takes a tragic turn and none of them could find their fulfilment with Mulla. The novel continues depicting how these women, despite their tragedy-filled life, fight the odds and have the courage to live on. The surreal ingenious style makes this book an immediate choice for readers looking for books to read in Hindi in the experimental genre.

It was made into a film by the noted director Shyam Benegal with Rajit Kapur in the lead role of Manik Mullah.

  • Author: Dharamveer Bharti
  • Publisher: Bhartiya Gnanpith
  • Genre: Non-Fiction, Contemporary
  • Release Date: 1952
  • Number of Pages: 46
  • Audio Book: Available on Pratilipi FM – narrator: Pratilipi FM.

Find it: https://www.amazon.in/Sooraj-Satnva-Ghoda-Dharmveer-Bharti/dp/B01MROMLW0/ref=sr_1_2?crid=37AM515GX4Y56&keywords=suraj+ka+satva+ghoda+book&qid=1690377549&s=books&sprefix=suraj+ka+sa%2Cstripbooks%2C194&sr=1-2

10. Seva Sadan

Seva sadan

As a pioneer amidst the series of feminist best Hindi books to read, Seva Sadan offers a grim realistic tale of a woman, raised to be domesticated – finding herself pushed to the limits in the British-era Indian brothels. The sordid tale of Suman mimics every woman who has been questioned about their characters, and whose every action was monitored – fearing that one ‘misstep’ would lead to social repercussions that would continue for years!

With a heartbreaking premise and a realistic conclusion, this is a novel that towers in the list of feminist literature recognized globally.

It was translated into English by Snehal Shingavi.

  • Author: Munshi Premchand
  • Publisher: Diamond Pocket Book
  • Genre: Social Reality
  • Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Pages: 168
  • Audio Book: Available on Audible(Amazon) – narrator: Lalit Agarwal

Find it: https://www.amazon.in/Sevasadan-HINDI-Munshi-Premchand/dp/9389432448/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3QAT4J9N4XT7M&keywords=seva+sadan+by+premchand&qid=1690377448&s=books&sprefix=seva+sadan+by+premchand%2Cstripbooks%2C191&sr=1-1

11. Raag Darbari

rag darbari

Gandhi once stated – “India lives in its villages” – Shukla’s classic stands true to the view, portraying the degeneration of values in post-colonial India. An enthralling read, this book on the one hand gives a nuanced idea of the functioning of the villages, all with its eccentricities and idiosyncrasies – and through those same lenses tries to take a look at the bigger picture of the functioning of the central government. Very surprisingly and albeit a little cruelly, through a snapshot of local elections, he showcases that despite all the stances of ‘democracy’ – the power always resides with the rich.

This book was translated into English by Gillian Wright.

  • Author: Shrilal Shukla
  • Publisher: Rajkamal Prakashan (35th Edition, 2016)
  • Genre: Satire
  • Release Date: 1968
  • Number of Pages: 334
  • Audio Book: Available on Audible(Amazon) – narrator: Sumit Kaul

Find it: https://www.amazon.in/Rag-Darbari-Shrilal-Shukla/dp/8126713968/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1FETR1W1DAJV1&keywords=rag+darbari&qid=1690377601&s=books&sprefix=rag+darbar%2Cstripbooks%2C202&sr=1-1

12. Karambhoomi

karam bhumi

As they say, classics never take a backseat!! Another of the masterpieces that Premchand created, this abstract story of Amarkant lays bare the facets that define human behavior. As the story transitions, the readers get to see the evolution in the character graph of the protagonist and participants, where the intricacies of every character become significant for the plot development. How the transition towards an ideal case of socialism happens is critical to the story, not idealistic though – but surely a pleasant read.

This was translated into English by Dr. Ritarani Paliwal.

  • Author: Munshi Premchand
  • Publisher: Nai Sadi Book House (2015). Another edition published by Fingerprint! Publishing.
  • Genre: Social Fiction
  • Release Date: 2015
  • Number of Pages: 304
  • Audio Book: Available on Audible(Amazon) – narrator: Akhtar Qureshi

Find it: https://www.amazon.in/Karm-Bhumi-Premchand/dp/9350336596/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=I8VO2XZSAGZN&keywords=karambhoomi+by+premchand&qid=1690377460&s=books&sprefix=karambhoomi+by+premchand%2Cstripbooks%2C190&sr=1-1-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY&psc=1

13. Lal Pasina

laal pasina

Mass migration whether forced or caused by dire scenarios – brings in adventures, that perhaps do not always end with the achieving of the American Dream. This book is a narrative that holds a reservoir of memories of Indian labourers who went to work in the Mauritian sugarcane fields and their candid tales of sordidness.

Amidst all the books to read in Hindi that showcases the brutality of colonial expansion, Lal Pasina cements the story of how mere destructive memories constitute the history of communities.

  • Author: Abhimanyu Anat
  • Publisher: Rajkamal Prakashan
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Pages: 364
  • Audio Book: Unavailable

Find it: https://www.amazon.in/Laal-Pasina-Abhimanyu-Anat/dp/8126718005

14. Apka Bunty

Apka bunty

A novel that has cemented its position as one of the best Hindi books to read, and a milestone at the time that it was published – Apka Bunty delves into the effects of a child’s psychology in the wake of their parents’s separation – from a female gaze. A mere 9-year-old boy is faced with the harrowing truth that his parents are divorced and he now is faced with the ‘challenges’ of society. As a sensitive boy who loves gardening, his choices are rendered to the backseat as he grows up tangled amidst his mother’s emotional bondage.

A torchbearer of Nayi Kahani, Bhandari draws the story to a close, as she sews the threads together. But never does one find a conclusion, making this a compelling read.

This was translated into English by Rohini Chowdhury and titled – “Yours Resolutely: Manjari”

  • Author: Mannu Bhandari
  • Publisher: Radhakrishnan Prakashan (2009)
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Release Date: 1971
  • Number of Pages: 207
  • Audio Book: Available on Pratilipi FM – narrator: Pratilipi FM. Another audio version on Rakuten Kobo, narrated by: Swatishree Sharma

Find it: https://www.amazon.in/Aapka-Bunti-Mannu-Bhandari/dp/8183610935

15. Mohan Das

mohan das

As we come to the conclusion of this exhaustive compilation of the best books to read in Hindi – there’s no way out if we do not pick a book that relives the tale of lost identity. As young Mohandas, facing life’s adversities lands a job in Oriental Coal Mines, he realizes that someone else has been living with his identity. When a news correspondent tries to uncover the small-town-scam, harrowing tales of poverty, lack of identity, casteism, social backwardness, and bureaucratic corruption comes to the forefront.

What starts as a mere loss of opportunity transcends into a Kafkaesque tale of identity loss that stands as evidence of corruption and conspiracy behind the steel frames of the country.

Touted as one of the prime testaments of what poverty looks like, in the ‘underbellies’ and ‘hinterlands’ of India, this was adapted into a Hindi film in 2008, opening to positive reviews.

  • Author: Uday Prakash
  • Publisher: Vani Prakashan
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Pages: 96
  • Audio Book: Unavailable

Find it: https://www.amazon.in/Mohan-Das-Uday-Prakash/dp/9352291492

On a parting note

When talking about the enriched culture and heritage of India or the plethora of social and political aspects that is ingrained in its very existence – one will not be able to cover it in a bound copy. Having said that the intertwined stories these authors have managed to weave, within the restrains of a bound cover is remarkable. Every novel that you pick up manages to transport you to a curious set-up located deep within the Hindi heartland, giving you a glimpse of the core of Bharat. The apparent glass covers and caked-up personalities take a backseat, and you discover the idiosyncrasies of the rustic characters embedded within you. Literature, as they say – is the fuel for breathing in reality. Therefore, we wish you to take up any of these books to read in Hindi on a drowsy afternoon, as you enjoy your cup of ‘masala’ tea and a handful of fritters!! Trust the experts, you will be overjoyed!

FAQ

1. Which book is best for reading Hindi?

You already have the catalog of the best Hindi books to read if you are hovering on this page. Pick out any of the aforementioned texts and you will assuredly be rewarded with an enriching literary experience.

2. How can I get into Hindi literature?

With a plethora of content, Hindi literature is diverse in terms of its themes. If you are new to this domain, try to start by opting for Premchand or Harivansh Rai Bachchan for easy comprehension.

3. What are some best Indian novels to read?

Some of the best Indian novels to check out are – Maila Aanchal, Kashi ka Assi, Godan, Gaban, Seva Sadan, and Apka Bunty.

 

 

Debalina

Debalina Sengupta is a passionate content writer with a love for crafting engaging and informative narratives. With an SEO and content management background, she has developed her skills to deliver written content across various domains. She likes to explore all niches, Whether for creating captivating blog posts, compelling articles, or persuasive copy. With creative hobbies like painting, sketching, and writing personal blogs, she found her way into content writing. Debalina is currently working in a renowned Digital marketing agency based in Delhi.

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