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  • Maroun Najjar
  • "I'm going on a Study Abroad to India. What books should I read to prepare myself for the trip?"

Maroun Najjar

Boston, Massachusetts

I'm going on a Study Abroad to India. What books should I read to prepare myself for the trip?

This July and August I will be spending 5 weeks studying in India. I know very little bit about Indian culture or history. I'm also fascinated by Buddhism and would like to learn more about that.


What books must I read before/while I'm there?

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  • Annemarie D.

    Annemarie D.

    Did you go yet? How was it? · (0 likelikes)

 

					
					
					
				

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  • Jean Spraker

    top answer by

    Books to read:

    Behind the Beautiful Forevers--About Mumbai slum life

    Shiva trilogy by Amish-- Fiction about life of Hindu god Shiva. First book is The Immortals of Meluha.

    Games Indians Play-Business book about culture

    Dreaming in Hindi--About a woman who studied Hindi in Udaipur

    Shantaram--Fiction that takes place in Mumbai

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    • Maroun N.

      Maroun N.

      Just ordered Behind the Beautiful Forevers! Thanks so much for your help! · (1 likelikes)

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  • Bharti Singh

    answered by

    Since you are fascinated with Buddhism, do visit Dharamsala, McLeod Ganj (Himachal Pradesh) if you get time off from your studies.

    Mumbai is one of the most fun and vibrant cities in the world. For more on Mumbai check out - http://suitcaseofstories.in/category/mumbai/

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  • Supun Edirisinghe

    answered by

    Any compilation of short stories and poems by Rabindranth Tagore, would be good since I was told he's the most influential Indian writer. Gitanjali is good too.

    I've also heard good things about Jean's recommendation of Behind the Beautiful Forevers.

    I just started reading Folded Earth by Anuradha Roy. It makes me want to visit the area the story is set in. It's pretty good so far and has won a lot of awards. Wikipedia says, "Her first novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing... was named by World Literature Today as one of the 60 Essential English Language Works of Modern Indian Literature." I haven't read that one yet.

    The first time I went to India, I had a Penguin reader with some of Gandhi-ji's letters and essays to read on the airplane. It was kind of nice to talk about with some of the folks I met at the ashram in Ahmedabad.

    One of the best books on Buddhism that's easy to read and but still scholarly is What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula. You could probably finish that on your flight.

    I'd also recommend the movie Earth with Nandita Das which is based on 1991 book Cracking India. There's also a silly remake of the Ramayana by an American comic strip lady that lived there for awhile.

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  • Mariellen Ward

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    On my India travel blog, Breathedreamgo, I have several lists of books. Start with this one: 10 books about India that are better than Shantaram.

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  • Abhishek Reddy Kandakatla

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    five point someone by Chetan Bagath

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  • Manish Gori

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    Try Holy Cow by sarah mcdonald

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  • Dick Abel

    answered by

    Don't have book recommendations, but here's some insight. We had a family connection before coming here but they most people are VERY open about their beliefs. I have been taken(almost by the hand!) into temples, shown around, and involved in ceremonies.

    Be open and respectful and they will involve you in things.

    Yes you will make mistakes(I still do!) but just go with it they understand!

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