Chasing the Monsoon
By Alexander Frater
This book is pure pleasure, as Frater travels along the Indian coast, following the monsoon. It’s an engaging, witty travelogue replete with anecdotes and asides, but it’s also his own story of coming to terms with his parents’ death. Both these strains are seamlessly combined.
Midnight in Sicily
By Peter Robb
This is a magisterial portrait of the Cosa Nostra, better known as the Mafia, and the island of whispers that gave birth to it. A delicious cocktail of politics, crime, art and food by one of Australia’s most stylish authors.
From Heaven Lake
By Vikram Seth
This was an early taste of the Indian master’s later brilliance. Seth treks across Tibet, describing his travels with deft prose and delightful cameos. It’s always great to read Indian authors writing about the larger world, not exclusively about India and the diaspora.
By Suketu Mehta
Everyone in India has likely read it. Mehta’s voyage of rediscovery of Mumbai manages to be both an exposé of the city’s underbelly and a homage to its indefatigable spirit. It’s a brave and beautifully realized book.
The City of Falling Angels
By John Berendt
What is it about Italy and India that inspires great literary non-fiction? Berendt dips into the dank glories of Venice and a fire that destroyed an opera house. Corruption was never so charming, and who could forget the Rat Man of Treviso.