Lonely Planet India: Gives insight into the Indian culture, lists important destinations and offers practical details (train times, phone numbers, etc.) about most places to visit in India.
Rough Guide to India: A comprehensive guide to India with stunning photography. Has detailed and illustrated sections on Sacred India, Handicrafts, Bollywood, temple architecture, Indian classical music, etc.
Fodor’s India: Fodor’s is good for getting high-end hotel and restaurant recommendations. Also has a system of putting stars on highly recommended sights.
Frommer’s India: This book has very detailed introductory sections that some travelers feel are mandatory reading for anyone visiting or wanting to live in India.
Culture Smart! India: A Quick Guide to Customs & Etiquette: A guide that lists essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behavior of Indian people. Tells you what to expect, how to behave, and how to establish a rapport.
Fort Walks (Rahul Mehrotra & Sharada Dwivedi): Amazing walks in and around the older part of Mumbai.
Love Mumbai by Fiona Caulfied. Guide to unearthing all the hidden gems in booming Bombay, from five star restaurants and luxurious hotels, to swanky clubs, and the sparkliest shoe shops.
Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta: This book provides an insider account of the biggest, fastest, richest city in India, examining its recent history through the prisms of crime, temptation, religious conflict and culture.
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts: An epic novel (900+ pages) about an Australian man who lands in Mumbai on a false New Zealand passport. Set in the ‘80s and early 90s.
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga: This Man-Booker Prize winning book is a compelling novel on the liberation of a man born to be a servant of the rich.
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry: A fascinating story set in the Mumbai of 1970s, this novel chronicles the sufferings of outcasts and innocents trying to survive in the “State of Internal Emergency.”
Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup: The book on which the Golden Globe-winning movie with the same name is based. Tells the story of an orphaned, uneducated chai-walla from Mumbai who wins a fortune on a quiz show.