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10 Best Fiction Books in India 2021(A Burning, Sex and Vanity, and more)

Over the past few years, the world has changed gears and has started moving at a much faster pace. In such a fast-paced world, we often miss out on opportunities to sit back, relax and let our imagination flow free. Fiction and stories are often considered the medium that bridges reality with imagination, and reading a good fiction novel takes one straight into the dimensions of the imaginary.

Reading a fiction book not only proves to be an escape from a world of worries but also provides a breather from our day-to-day grind. From the thrilling horrors of Stephen King to the mushy scenes of romance by Nicholas Sparks, every story leaves an impact. In short, reading stories are always fascinating, and this article will help you pick the best fiction books to read in India!

Last updated 07/14/2023
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How to Choose the Best Fiction Book in India 2021 - Buying Guide

From awe-striking tales of romance, nail-biting plots of thriller, mind-boggling mysteries, fascinating stories of science fiction, nostalgic childhood tales, it is a task to select a handful of good fiction books to read. Especially in a place like India, where great writers are emerging fast, the task to choose becomes tough. In this section, we will talk about things like sub-genre, authors, and reviews to help you to find the perfect fiction books to read. 

① When it Comes to Stories Know Your Taste

Fiction as a genre encompasses a wide variety of sub-genres, each holding different significance for a reader. As a reader, it is often advised to have a brief idea of the inclinations when it comes to these sub-genres. It is a task to understand and to pick your favorites genre in fiction because each sub-genre has a lot to offer. In this section, we have tried simplifying the task of choosing a sub-genre for a reader.

Explore the World of Magic & Myths in the Field of Fantasy

Explore the World of Magic & Myths in the Field of Fantasy

When it comes to striking tales, this sub-genre has a lot to offer. If you enjoyed listening to stories of superheroes, mystics, demons & angels, you will love reading books of this sub-genre. You can go for books revolving around stories of heroes or, you can stick to the comfort of reading a nice old fairy tale with a cup of coffee. 

The readers can go for books like The Crimson Queen by Alec Hudson for a heroic adventure or, you can always turn to Percy Jackson, The lightning thief by Rick Riordan, a story filled with myths. The fantasy sub-genre lets your imagination run free, which is something that a lot of young readers enjoy. If you want to embark on a journey of the supernatural, then fantasy is a good choice. 

Experience Some Spine-Chilling Encounters in Horror & Mystery

Experience Some Spine-Chilling Encounters in Horror & Mystery

Do you find it curious in situations when it's the middle of the night, you are sitting in your room, and suddenly the lights go off? If yes, then horror & mystery are your things. In the sub-genre, you can pick tales that exhibit ghostly forces like Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte or go for a more scary realistic tale like The Shining by Stephen King. 

The stories here are not just mere tales of horror they can knock the daylights out of the faint-hearted. One of the best things about these books is the vivid descriptive style of writing. The writer here describes the surroundings so well that the reader feels present in the ongoing scenario. 

Over the past few years, this sub-genre is gaining a lot of popularity among readers, and a considerable amount of people have shifted from Horror movies to books. This sub-genre is for people who enjoy sinister twists in a story. 

Did You Say Time Travel, Robots, Space? Science Fiction It Is Then

Did You Say Time Travel, Robots, Space? Science Fiction It Is Then

Have you been fascinated by robots taking over the world or wondering about the endless wonders of space? Science fiction books are all about such concepts blended in a riveting storyline. These books talk about the futuristic advancements in science like time travel, etc., in a way that is far-off from being monotonous.

Many of us may have found the science lectures boring in school, but these stories revolving around science are surprisingly gripping. For a very long time, science fiction movies have gained a lot of popularity, and the same trend is observed in books. If you want to start reading science fiction books, you can start with Zero World by Jason-M-Hough as it exhibits simple language and a gripping plot. 

Feel the Butterflies in Romance

Feel the Butterflies in Romance

A boy meets a girl, they talk, they fall in love with time, things take an unexpected turn, and they get separated, but in the end, they get back together and live happily ever after. Sounds familiar? Well, this is mostly what the romance sub-genre is about. 

Love stories from all corners of the world are described with a bag load of emotions. These stories will make a reader blush with passion and also make them cry for the sad parts. You can come across books where one falls in love with a billionaire or even a romantic comedy story, popularly known as rom-com.

Writers like Nicholas Sparks and John Green are always found on the bestselling racks. Readers can always turn to books like The lucky One, The Notebook, The Fault in Our Stars, etc. If you like things mushy and romantic, this sub-genre will be great.

Prepare for a Nail-Biting Experience in Thriller & Suspense

Prepare for a Nail-Biting Experience in Thriller & Suspense

This sub-genre is filled with elements like high-speed pursuits and escape. The sub-genre has a reputation for providing the best cliffhangers in the fiction genre. Usually, the storyline contains a protagonist in jeopardy. The protagonist is often seen escaping or chasing a dark character or a series of dark characters.

The scene-setting in such thrillers is top-notched, writers like Barry Eisler do a great job with scene-setting in The Killer Collective. As a reader, you will come across an unexpected twist in almost any part of the story. The unpredictable nature of such stories makes this sub-genre so popular among readers. Overall it is a popular sub-genre, and everyone should give it a spin.

② Know About the Author

Know About the Author

When it comes to fiction writing, different authors have different styles of storytelling. To understand and relate to the story, the language must be easy to grasp, and a reader must resonate with the style of storytelling of the writer. 

If the reader can't comprehend the storytelling style, no matter how good the story is, it can't create an impact. Therefore a reader should always run a background check on the author that will always help understand the author's writing style

Suppose you opt for a science fiction book; make sure you check whether the author has previous work history or a background in that field. For example, if you want to read mythology, then Amish Tripathi is a great pick since he has a good background in mythology.

③ Run a Background Check on the Reviews

Run a Background Check on the Reviews

The internet is full of reviews; there are hardly any products available on the internet that users have not reviewed. Checking the reviews is the final step of ensuring that you get the best quality in your selection. It takes a little bit of patience, but the customer's reviews can be brutally honest at times.

As a reader, you can always turn to websites like Goodreads, LibraryThing, etc., to get overall feedback about the book and the story. The reviews on these portals are completely unbiased and honest. The best hack is to read the top comments, as the maximum number of people has liked them. This indicates that a lot of people resonate with that feedback. 

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10 Best Fiction Books in India 2021

With a plethora of fiction books coming in every year, the readers of the fiction genre enjoy a lot of varieties. Fiction is a big umbrella that has many sub-genres in it, figuring the best ones is a tough job. But, we have kept our best foot forward to compile this list and we hope you find it useful.
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Key features

Megha Majumdar

A Burning

Megha Majumdar A Burning 1枚目

A Thrilling Tale of Prejudice, Ambition, and Betrayal


Britt Bennett

The Vanishing Half

Britt Bennett The Vanishing Half 1枚目

A Classic Thriller and Out-of-the-Box Storyline


Tanuj Solanki

The Machine is Learning

Tanuj Solanki The Machine is Learning 1枚目

A New Side to Artificial Intelligence


Douglas Stuart

Shuggie Bain

Douglas Stuart Shuggie Bain 1枚目

Understand the World a Little Better


Ayad Akhtar

Homeland Elegies

Ayad Akhtar Homeland Elegies 1枚目

Time for a Reality Check


Laura van den Berg

I Hold a Wolf by the Ears

Laura van den Berg  I Hold a Wolf by the Ears 1枚目

Women Empowerment Through Literature


Stephen King

The Shining

Stephen King The Shining 1枚目

Dark and Sinister


Kevin Kwan

Sex and Vanity

Kevin Kwan Sex and Vanity 1枚目

Tackle the Lockdown Blues


James Mcbride

Deacon King Kong

James Mcbride Deacon King Kong 1枚目

Take a Trip Back in the Mafia World


Ako Matsuda

Where The Wild Ladies Are

Ako Matsuda Where The Wild Ladies Are 1枚目

Japanese Ghost Stories With a Twist

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Megha MajumdarA Burning

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A Thrilling Tale of Prejudice, Ambition, and Betrayal

This Indian-origin story is a classic fusion of a fast-paced thriller and deep philosophy. Being the debut book of Author Megha Majumdar, this book has created a big stir in the Indian crowd. The book casts the spotlight on a girl, Jivan, who gets arrested for allegedly putting a bomb on a crowded train. The story takes us back to Jivan's past and journey. It's a classic tale of prejudice, ambition, and human betrayal.

The best part about the story is the addition of characters like PT sir, Lovely, etc., who share a striking resemblance with a regular Indian crowd. Another plus point is how the author described the local Indian surroundings like a crowded train compartment, congested alleys, etc., in the story. For an Indian audience, this story is a feast.   

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Britt BennettThe Vanishing Half

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A Classic Thriller and Out-of-the-Box Storyline

The writer Brit Bennett creates a world that is full of racial violence and oppression. The story talks about a small black town, Mallard, where having light skin is a big privilege. It then shifts to twins Stella Vignes and Desiree Vignes, who grow up in the town learning about the ongoing oppression. 

After a few years, the twins decide to run away in search of new opportunities. The story shows their journey globally, which opens the door to many unexpected twists and turns. This is a classic thriller that keeps the readers on the edge of their seats. 

The author has also done an amazing job creating an imaginary town and painting the same image in the reader's mind. The Vanishing Half is one of the year's best novels and a highly recommended book to read for people searching for an out-of-the-box storyline.


Tanuj SolankiThe Machine is Learning

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A New Side to Artificial Intelligence

In the sub-genre of science fiction, artificial intelligence-related stories often end in a scenario where a robot turns evil and causes mayhem. But, in The Machine is Learning, the author Tanuj Solanki makes a faceless insurance company be the antagonist

In the book, the insurance company uses Big data through artificial intelligence to control and manipulate people's lives. The protagonist is a working employee of this particular organization, and he finds himself standing at the crossroads of accountability and ambition

Each character in the book has their personality and shows a different perspective to the story. This book offers a fresh approach to Artificial intelligence-based stories and can surely be riveting in terms of reading, especially for the tech-savvy crowd.


Douglas StuartShuggie Bain

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Understand the World a Little Better

This novel by Douglas Stuart won the Booker Prize. What adds more to it is the fact that Shuggie Bain is the author's debut book. The main character is named Hugh "Shuggie" Bain, whose mother has major alcoholic problems. The story is based on the 1980s Glasgow, a city facing decline and government ignorance. 

The book exhibits a vast array of emotions and struggles described precisely by the author. Shuggie Bain is thrilling and inspiring at the same time, it gives an insight into different people's lives and makes us understand the world better.

In the book, Douglas Stuart has done a brilliant job in showcasing the struggles of Shuggie, who is often seen caught in the whirlwind of his affection for his mother and the pain to see her turn hateful by alcohol. The book can be enjoyed by all age groups.


Ayad AkhtarHomeland Elegies

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Time for a Reality Check

In the book, The Homeland Elegies, Ayad Akhtar, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, gives the readers a treat. Through this book, he gives a much-needed reality check on the current state of the world. The story revolves around a man born to Pakistani immigrants in America. 

Throughout the story, the author has delicately pointed out the struggles and hardships faced by immigrants after the infamous 9/11. Many readers have called the book a gift to literature & mankind, and we couldn't agree more. The Homeland Elegies is an eye-opener for everyone, and we recommend this book. 


Laura van den Berg I Hold a Wolf by the Ears

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Women Empowerment Through Literature

This book contains a series of 11 different stories revolving around women's empowerment. The writer Laura Van Den Berg has used brilliant scenarios in each story to bring forward the day-to-day challenges faced by women all over the globe. I Hold a Wolf by the Ears has been named one of Time's 10 Best Fiction Books of 2020. 

The author, Laura Van Der Berg, takes the reader through a whirlwind of emotions. On one page, she describes crippling trauma followed by a light dose of humor on the next page. Overall the 11 stories in this book are some of the best pieces of short fiction in the field of literature—a must-have for regular readers.


Stephen KingThe Shining

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Dark and Sinister

The Shining is a gem in the field of horror. The author Stephen King holds an impeccable record of providing the world with some of the best pieces of psychological thrillers. His brilliant writing and flair for storytelling become evident through this book. 

The plot is laced with unexpected and scary twists. Stephen King's eye for small details has made the characters and the surroundings of the book come alive. The way he defines the protagonist and his backstory resonates with the reader and gives a fair understanding of the character. 

However, some readers found the first quarter of the book a little slow-paced, but the story later catches speed and thrill. Traditional psychological thriller fans will love this book.  


Kevin KwanSex and Vanity

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Tackle the Lockdown Blues

In the middle of the pandemic, we all need a light-hearted read to knock down the lockdown blues. Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan is a great choice for the purpose. The book tells the story of a poor rich girl, Lucie Barclay Churchill, daughter of an American-born Chinese mother and a New Yorker father.

Living with her parents, she always suppressed her Asian attributes, but things take a turn when she crosses paths with George Zao. Many readers have found this story similar to his previous work and were a little disappointed for not finding new elements. However, the book is filled with drama and can be a good time killer. 


James McbrideDeacon King Kong

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Take a Trip Back in the Mafia World

If you like the old 90s thrillers, then this book is just for you. The story traces back to September 1969 where the old deacon of a church in Brooklyn Sportcoat, shoots the local dealer of the area. The story contains extreme visuals explained in great language by the National Book Award-winning author James Mcbride.

The story emits the vibe of a mafia movie. Here in the book, the lead character Sportcoat is himself doesn't know why he shot the young dealer. Throughout the story, James Mcbride unveils this seemingly unsolvable mystery. The story is filled with tiny elements of humor via dialogues but towards the end, it gets a little stretched. Depending on the patience of the reader, this is a great story. 


Ako MatsudaWhere The Wild Ladies Are

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Japanese Ghost Stories With a Twist

The Author, Ako Matsuda, being a translator herself, plays with the language in the books, leaving the readers infused with the right amount of curiosity. Here the author brilliantly picks the voiceless female characters from the traditional Japanese ghost stories and then gives a new touch to the story.

In these stories, she gives a bolder stance to the voiceless female characters. Through these stories, Ako Matsuda highlights the still existing gender roles and stereotypes in the Japanese community. The readers have found a few stories overly strange, maybe because of the lack of familiarity with the Japanese Culture. But overall, it's a highly recommended book across the internet.

Reading More Is Never a Bad Idea

Reading More Is Never a Bad Idea

While fiction promises to be an amazing choice for readers, the world of literature is filled with other enticing options to pick from. You can always indulge yourself in some spirituality or maybe a little self-help and motivation; the options are endless; you just have to select. Below are the links to similar articles, which you can refer to find other great reading options. Happy reading.


After going through the article, we hope you found your pick in the vast ocean of fiction. Fiction always opens the mind to accept new possibilities and teaches us certain things, which we often tend to miss in our day-to-day lives. With the emerging new era of writers, the field of fiction will only keep growing, and you as readers will keep receiving great stories to read and relate to.

Author: Reet Jakharia

Top 5 Fiction Book

No. 1: Megha Majumdar | A Burning

No. 2: Britt Bennett | The Vanishing Half

No. 3: Tanuj Solanki | The Machine is Learning

No. 4: Douglas Stuart | Shuggie Bain

No. 5: Ayad Akhtar | Homeland Elegies

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