Here are the top books of Jaipur Literature Festival for the past decade

Here are the top books of Jaipur Literature Festival for the past decade

The air is crisp and it is the perfect weather to cozy up with a book and maybe brave the chilly winds to attend literary fests in the comfortable winter sun.

ZEE JLF exclusively shared the shortlist of all the amazing books and authors discovered and loved over the 10 years of the Festival starting 2006 for you to play catch-up to, with Business Insider.

There are of course categories over which the favorites have been divided and here they are:

1) Female Writers - ‘Badass women writing for/about badass women’ includes:


-Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand, which looks at the life of an Indian princess and goddaughter of Queen Victoria who went on to become a leading figure in the British suffragette movement.

-The Essential Gloria Steinem Reader: As If Women Matter, a compilation of the feminist icon's writing; two books discussing sexuality and gender in the Middle East.

-Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middles East Needs a Sexual Revolution by Mona Eltahawy and Sex and the Citadel by Shereen El Feki, which offer a provocative and revealing look into this touchy issue.

- Postmodern feminist classic The Handmaid's Tale by the brilliant Margaret Atwood

-'We Should All Be Feminists' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adhichie, which was featured in Beyonce's 'Flawless' and is required reading in Swedish schools.

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2) Memoirs - Known to inspire the most latent of dreams, learning from the experiences and challenges of others.

-Jung Chang's family saga Wild Swans; Molly Crabapple's stunning memoir-manifesto.

-Drawing Blood; In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri, a nuanced look into learning and writing in Italian.

-Jerry Pinto's Em and the Big Hoom, an autobiographical work of fiction of a boy's account of life with his mentally ill mother.

-Helen Macdonald's Samuel Johnson Prize-winning H is for Hawk.

3) Hindi and Urdu writers - Instrumental in shaping the outlook of the regional literature. Some of the Festival team's favorite books include:

-Saadat Hasan Manto, an Urdu writer seen by many as a master of the short story.

- The Mirror of Beauty, originally published in Urdu, is an epic novel set in the last days of the Mughal empire.

-Krishna Sobti's Zindaginama, a classic of Hindi literature.

-Abdullah Hussein’s The Weary Generations, an instant bestseller in Urdu, now in its 40th edition and one that’s never been out of print.

4) African literature- Moving across seas to the literary genius of Africa, they explored the continent to bring out prominent writers:

-Ben Okri's Man Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road.

-Taiye Selasi's debut Ghana Must Go chronicles the lives of a Ghanaian-Nigerian family across generations and continents.

- The brilliant Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

-The first installment of Zimbabwean-born Alexander McCall Smith's beloved No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.

- African Psycho by Congolese writer Alain Mabanckou, described by The Economist as the 'prince of absurd'.

-Open City, the bestselling debut by Teju Cole who's been hailed as ‘the WG Sebald of the 21st century’.

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5) Non-fiction- Chronicling real events and places, often more bizarre and unique than imagination itself, is a talent not bestowed to all.:

-Maximum City by Suketu Mehta offers a revealing portrait of Bombay.

-Raghu Karnad's spectacular debut Farthest Field explores the often overlooked role of Indian soldiers in WW2 through the lives of his grandfather and grand-uncles.

-The award-winning Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo is another searingly honest look into Mumbai.

-Jerusalem: The Biography by bestselling writer and historian Simon Sebag Montefiore.

-Peter Frankopan's fascinating The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

- William Dalrymple's Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, winner of the Hemingway Prize and Kapuściński Prize in 2015.

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This year, the Festival, which opens from January 19 to 23, 2017, has its speaker’s table going full force with participation from noteworthy names, such as Man Booker Prize winners Paul Beatty, Richard Flanagan and Alan Hollinghurst, prolific Indian-American writer Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, famed Kannada writer S.L. Bhyrappa, poets Anne Waldman, Gulzar, Javed Akhtar and Kate Tempest and politician and polymath Shashi Tharoor.