The Hyderabad National Book Fair, bringing together diverse literature from across the country, is once again ready to enchant book lovers. The 36th edition of the fair will take place from February 9th to the 19th. It will be held at the NTR Stadium near Lower Tank Bund in the city, featuring a total of 365 stalls. With 184 stalls dedicated to Telugu literature, 144 for English literature, 18 for children, 7 government information stalls, and 15 media industry stalls, the fair promises to be a major attraction, including special lectures by prominent literary figures. Despite the desire to read, many are often confused about what to read. For them, we are presenting the Top 20 Telugu Books. Let’s take a look at what they are.
The Best 20 Books in Telugu
From Hampi to Harappa
Based on the autobiography of ‘Thirumala Ramachandra’, who has rendered invaluable service to the Telugu language, this book has been recognized as one of the best autobiographies of the last century. Every Telugu language enthusiast must read this book.
For those with a keen interest in history, there is no need for a special introduction to Genghis Khan. Born the son of a minor tribal leader, he became a world conqueror. This book, written by Tenneti Suri, reflects the life and mind of Genghis Khan and is a must-read.
This book clears any doubts about Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma. What are the Vedas? What are Vedangas? What do the Upanishads say? All these questions are concisely and authoritatively answered in ‘Vedamulu’, a compilation of lectures by Paramacharya.
If you want to learn how to critique social life and habits, or if you want to experience satire that slaps you on the cheek, read ‘Sakshi’. The essays in this book by Panuganti Lakshminarasimha Rao reflect today’s society and compel you to read them over and over.
There have been many philosophers throughout the world. Reading their autobiographies could take forever. Tatva Vethalu, written by Tripuraneni Gopichand, is beneficial for such individuals. It covers information about Western intellectuals like Adi Shankara, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Arthur Schopenhauer, as well as many others.
Oka Yogi Atmakatha
This book will greatly appeal to those with spiritual inclinations. It reveals the yoga practices of great yogis like Mahavatar Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, and Yukteshwar Giri, among others.
Those wishing to write stories and understand the tools needed for storytelling should buy ‘Kadha Shilpam’. This book introduces the narrative techniques of Indian and Western storytellers, written by Vallampati Venkata Subbaiah.
Vijayaniki Aidu Metlu
This is the most successful self-development book in Telugu, written by Yandamoori Veerendranath. Movies like Challenge, Rakshasudu, Marana Mrudangam, Abhilasha, and Oka Radha Iddaru Krishnulu are all based on Yandamoori’s novels.
Amrutham Kurisina Ratri
‘Amrutham Kurisina Ratri’ is one of the most famous works in Telugu, written by Devarakonda Balagangadhara Tilak. This collection of poems has become a favorite among many readers and writers alike. The book won the Central Sahitya Akademi Award for Best Poetry Collection in 1971.
A love story between a chess player and an Oxford student, where the heroine only communicates with the hero over the phone. He tries to find her phone number and meet her. Did he find the girl? That is the story, written by Yandamoori Veerendranath.
Rajeshwari, born into a Brahmin family, marries Amir, a Muslim, eloping from her home. Having experienced luxuries until then, she faces numerous hardships post-marriage but continues to worship her husband. However, Amir falls for another woman, leaving Rajeshwari in a dilemma. This story is penned by Chalam.
This collection, comprising 100 stories set in the village of Amaravati and its people, showcases various aspects through concise tales. Written in simple and clear Telugu, it reflects the rural ambiance, people’s costumes, customs, joys, and sorrows, and their way of life. This anthology was awarded the Andhra Pradesh Sahitya Akademi Award in 1979, written by Satyam Sankaramanchi.
A music teacher arrives in a small village in Telangana seeking a livelihood and learns about the unquestioned dominion of the local landlord. The novel mirrors the plight of laborers forced into Islam by Nizam’s men, stuck between being neither Hindu nor Muslim fully. This book, written by Dasarathi Rangacharya, has gained significant recognition.
Revered as a modern Mahabharata, this book primarily revolves around the life of Dharmarao. Despite losing wealth due to his father’s charitable deeds, Dharmarao continues to live by the moral path taught by his father, sharing his knowledge when needed. The story takes a turn with the arrival of a Devadasi.
Written by Ravuri Bharadwaja, Paakudu Raallu will surely captivate you. The story follows Mangamma, a stage actress who gains fame in theater. Chalapathi, impressed by her performance, offers her a lead role in his movie in Madras, where she becomes a major star. Her actions, driven by the industry’s manipulations, lead to her downfall. The narrative unfolds her journey.
Centered around Ranganatham, a clerk, this novel by Acharya Atreya portrays the middle-class aspirations and the ensuing struggles after envying a millionaire’s mansion next door. Ranganatham’s family faces health issues, highlighting the challenges they encounter in such circumstances.
In this novel by Tripuraneni Gopichand, Seetaramarao, belonging to a high-status family, ends up in debt after conducting his father’s lavish funeral rites. The rest of the novel explores the problems Seetaramarao faces in this context.
An evergreen Telugu classic by Gurajada Apparao, Kanyasulkam is a social drama first published in 1897. It critiques the dowry system prevalent in the Vijayanagaram area at the time, making a significant impact with its powerful social commentary.
Another remarkable work by Yandamoori Veerendranath, Thulasi Dalam revolves around a girl named Tulasi, the daughter of a wealthy man. Enraged individuals cast a malevolent spell, Kashmora, on her, and the story unfolds the aftermath.
If you enjoy detective stories, ‘Shadow’ by Madhubabu is an excellent choice. Not only detective novels by Madhubabu’s works like Kaalikaalayam, Veerabhadra Reddy among many folklore stories have made a lasting mark in Telugu literature.
Other Important Books
This section includes ‘Naa Godava’ by Prajakavi Kaloji, ‘Maa Pasalapudi Kathalu’ by Director Vamsi, ‘Jeevana Tarangalu’ by Yaddanapudi Sulochanarani, ‘Nathalostunnai Jagratha’ by Malladi Venkata Krishnamurthy, ‘Poola Manasulu’ by Madireddy Sulochana, as well as ‘Balipeetam’ by Ranganayakamma, ‘Hasya Kathalu’ by Pothuri Vijayalakshmi, ‘Patanjali Bhashyam’ by K.N.Y. Patanjali, and ‘Mithunam’ by Sriramana, highlighting them as must-reads in Telugu literature.