We are a country obsessed with Bollywood. India produces more than 1,600 movies in various languages and we Indians love to go to the movies. Ask any person walking on the road about his favorite stars or movie, he will have a long list but, ask people about books based on Bollywood and only a few will be able to answer. Check out my list of the best Bollywood books that you need to read.
Bollywood: A History by Mihir Bose
Bollywood: a history is a fantastic, diverse, and rich story of the social and cultural phenomenon of Bollywood and an up-close look at the men, women, and ideas that have fuelled its incredible growth.
Sholay: Making Of A Classic by Anupama Chopra
Anupama Chopra tells the fascinating story of how a four-line idea grew to become the greatest blockbuster of Indian cinema. Starting with the tricky process of casting, moving on to the actual filming over two years in a barren, rocky landscape, and finally the first weeks after the film’s release when the audience stayed away and the trade declared it a flop; this is a story as dramatic and entertaining as Sholay itself.
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge by Anupama Chopra
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge or DDLJ as it is now known as is the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema and has changed the face of Bollywood. In this book, Anupama Chopra points out the facts that how it’s a paradoxical film that affirms old-fashioned values of premarital chastity and family authority. Underlining the idea that Westernization need not affect an essential Indian identity.
Bollywood Beyond Box Office by Amborish Roychoudhury
This book is a tongue-in-cheek ode to these cult movies of Hindi filmdom, ones that despite not having made moolah at the box office, still made it to viewers’ memories for reasons—good or bad. Drawing from his own reminiscences of growing up on these delectables and also face-to-face interviews with actors and directors such as Aamir Khan, Pankaj Kapur, and Deepti Naval, the author celebrates these underdogs in a manner that is extremely readable and relatable.
Bioscope by Diptakirti Chaudhuri
Bioscope presents a quirky history of Hindi cinema through unconventional, curated ‘lists’ that will delight die-hard fans and novices alike. Highlighting 10 aspects that give Hindi films their distinctive flavor, the selections – of villainous types and hit pairs, genius compositions and unforgettable lyrics, memorable scripts and filmy fashion from the pre-Independence days right down to the present – pack in trivia, gossip, recommendations, and deep insight.
Close To The Bone by Lisa Ray
One of India’s first supermodels. Actor. Cancer survivor. Mother of twins through surrogacy. Woman of no fixed address. This is the story of Lisa Ray. An unflinching, deeply moving account of her nomadic existence: her entry into the Indian entertainment industry at sixteen; her relationship with her Bengali father and Polish mother; life on the movie sets and her brush with the Oscars.
Don’t Disturb The Dead by Shamya Dasgupta
In India, the Ramsay name remains synonymous with horror movies. Still, all these decades later. Don’t Disturb the Dead is the story of their cinema, their methods and madnesses, the people and the processes, arguments, and agreements, about horror cinema as a business model, and more. It is also an open-minded and affectionate ode to the ‘disreputable’ Ramsay films.
Bollywood Posters by Jerry Pinto
The movie poster is an invitation to the pleasures of Bollywood, the world’s largest film industry. The collision of this most democratic of art forms with one of the liveliest movie genres results in a glorious explosion of color, form, and typography. The book will inspire graphic designers and artists as well.
My Adventures With Satyajit Ray: The Making Of Shatranj Ke Khiladi by Suresh Jindal
Shatranj Ke Khilari is film-maker Satyajit Ray’s only feature film in Hindi/Urdu and also his most expensive film, employing lavish stage design and stars of both Mumbai and Western cinema. Jindal, Ray’s young and artistically committed producer of Shatranj Ke Khilari, looks back on the gripping story of how Ray came to direct the film despite his unequivocal declaration that he would never write and direct a film that was not in Bengali.
Manto and I by Nandita Das
In this book, Nandita Das has chosen to share not just her creative, but also her emotional, political, and spiritual experiences of the six years she spent with Manto. This book is a very personal journey of hers.
You can read more about Manto and I by clicking here.