You can find many lists filled with a lot of IAS books if you do a search around the material to help you start your preparation at UPSC. But most of them are swollen lists, intended to frighten think there is too much to study!
Here is a short list of books to prepare for the IAS, you have to enter first (and sometimes simply download it for free!) If you plan to make a serious attempt in preparing UPSC. These should be his first companions.
We have listed the books for IAS and briefly describes why we think it is a must-read book for their preparation. Also included is a brief guide on how to get the most out of the book. The books are listed in the recommended order in which to read them once you begin your preparation.
Why should you read:
It is difficult to put many things in the context of Indian politics, without knowing what has been played over the years. Most of our history textbooks stop chapters one after independence from India. Guha takes the story from there and from the modern India in which we grew up. The book will give you a better understanding of how India has changed since independence and some of the major events that have shaped India today.
How should it read:
It has about 900 pages, so do not pretend to finish it all at once. The best approach is to read one chapter a week. Indeed, our goal is not only to read as quickly as possible the whole book but read and remember as much as possible. There are a few tricks to help you remember what you learn, as we have seen.
What you need to do is read a chapter this week and then read about the incidents in this chapter. Read Wikipedia, read some blogs about it, read newspaper articles about it, think about it. Then, a brief summary of the main events / frame memory arguments. If you wish, you can send us your chapter summaries and publish the best – the best abstracts (those published – must be at least 1/4 of the actual duration of the forthcoming chapter) will receive Amazon gift vouchers / Flipkart. After that, do a chapter overview to a few keywords, this time looking through the actual book.
Now get your fellow study (you should have one if we do not contact me and we can arrange one) or your mentor and explain chapter that nobody – only looking at your keyword notes, not the pound itself!
Why should you read NCERT Books:
They should serve as a basis for their preparation. No matter what coaching you go for or what reference books, NCERTs are a must-have for all applicants.
How to read NCERTs is a separate article. Read a comprehensive overview of the NCERT study strategy. Point to note: The NCERT Books should be read in parallel with the other books we have given here and the rest of their preparation – I do not think it will end up NCERT first, then read other things. NCERTs are not enough for their preparation. Be sure to read the relevant NCERT to read the other books from the list – do not mix the questions too in a single day. Offer a full day to politics, for example.