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Top 10 Tamil Books To Read In 2023

Preserving the Tamil Heritage: The Various Channels of Tamil Literature Transmission

tamil books

The literary history of the Tamil language spans over 2000 years. During the Sangam era (600 BCE–300 CE), the earliest known works of Tamil literature emerged, including the early Sangam poetry and classical literature. In the medieval era, the Shaiva Bhakti movement gave rise to numerous Tamil devotional poems. If you are someone who enjoys reading Tamil books, this article is perfect for you, as it presents a selection of the finest Tamil books to read in your lifetime. Tamil literature has been transmitted through various means, including printed materials, oral traditions, and written manuscripts. The oldest discovered Tamil writings date back to 500 BCE to 300 CE. Contemporary Tamil literature encompasses a wide range of genres, such as novels, short stories, poetry, dramas, essays, historical and scientific works, and more.

1. Kallikaattu Ithigaasam


Another notable piece of Tamil literature by Vairamuthu delves into the theme of migration. The narrative revolves around a farmer's arduous journey to sustain his family. The book delves into the profound impact of migration on individuals, shedding light on the potential hardships it can bring.


  • Year of publication: 2001
  • Price: $185
  • Goodreads Rating:4.1
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Pages: 376 pages

2. Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal


Jayakanthan authored this book, which is an expanded edition of the short story Agnipravesam, originally published in 1968. The plot of the short story, centered around a mother purifying her daughter after an encounter with a stranger, carries substantial cultural significance. Readers provided alternative endings, and their suggestions were incorporated, leading to the publication of the book. The narrative includes specific incidents from the author's own life, and in 1972, it was honored with a Sahitya Akademi Award.


  • Year of publication: 1970
  • Price: ₹299
  • Goodreads Rating: 4
  • Genre: Literary Fiction, Romance
  • Pages: 448 pages

3. Sivakamiyin Sabadham–Sivakami’s Vow


Set in the seventh century, "Sivakami's Vow" is a renowned historical tale authored by the legendary Kalki Krishnamurthy. Considered one of the masterpieces in Tamil literature, the book draws inspiration from the historical events that unfolded during the rule of Chalukya king Pulakesi II. The series is divided into four parts, each delving into different aspects of the narrative.


  • Year of publication:1944
  • Price: ₹425
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.4
  • Genre: Drama, General Fiction
  • Pages: 686 pages

4. Moga Mul


Thi's "Moga Mul" is a renowned romantic book that holds a significant place in Tamil literature. Authored by Janakiraman, this novel stands out with its extensive 686 chapters, delving into the captivating bond between the characters. The cinematic adaptation of the novel received the prestigious National Award recognition.


  • Year of publication: 1980
  • Price: ₹690
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.1

5. Yavana Rani


Sandilyan's "Yavana Rani" is a historical novel that takes place during the rule of Karikalan. The book narrates the story of the Commander-in-Chief of the Chola Army, providing readers with a vivid glimpse into the early Chola empire. The plot of the book draws inspiration from an ancient Tamil poetry, shaping its captivating storyline.


  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Price: ₹735
  • Goodreads Rating:4.2
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Pages: 672 Pages

6. Muthal Paarvaiyilae Ennai


Sorna Sandhanakumar penned a narrative that revolves around the bond between a husband and wife. After a devastating injury, the wife suffers from amnesia, causing her to forget her spouse. As the story progresses, we witness her journey of rediscovering her memories and rekindling her love for her husband, aided by the support and affection of her family and loved ones.


  • Year of publication: 2019
  • Goodreads Rating:3.5
  • Genre: Romance
  • Pages: 261

7. Theeyaga Unnai Kanden


Muthulakshmi Raghavan presents the captivating story of Yamuna in her yoga poem, "Unnai Kanden". Within the pages of this mesmerizing work, readers are immersed in a tale filled with romance and intrigue as Yamuna finds herself torn between two princes, presenting her with a heart-wrenching decision.


  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Price: ₹250
  • Goodreads Rating: 4
  • Genre: Novel, Romance
  • Pages: 409

8. Ponniyin Selvan


In recent times, a movie titled "Ponniyin Selvan" was released, bearing the same name as the novel. This film adaptation draws inspiration from Kalki Krishnamurthy's esteemed work of Tamil literature, which unfolds against the backdrop of the Chola Empire. As a historical fiction novel, it vividly recounts the early days of Arulmozhivarman, as he embarks on his journey as a prince. Kalki Krishnamurthy's extensively researched novel has garnered immense popularity in Tamil, emerging as a bestseller. The author himself made three visits to Sri Lanka to gather information and enhance the authenticity of the book. Renowned for its meticulousness, the novel has been translated into English and Sanskrit, further expanding its acclaim and reach.


  • Author: Kalki Krishnamurthy
  • Year of publication: 1955
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.59
  • Genre: Historical, romance, espionage, thriller, fiction

9. Sivagamiyin Sabatham


Kalki Krishnamurthy's renowned novel, "Sivagamiyin Sabatham," transports readers to seventh-century southern India, immersing them in a captivating narrative that encompasses significant historical events and prominent figures. This masterful work has sparked a widespread fascination for Tamil history. "Sivagamiyin Sabatham," acclaimed for its exploration of honor, love, and friendship, serves as a prequel to Kalki Krishnamurthy's other notable work, "Parthiban Kanavu." Considered one of the greatest Tamil novels, this historical fiction delves into the account of Narasimhavarman's retaliation against the siege of Kanchi by Pulakeshin II, the Chalukya king, culminating in the epic attack on Vatapi.


  • Author: Kalki Krishnamurthy
  • Year of publication: 1948
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.42
  • Genre: Historical

10. Kolaiyuthir Kaalam


"Sujatha's Kolaiyuthir Kaalam" is a gripping thriller novel that introduces readers to the esteemed crime-solving duo of Ganesh and Vasanth, who take the center stage as protagonists. This captivating tale is one among many stories penned by Sujatha where this dynamic duo showcases their skills in unraveling intriguing mysteries. Ganesh and Vasanth are fictional detectives who first emerged in a story from the 1980s, capturing the imagination of readers. The mystical plot revolves around their pursuit of justice in a complex property case intertwined with homicides, science, and supernatural elements.


  • Author: Sujatha
  • Year of publication: 1981
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.05
  • Genre: Thriller