This page lists the top ten recommended books for UPSC civil services exam. The books are in no particular order. All the books are highly recommended if you are preparing for the civil services exam conducted by UPSC.
1. General Studies Manual
The GS Manual contains information on all topics of the General Studies paper of the UPSC civil services Preliminary exam. If you cannot read the other books, make sure you at least read the General Studies manual.
2. Manorama Year Book
The Manorama Year Book contains the latest information on different topics that will help to boost your general awareness quickly like Facts about India and World, Important Inventions and Discoveries, Countries of the World etc.
3. Indian Polity by Laxmikanth
Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth is the Bible of Polity topic which is referred and trusted by lacs of UPSC candidates who are preparing for different exams conducted by UPSC. The language of Indian Polity is very simple to understand and it is a must read book for UPSC civil services Prelims and Mains.
4. India's Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra
India's Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra is the recommended book for Modern Indian History covering the period from 1857 Revolt upto India's Independence. It is to be complemented with NCERT books on Modern Indian History. UPSC regularly asks 8-12 questions on Modern Indian History in the Civil Services Prelims exam every year.
5. Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh is a very good book for covering the Economy portion of the UPSC civil services syllabus. This book is frequently updated incorporating the latest Economic issues in its updates. The fundamentals of Indian economy are also well explained for beginners.
6. Science & Technology by Ravi Agrahari
Candidates appearing for UPSC civil services examination often find it difficult to find a reliable book to prepare science and technology topics. Fortunately, Ravi Agrahari has compiled the important issues pertaining to Science and Technology in a single book. The recent developments in the field of technology are also included to make this book relevant for UPSC civil services exam aspirants.
7. Environment by Shankar
UPSC has been regularly asking 8-12 questions on Environment, Ecology, Climate Change and Biodiversity in the Civil Services Preliminary examination every year. So this topic is very important and candidates should prepare it thoroughly. Environment by Shankar is a concise and updated book on Environment related issues that covers not just the current issues but also all the important conventions and treaties related to this topic. A must read book.
8. Oxford Student Atlas
If you are preparing for any of the exam conducted by UPSC and not just the civil services examination, then you will need to prepare the Atlas in the detail since Map based questions are asked in almost every exam. Oxford Student Atlas is a very reliable and accurate atlas for competitive exams. The information is also presented in a very visually appealing manner.
9. Physical Geography by Goh Cheng Leong
There is a saying that wine tastes better with age. This is also true of Physical Geography book written by Goh Cheng Leong. Although written long time back the book is very much relevant even today since it covers the fundamentals of physical geography, which haven't changed, and UPSC relies on this book to ask question on Physical Geography in civil services examination and also other exams like the Indian Forest Service.
10. Chapter-wise Solved Papers
Are you planning to prepare for the UPSC civil services exam? Then don't start your preparation without referring the previous 5 years chapter-wise solved papers to know the latest trend of questions from each topic of the civil services exam. Only then you will know which topic is more important and which is less and how to prepare accordingly. So for this you should refer the solved papers first.
This rounds up the list of top ten books for UPSC civil services examination. This is not an exhaustive list but contains the most important 10 books you should read if your are preparing for the UPSC exam.
You can also refer to the complete list of Books for IAS Exam.