Top Ten Must-Read FPSC Recommended Books for CSS Preparation!

You may have heard many people tell you all sorts of information about the CSS examination. A lot of it may as well be true, but a considerable amount of that information could be considered false. There are many past papers, academic preparation, etc that may be of worry to you. You may also be confused about book selection for the CSS. Which is the FPSC recommended book for CSS preparation you should go for. What about the best CSS books pdf you need to read to get a topper score? Below we have completed FPSC recommended books for CSS preparation with a comprehensive 10-book CSS books list, the best books for CSS you can find. Keep reading below to find out more. 

1. Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

 For students interested in learning why so many developing countries struggle and fail, we suggest Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. The book neatly captures the fundamental factor that determines the success of countries and nations. They suggest that the environment, geography, culture, or external factors are not the biggest drivers of success or failure. Instead, nations fail because of man-made political and economic structures. Throughout the book, students can find crucial case studies to add to their knowledge as examples for css exams and interviews. Therefore, Why Nations Fail must certainly make it to any student's CSS book list or CSS Google Drive.

2. Pakistan: Beyond the “Crisis State” by Maleeha Lodhi

Students preparing for the CSS exams must develop a nuanced understanding of the politics and governance in Pakistan. Maleeha Lodhi’s insightful book, with contributions from other authors, is one of the best available crash courses on the history, politics, and future of Pakistan. If anyone is interested in a deep dive into the issues that you will confront as a CSS officer, Pakistan: Beyond the “Crisis State” is a good place to start. It is among the best books for CSS prep.

3. Governing the Ungovernable by Ishrat Hussain

The last 25 years have been defining the future of Pakistan as the country fell behind others across most social and economic indicators such as GDP and GNP. Ishrat Hussain provides a detailed account of the causes of the declining socio-economic trend for Pakistan. However, what makes this book truly impactful is that Hussain also envisions a way forward that involves the restructuring of public institutions to increase accountability, transparency, and economic growth. Therefore, there is a reason why it is among the CSS-recommended books by FPSC.

4. High School Grammar by Wren & Martin

You might be worried about the math exam for CSS. Others are worried about subjects such as history, philosophy, or anthropology. However, the subject that separates successful applicants from those that fail is English. Most students fail their CSS English exams even as they succeed in others. Therefore, High School Grammar by Wren & Martin is a good place to revise, learn, and prepare your English writing skills for the CSS attempt. Thus, the book finds its place in most CSS book lists and is among CSS-recommended books by FPSC. It also has the advantage of CSS books with free PDF downloads available.

5. Constitutional and Political History of Pakistan by Hamid Khan

The constitution of Pakistan will dictate a CSS officer's roles and responsibilities once appointed to office. Therefore, any civil servant must have an understanding of the present constitution. But Hamid Khan does it one step better by providing a detailed history of the constitutional development in Pakistan from independence till 2013. It is even better because it is an interesting read rooted in the socio-economic context of each constitution and the changes made to them over time. Therefore, it is among the best books for CSS prep.

6. Global Politics by Andrew Heywood

Do you want to join the foreign service through the CSS? Even if you are simply interested in the subject and want to be informed, Global Politics by Andrew Heywood is the best place to start developing an understanding of international relations and global politics. It is introductory but goes into sufficient depth and detail to explain the complexities that govern our lives in an interconnected world. Essentially, this book is a must-have on any booklist for CSS prep.

7. JWT General Science and Ability by Mian Shafiq

Science is a crucial part of your CSS study. If you did not study science then you must revise basic concepts. But even if you studied science, Mian Shafiq’s JWT General Science is a must-have for CSS preparation. It contains MCQs and other materials for CSS prep. A thorough reading can help students fix grammar, and syntax and even improve writing abilities. At the same time, students will understand how to approach CSS Essay Writing which is a compulsory subject. Many students excel in other subjects but struggle in the essay. So do take advantage because you can access the CSS book PDF by free download. 

8. Foreign Policy of Pakistan by Abdul Sattar

Learning about global politics is one thing. But understanding the tumultuous foreign policy history of Pakistan is another ball game. Surrounded by hostile neighbors and confronting a web of international threats and alliances, Pakistan’s foreign is not an easy subject. However, Abdul Sattar has made it easy through the book Foreign Policy of Pakistan. It is one of the best books for CSS.

9. Islam Its Meaning and Message by Prof. Khursheed

As a civil servant in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, it is vital to have an understanding of Islam and its message. Professor Khursheed attempted to share the knowledge related to Islam with everyone. In doing so, he produced one of the best books for CSS prep in Pakistan, a book that should certainly be in your exam prep CSS book list or CSS Google Drive. The book covers many different aspects of Islam including jurisprudence, governance, and how a leader should live their life. Therefore, it is an irreplaceable addition to your css preparation resources.

10. The Future of Pakistan by Stephen Cohen

Pakistan’s foreign policy is a separate and interesting subject. But the CSS book with free PDF download available titled “Future of Pakistan” by Stephen Cohen is focused on Pakistan’s place in the world. It considers the major issues, primary actors, and the role that they might play in determining the future of Pakistan. This book is essential to have in your CSS book list. The book considers many different aspects of Pakistan and provides a good source of general knowledge that will help you prepare for your CSS exams. 


Preparing for your CSS exam is a challenging and time-consuming endeavor. Nearpeer is devoted to making CSS prep accessible to all students. The CSS book list developed in this article is carefully selected to provide a holistic preparation for the CSS exams. Based on this list, You can download free PDFs of CSS books to study. What do you think? Do any other books need to be added to the list? Comment below, we want to hear you out! Good luck with your preparation, and like always, happy learning!

This module analyzes the key ideas from 12 different books, on themes, such as Global Order, The Great Divide b/w Rich & Poor, Foreign Aid & Development Outcomes, Gender, Globalization, Automation, AI, and the Future. Needless to say, the entire CSS (and other Competitive Exams) almost entirely revolve around these themes (in addition to Pakistan's history & issues which are covered in other modules). Hence, this module is sure to up your preparation game and will make you formidable!

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