Basics: 2003, softcover, 304 pages, 120 color plates, 800+ species, no range maps
This northern guide is a reduced version of the author's previous and much larger work: A Guide to the Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. This lighter version is a true field guide-sized book that focuses on just those birds found in India's north and northwest states. Generally, this area is north of Mumbai (aka, Bombay) and west of Lucknow.
The 800+ birds found in this northern region are illustrated quite well and are usually shown with multiple plumages when significant differences exist between genders, age, or subspecies. These illustrations are good enough to identify most species. Each plate contains 3-11 birds, made up of 9-32 illustrations. Some of the plates, especially the raptors and shorebirds, are notably crammed with 25-30 illustrations of perched and flying birds. This causes many of the plumages to be a bit small. The shrikes are also illustrated rather small.
Like the book's southern counterpart, the text is the weaker part of this book. Each bird receives 3-15 lines describing it. This text may not always be sufficient to differentiate between many of the more similar birds. Sometimes a line or two is offered about the habitat or distribution. The raptors receive the most coverage while the passerines receive the least (i.e., 3-4 lines). There is only the sparsest of information given for vocalizations on some of the birds. There are also no range maps.
To help supplement the relatively thin text on identification, nine tables are included as appendices. These provide a comparison list of the more difficult bird groups such as nightjars, warblers, rosefinches, and the Yellow Wagtail subspecies.
This guide will serve you well in northern India and is probably the second-best option, aside from the author's combined Birds of India. A superior, but more expensive, book is the Birds of South Asia by Rasmussen.
If you're looking at other titles by the author, Grimmett, keep in mind this northern guide is a sister-work of the southern guide, which each come from the combined (but still condensed) Birds of India. These three books share many of the same plates and text. The combined version includes range maps. Basically, if you own Birds of India, you already own everything in this book. And, these three books all come from the aforementioned larger work that has everything along with extensive, in-depth text.
I've listed several related books below...
1) A Guide to the Birds of India... by Grimmett
2) Birds of India... by Grimmett
3) Birds of South Asia: Volumes 1 & 2 by Rasmussen
4) A Field Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Kazmierczak
5) Photographic Guide to Birds of the Himalayas by Grewal/Pfister
6) Birds of Nepal by Grimmett
7) Photographic Guide to Birds of India and Nepal by Grewal