I'm looking for a a book on Buddhism, something that describes the basic beliefs, practices, etc. Something like Buddhism for beginners? I've read a little on Buddhism, but it's been very little. The 18 page e-book Buddism the Essence, and I've started to read the "Tibetan Book of Living and Dying", but friends have said that the book will have greater meaning and I'll understand more once I know more about Buddhism.
I'd prefer a book I can put on my iPad, but it's not an absolute requirement.
I recommend The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh.
Yes, "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching" is a wonderful book. If you want to take it slow I might consider starting with Thich Nhat Hanh's book "Miracle of Mindfulness," and then reading "The Heart".
I also think Steve Hagen's "Buddhism Plain and Simple" is a very good, easy to follow intro book to buddhist teaching.
Let us know how it goes.
The Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance.
Just get yourself a Dhammapada -- it isn't very long or complicated, but it forms the essence of Buddhist teachings and how to be both human and live with integrity
I like the Juan Mascaró translation, issued by Penguin Classics in 1973. He wrote an excellent foreword.
If you happen to run across a book called "The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha", do not read it. It's preachy and garbage, and seems written from a crypto-Christian angle.
Hard Core Zen by Brad Warner
I think any of Pema Chodron's books cut through the liturgical bullshit and get right to the heart of the dharma. She also writes/lectures in a really clear, vivid fashion.
Brad Warner pisses traditional Zen-folk off hugely. A good sign, in my mind, if you're looking for the real thing.
I'm really dubious about R2, but that's just my opinion.