My personal choice of highly recommended books:

 

 

 

Category: accessible

 

Dhammapada

Considered to be world heritage, a treasure of wisdom read by all. Many translations and prints are available, both for free and for sale.

Profound wisdom on how to live life in a good way.

 

 

Digha Nikya: "The Long Discourses of the Buddha"

An excellent modern translation of the complete Digha Nikya is Maurice Walshe's "The Long Discourses of the Buddha". I have been reading so many books, always an interpretation or commentary. It was amazing to read the Sutta's with the first-hand words as delivered by the Buddha himself. It was quite a mind-opener. The world was often different from what it is now, and in some cycles people were taller and lived longer.

For me this was like the simile of the fish and the tortoise. The fish told the tortoise that he was mad - how can there be dry land? How can anybody see plants, flowers, sun, skies? Just look around you, there is nothing here, the world is filled with only water. The tortoise must be mad...

 

This made me realise:

If one cannot see it, does not mean that it does not exist.

 

My favourites were: 

Sutta 26 Cakkavatti-Sihanada Sutta: The Lion’s Roar on the Turning of the Wheel

How to live properly and share things equally to live in a successful world. This description of the wheel-turning monarchs changed my perception of the world as I knew it, just like the fish and tortoise simile..

Sutta 27 Aggañña Sutta: On Knowledge of Beginnings

I still remember my surprise when I read this Sutta the first time. So many details of the "beginning" are similar in many religious and cosmological traditions, and the description of how beings live off the energy of "Piti" still make me feel dizzy...

Sutta 20 Maha Samaya Sutta: The Mighty Gathering Devas come to see the Buddha

Devas live a long time, when they gathered to come and see the Buddha it was a few minutes in their live span. For them the Buddha was so special, this helped me realise how lucky we are to live in a time when the insight of a Buddha is available to human beings.

I never had any idea of how the universe works, but if these are the beings from ten world systems, how wonderful the universe is! I am no longer just a little ashamed to enjoy Science Fiction films, they are often more correct than they themselves may know...!

  

 

 

Category: Complex

(reference books)

 

Visuddhi Magga - The path of Purification written by Bhadantãcariya Buddhagossa in Sri Lanka ± 1.600 years ago, a classic summary of the  Pali Tipitaka and widely used as a standard reference work in Theravãda Buddhism. Translated by Bhikkhu Nanamoli into English in 1956.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nanamoli/PathofPurification2011.pdf

 

Light of Wisdom

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9kjm545822kif0q/Light%20of%20Wisdom%202010.pdf?dl=0

Knowing and Seeing by the most Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw

(Fourth Revised Edition)

http://www.paaukforestmonastery.org/books/knowing_and_seeing_rev_ed.pdf

 

The Workings of Kamma by the most Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw

(Second Revised Edition)

http://www.paaukforestmonastery.org/books/workings_of_kamma.pdf

 

Teaching and Training by the most Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw

http://www.paaukforestmonastery.org/books/teaching_training.pdf

 

The Essence of Buddha Abhidhamma by Dr. Mehm Tin Mon published 1995 Yangon Myanmar. Various publications download directly from:

http://www.dhammadownload.com/Dr-MehmTinMon-eBookInEnglish.htm

 

A Manual of Abhidhamma by Narada Thera, Colombo