The Noble Eightfold Path
If you were to call this book a Buddhism Primer you would in a sense be correct. But this book is so much more than that. Although short and compact, Bhikkhu Bodhi makes every line sing, every word count.
I read this book some years ago, just as I set out on the Buddhist path, and found it very informative. Now, after ten or so years of study, reflection, and meditation I have read it again, and now (with a little less dust in my eyes) this book really sings. Bhikkhu Bodhi is both extremely insightful and erudite (he is a respected and renowned Pali scholar after all), and the way he now (reading with better eyes) outlines the path summarizes it so eloquently, and still in such depth, that I’d consider this book as a sole companion on that often-posited desert island.
Also, keep a dictionary handy, Bhikkhu Bodhi writes extremely well, and he will use unfamiliar words if it is the correct and best word to use. I looked many of them up, and he is always spot on. Sometimes his sentences explode with meaning.
Very highly recommended.