This site is a curated list of books on Buddhism and related topics. The many changes I see in meditation circles in the last few years have motivated me to create this list.
Buddhism in America—perhaps in the West generally—is changing fast. Many of my meditating friends are moving beyond the books for meditators to read sutta texts and ask questions about the history and development and purpose of meditative practices. Many are interested in the contexts of those practices, too: the cultures and philosophies that have impacted Buddhist history.
And the scientific study of meditation. And applications of mindfulness to almost everything—psychology, education, the arts. Mindfulness training is being offered to police and to people in sales, and to the men and women in the armed forces. While this seems mostly good, the ethical foundation of traditional meditative practices—along with some other things—seems often to get lost.
I hope this list will be helpful to people involved in these remarkable shifts.
The task seemed overwhelming until I realized that one can be a helpful librarian without having read every book in the library, a responsible bookstore owner without having read every book in the shop. So I see myself as a curator, a librarian of sorts, offering a mixture of information ranging from (a few) full reviews to basic listings.
Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. This means that if you click one of those links, it will take you to a bookseller; if you buy, your price is the same as if you navigated there yourself, but the seller pays me a tiny cut for bringing you to them. I am hoping that payments generated by the site will—perhaps only after a few years—partly offset the time I put into it. And if not? Well, life is full of uncertainties; I hope the site will still be helpful for others—and certainly educational for me.
When an important book is available for free download, I provide a link to that (if I know of it—some books, especially dana books, are available in both free and paid forms). If a book is out of print, I link to WorldCat so the reader can search for it in nearby libraries. Other resources and links are also provided, as they come to my attention and seem useful.
I bring to the task of curating this site my training as a scholar of religions (though not Eastern religions) and as a historian, hoping to offer useful pathways through material that might otherwise seem a little overwhelming. I’d like the site to become a trusted reference for many.
So, gentle reader, I offer you this site: an experiment for me and, I hope, a blessing for you and for others.