Martine & Stephen



This booklist is primarily designed as a guide for those who wish to consult the texts and authors I cite in my teaching and writing. The list reflects my own preferences and is by no means exhaustive.


Books recommended for beginners are indicated with an asterisk (*).


1. Early Buddhist Canonical Literature

A wide selection of translated Pali texts, essays and Pali study tools is available on-line at:

For access to the entire Pali Canon in Pali, go to:

Bodhi, Bhikkhu. (Tr.) The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Samyutta Nikaya). Somerville: Wisdom Publications, 2000.

------. (Tr.) The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Anguttara Nikaya). Somerville: Wisdom Publications, 2012.

Burlingame, Eugene Watson. (Tr.) Buddhist Legends (Dhammapada Commentary). Three Volumes. Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1995 [first published 1921]

* Fronsdal, Gil. (Tr.) The Dhammapada. Boston & London: Shambhala, 2005.

Horner, I.B. (Tr.) The Book of Discipline Vol. IV (Mahavagga). Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1951.

------. (Tr.) The Book of Discipline Vol. V (Cullavagga). Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1952.

Ireland, John D. (Tr.) The Udana and the Itivuttaka. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1997.

* Nanamoli, Bhikkhu. The Life of the Buddha. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1978.

Nanamoli, Bhikkhu, and Bodhi, Bhikkhu. (Tr.) The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikaya). Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1995.

Norman, K.R. (Tr.) The Group of Discourses (Sutta-Nipata). Oxford: Pali Text Society, 2001.

* Nyanaponika Thera, and Bodhi, Bhikkhu. (Tr.) Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: an Anthology of Suttas from the Anguttara Nikaya. Walnut Creek: Alta Mira Press, 1999.

Rhys Davids, Caroline A.F. Psalms of the Early Buddhists. Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1980 [Theragatha first published 1909; Therigatha, 1937]

Walshe, Maurice. (Tr.) The Long Discourses of the Buddha (Digha Nikaya). Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1995.


2. Modern Works on Early Buddhism

* Analayo. Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization. Birmingham: Windhorse, 2003.

Bodhi, Bhikkhu. The Revival of Bhikkhuni Ordination in the Theravada Tradition. Penang, Malaysia: Inward Path, 2009.

Gombrich, Richard F., How Buddhism Began: The Conditioned Genesis of the Early Teachings. London: Athlone, 1996.

* ------. What the Buddha Thought. London/Oakville, Conn.: Equinox, 2009.

Nanavira Thera. Clearing the Path. Path Press (

------. Notes on Dhamma. Path Press (

Norman, K.R.  A Philological Approach to Buddhism. Lancaster: Pali Text Society, 2006.

* Olendzki, Andrew. Unlimiting Mind: The Radically Experiential Psychology of Buddhism. Boston: Wisdom, 2010.

* Parks, Tim. Teach Us to Sit Still: A Sceptic’s Search for Health and Healing. London: Vintage, 2010.

Schopen, Gregory. Bones, Stones and Buddhist Monks: Collected Papers on the Archaelogy, Epigraphy, and Texts of Monastic Buddhism in India. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1997.

Siff, Jason. Unlearning Meditation: What to Do when the Instructions Get in the Way. Boston/London: Shambhala, 2010.


3. The Life and Times of the Buddha

* Allen, Charles. The Buddha and the Sahibs: The Men Who Discovered India’s Lost Religion. London: John Murray, 2003.

Bailey, Greg, and Mabbett, Ian. The Sociology of Early Buddhism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

* Ling, Trevor. The Buddha: Buddhist Civilisation in India and Ceylon. London: Temple Smith, 1973.

Malalasekera, G. P. Dictionary of Pali Proper Names. Three Volumes. Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1997 [first published 1938].

Nakamura, Hajime. Gotama Buddha: A Biography Based on the Most Reliable Texts. Two Volumes. Tokyo: Kosei Publishing, 2000 & 2005.     

* Nanamoli, Bhikkhu. The Life of the Buddha. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1978.

Nyanaponika Thera, with Hellmuth Hecker and Bhikkhu Bodhi (eds). Great Disciples of the Buddha: Their Lives, Their Works, Their Legacy. Somerville: Wisdom Publications, 2003.

* Schumann, H. W. Tr. Walshe. The Historical Buddha: The Times, Life and Teachings of the Founder of Buddhism. London: Arkana, 1989.


4. Mahayana Buddhism

Buswell, Robert E. Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul’s Korean Way of Zen. Honolulu: Kuroda Institute, 1992.

------.    The Zen Monastic Experience. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.

Dreyfus, Georges B. J. Recognizing Reality: Dharmakirti’s Philosophy and Its Tibetan Interpreters. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997.

------. The Sound of Two Hands Clapping: The Education of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk. Berkeley/Los Angeles, University of California Press, 2003.

* Kusan Sunim. The Way of Korean Zen. Boston and London: Weatherhill, 2009 [First published, 1985]

Lopez, Don. The Madman’s Middle Way: Reflections on Reality of the Tibetan Monk Gendun Chopel. Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press, 2006.

Schettini, Stephen. The Novice: Why I Became a Buddhist Monk, Why I Quit and What I Learned. Austin: Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2009.

Shantideva. (1) Tr. from Tibetan by Stephen Batchelor. A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1979. (2) Tr. from Sanskrit by Kate Crosby and Andrew Skilton. The Bodhicaryavatara. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. (3) Tr. Vesna Wallace and B. Alan Wallace from Sanskrit and Tibetan. A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life. Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1997.

* Williams, Paul. Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. London: Routledge, 1989.


5. Theology

* Cupitt, Don. Above us Only Sky: The Religion of Ordinary Life. Santa Rosa: Polebridge Press, 2008.

------.   The Fountain. London: SCM, 2011.

------. The Great Questions of Life. Santa Rosa: Polebridge Press, 2005.

------.    The Time Being. London: SCM, 1992.

------.   Theology’s Strange Return. London: SCM, 2010.

* Geering, Lloyd. Christianity without God. Santa Rosa: Polebridge Press, 2002.

Hillesum, Etty. An Interrupted Life: The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum. London: Persephone Books, 1996.

Metaxas, Eric. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile Versus the Third Reich. Nashville: Nelson, 2010.

Vattimo, Gianni. After Christianity. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.

------. A Farewell to Truth. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.


6. Philosophy.

Baggini, Julian. The Ego Trick: What Does it Mean to be You? London: Granta, 2011.

*Bakewell, Sarah. How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in one Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer. London: Vintage, 2010.

Berlin, Isaiah. Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 1969.

* Gray, John. Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals. London: Granta, 2002.

* Hadot, Pierre. Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault. Oxford: Blackwell, 1995.

------. The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Cambridge/London: Harvard University Press, 1998.

Kuzminski, Adrian. Pyrrhonism: How the Ancient Greeks Reinvented Buddhism. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2008.

Lévinas, Emmanuel. Tr. Richard A. Cohen. Ethics and Infinity. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1985.

Lucretius. Tr. A.E. Stallings. The Nature of Things. London: Penguin, 2007.

Metzinger, Thomas. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self. New York: Basic, 2009

Nussbaum, Martha C. The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.

Onfray, Michel. Les Sagesses Antiques: Contre-histoire de la philosophie, t. 1. Paris: Grasset, 2006.

Rorty, Richard. Contingency, Irony and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

* ------. Philosophy and Social Hope. London: Penguin, 1999.


7. History.

Freeman, Charles. The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason. London: Heinemann, 2002.

Greenblatt, Stephen. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. New York/London: Norton, 2011.

McEvilley, Thomas. The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies. New York: Allworth Press, 2002.

Lamotte, Etienne. History of Indian Buddhism: From the Origins to the Saka Era. Louvain: Peeters Press, 1988.

McMahan, David L. The Making of Buddhist Modernism. Oxford/New York: OUP, 2008.


8. Psychology

* Epstein Mark. Going On Being: Buddhism and the Way of Change. New York: Broadway, 2001.

Watson, Gay. Beyond Happiness: Deepening the Dialogue between Buddhism, Psychotherapy and the Mind Sciences. London: Karnac, 2008.


9. Science.

Blackmore, Susan. The Meme Machine. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

* Broks, Paul. Into the Silent Land: Travels in Neuropsychology. London: Atlantic, 2003.

McGilchrist, Iain. The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 2009.

* Sacks, Oliver. An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales. New York: Knopf, 1995.

Wallace, B. Alan. The Taboo of Subjectivity: Toward a New Science of Consciousness. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.


10. The Arts

Baas, Jacquelynn, and Jacob, Mary Jane (eds.). Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004

Barthes, Roland. La chambre claire: Note sur la photographie. Paris: Le Seuil, 1980.   Tr. Richard Howard. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. London: Vintage, 2000.

Batchelor, David. Chromophobia. London: Reaktion, 2000.

Sontag, Susan. On Photography. New York: Penguin, 1977.

Tanizaki, Juni’ichiro. In Praise of Shadows. Sedgwick, ME: Leete’s Island Books, 1977.

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