If we did start a book of the month club, we could use our Facebook page for coordinating. I'm currently the only admin, I think, but that can be easily rectified.

Those who are interested in such a venture, which book would you like to study? One book per answer, please; top voted answer can be our first book to be studied.

The tie in with SE is that the text should be one that will stimulate our question-asking faculties, which we then apply by asking questions about the book of the month on Buddhism.SE

  • 1
    is it free/available book only, or any kind?
    – user382
    Apr 27, 2015 at 14:08
  • 1
    This looks interesting. How would the FB page be utilized though? Because of the Q & A feed stuff tends to move off the page pretty quickly and you wouldn't be able to set it to receive notifications without receiving the Q & A feed too. And non admins have limited space to post. A Facebook Group might give more options as opposed to a Page. But a dedicated Meta thread may be most convenient of all as it allows for voting (as you have here now) and doesn't require a person to be a FB user. :)
    – Robin111
    Apr 27, 2015 at 14:38
  • The last time I did this we studied our book at a rate of one chapter per week. One chapter (or two) per week isn't too much reading (and leaves time for asking and answering questions). Defining a schedule like that results in everyone reading (and asking about) the same chapter in the same week, and some sense of community (i.e. of doing something together). And otherwise people ask questions about chapters which others haven't read yet. That many weeks might take two months per book.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Apr 27, 2015 at 16:31
  • 1
    If possible could we organise the book club on meta. I'm not a big facebook user and ideally I'd like delete my account. Is there a reason from Stack Exchange mothership why it's not appropriate to organise on meta? Apr 27, 2015 at 17:38
  • 1
    @CrabBucket sure, we could do that as well. And just use the Facebook page for advertising it. Apr 30, 2015 at 17:12
  • Any thoughts on when might be a good time to begin?
    – Robin111
    May 10, 2015 at 3:06
  • I know this is a little tangential, but could you give us a little time to get the book? Maybe announce it with a rolling month ahead kind of thing? I know that there are retailers who can get this stuff to you by sounding rocket in the blink of an eye, but sometimes stores that I'm sure many of us like to support take a couple of weeks. :-) May 16, 2015 at 18:18

9 Answers 9


I came across recently The Requisites of Enlightenment, by Ven. Ledi Sayādaw, which the editors say to be "one of the most helpful expositions of Dhamma which we have been privileged to publish in The Wheel series". It's pretty small also. But I haven't read a single page of it yet and wouldn't know how a good choice it would be.


I was recently gifted with Evolving Dharma, by Jay Michaelson, but haven't got around to reading it yet. This might be a good excuse to start?

  • That's looks pretty awesome! Thanks for posting!
    – user698
    Apr 27, 2015 at 17:49
  • On the other hand, maybe we should stick to free online books? Apr 30, 2015 at 16:44

I just found out that the Abhidhammattha-Sangaha is available for free online... I don't know that this would be of interest to everyone on the site, but just to throw it out there:

A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma


A book that most of you may have read already, but perhaps The Lotus Sutra (someone recommended Burton Watson's Translation).

It's quite long (book-length), one of the most popular and influential Mahāyāna sūtras according to Wikipedia, one of the first sutras to use the term Mahāyāna, and I find a lot (too much) of it difficult to understand.

If I find it too difficult to understand then maybe it's not for me. But if it's popular and influential maybe other people have understood it, and maybe it would be good to study and ask questions about.


I've been recommended A Seeing That Frees by Rob Burbea. It's a recent book about insight practice and emptiness. It's not free but the ebook edition is about half the price of the print version. I'd love to read it in a study group.

  • It has many favourable reviews. The first chapter (and front matter) can be previewed here.
    – ChrisW Mod
    Apr 27, 2015 at 18:08

Would anyone be interested in reading the classic "The Light of Asia" by Sir Edwin Arnold? Free download. :)


Another in the spirit of Q & A: "Women in Buddhism - Question & Answers" by Chatsumarn Kabilsingh Ph.D. (Theravada tradition)

Ven. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh provides answers to questions often asked about women and the ordination issue and related topics. She responds to such questions as: In the Buddha's time what role did women play in Buddhism? Why cannot women become buddhas? What is the Buddhist attitude towards prostitution? What is an attitude of a Buddhist towards abortion? What is the unique characteristic in American Buddhism which might interest a feminist?

As far as I remember, the questions people have submitted on our site regarding women in Buddhism were relatively highly rated and viewed; so thought this might possibly also be of interest.


This would be a more ambitious undertaking at 438 pages. But it does look interesting. "What Buddhists Believe" by Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda. Non sectarian and free download.


In the spirit of Q&A, here's a good perennial favourite not biased to one tradition or another:

Good Questions, Good Answers by Ven. Dhammika

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .