Best Books About Buddhism – Top 5 Picks for 2018

This is our official list of the best books about Buddhism on the market today. Scroll further down for full details on each product and a brief overview of books covering Buddhism.

Quick Look:

  1.  The Book of Joy
  2.  The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching
  3.  How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life
  4.   Buddhism for Beginners
  5.  Buddha’s Brain

We know time is of the essence, so the above is a cheat sheet of what’s ahead, just in case your’re in a hurry. Otherwise, keep scrolling down for more detailed and constructive info on each item.

5 Highest Reviewed Buddhism Books to Consider


Buddhism is one of the oldest religions being practiced in our modern day society. Beginning around the 5th century BC, Buddhism is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. Learning Buddhism is knowing and understanding your mind and yourself.

It is a principle that helps to guide you on how to live your daily life in a way so that your mind remains healthy and at peace. And, with over 500 million people practicing Buddhism around the world, there is a good chance you might be looking for a way to learn more about this unique way of life.

To help you in your search for more information, we have created a list that features five of the best books about Buddhism. These titles have been written by experts that have the same common goal, helping to inform you about Buddhism and providing you with accurate information that is easy to understand.

Whether you are looking for information on how to shape your brain to enjoy a life of love, wisdom, and happiness, or looking for a way to find peace in stress-filled world, you are sure to find what you are looking within the pages of these books.

1.) The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

The Book of Joy Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

Serving as a narrative of a week-long between two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Book of Joy covers their discussion of various topics, including obstacles of joy.

Along with learning the Eight Pillars of Joy, readers will also learn some of their stories, science, and wisdom as you explore the duo’s Joy Practices that serve to anchor their spiritual and emotional lives.

PROS

  • Provides a plethora information and guidance on how you can find greater joy, purpose, and fulfillment.
  • This book serves as a great tool for incorporating more joy into your life.
  • The content is written expertly and the readers can actually sense the joy and respect they had offered to each other.

CONS

  • The useful information seems to be limited to the end of the book, instead of being placed throughout.

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2.) The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

Thich Nhat Hanh introduces the reader to the core of Buddhism teachings, demonstrating how Buddha’s teaching are not only accessible but also applicable to our daily lives. Nhat Hanh shows how suffering plays a large part in creating love, joy, and compassion in a clear and poetic manner.

Within these pages, readers can find information on the Four Noble Truths, the Three Doors of Liberation, the Three Dharma Seals, the Noble Eightfold Path, and the Seven Factors of Awakening. The information is provided in a way that is clearly understandable and easy to follow. The connection between inner peace and global peace go hand-in-hand with enlightenment and is easily demonstrated in this text.

PROS

  • One of the few books on the topic of Buddhism that actually tries to explain the concepts that are at the core of Buddhism.
  • Provides the reader with a great overview of Buddhist practices
  • Very simple and easy to understand content.

CONS

  • This book might be too poetic, detracting from the authority of the information it provides.

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3.) How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life

How to Practice The Way to a Meaningful Life

This title from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, addresses prayer and meditation, however, at its core, readers can learn how daily living can actually be a spiritual practice. He highlights how the path to true fulfillment actually lies within ourselves. Readers will experience remarkable illumination of a wisdom that is timeless as well as having access to a daily reference that serves as a roadmap to enlightenment. Laid out in a series of steps, this book will serve as a companion to those that are searching for wisdom, morality, and meditation.

The Dalai Lama shows how by opening your heart, maintaining a tranquil mental state, and avoiding from doing or causing harm, you can overcome obstacles we face on a daily basis.

PROS

  • A great guide for the experienced and beginning Buddhist alike.
  • Directed more towards a Western audience, the Dalai Lama covers a great amount of topics concerning our hectic and stressful society.
  • The concepts of Buddhism are laid out in a manner that is easy for the reader to understand and retain.

CONS

  • Many of the observations made in the book appear to be from the co-author’s point of view.

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4.) Buddhism for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know about Buddhism for Complete Beginners

Buddhism for Beginners Everything You Need to Know about Buddhism for Complete Beginners

Buddhism for Beginners is one of the few books that actually teach readers the essence of Buddhism. Along with highlighting the methodology of following Buddha’s teachings in your life, this book also explains the life of Buddha in great detail. Readers can find the answers to questions about meditation in a language and tone that is easy to understand and follow.

You can also find an excellent chapter that covers the real-world living of the Buddhist lifestyle. Designed to supplement the reader’s beliefs, Buddhism for Beginners helps you to develop the mindfulness of your actions in order to achieve a blissful life.

PROS

  • Inspiring as well as interesting, helping the reader to maintain focus throughout the book.
  • A great book for building a solid foundation for those that are new to Buddhism.
  • Even if you are only looking for information on Buddhism, this book has been written in a manner that is easy to understand.

CONS

  • Typos and grammatical errors can be found throughout this title, giving the title an unprofessional appearance.

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5.) Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

Buddha's Brain The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

Written by New York Times best-selling author and Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley Rick Hanson, Ph. D., Buddha’s Brain combines information from some of the most significant breakthroughs in neuroscience with insights from Buddhism to show the reader how they can stimulate their brain in order to achieve a more fulfilling spiritual life, an improved sense of worth and inner confidence, and relationships that are fulfilling.

This book will guide you through mindfulness exercises and meditations that will enable you to initiate mental states of joy, compassion, and calmness. However, the most important information you will garner from this book is positive psychological growth that will impact your daily life.

PROS

  • Great for learning what is happening to the human brain during meditative states.
  • Expertly written with technical information that is easy for the reader to understand and follow.
  • Clearly demonstrates the importance and effect of daily meditation.

CONS

  • Some areas of the book seem to indicate Buddhism as purely a psychological aspect instead of a way of life.

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Wrapping Up

As we stated at the beginning of this list on the best books about Buddhism, we created it in an effort to help you find more information that is accurate and useful. Buddhism is a great lifestyle, but it’s not for everyone. With the information found on the pages of these books, you should be able to learn more your search for information.

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Written by Rhoda Jane Pickens

Rhoda has been fascinated with product development for the majority of her life. Her expertise is in home and garden products, but her curiosity and vast experience allow her to cross category lines. Maintaining a detective like critical eye, she cares about the end user of gadgets.

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