I'm ordering a zen buddhist book today from Amazon called Hardcore Zen
. I just finished a book by the same author (Brad Warner) called Sit Down and Shut Up
, amusing read that brings a pop-culture bend to eastern zen philosophy, written by a former bass player for a punk band in the early '80s. An ordained zen priest, he ties teachings from the Shobogenzo (an ancient zen monk's life handbook) to modern, pop-culture life. He describes buddhism as the logical next step after his punk-rock upbringing, where punk rock falls short of a solution to his frustration with The Establishment.
For a good intro to 'Tibetan' buddhism, I suggest Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das. Written in the mid-90's, the author his since become somewhat of a new-age pop-guru. However, it is clearly an outstanding introduction to the subject, laying the framework for future reading. Read the Amazon.com reviews (95 of them!) to find out how this book has changed some peoples' lives.