I have read hundreds of books about Buddhism and as time passes I have become more and more interested in those works that seek to bring the timeless wisdom of the Buddhist tradition out of its Asian shell and present it in a way that is accessible to Westerners.
Andrew Furst has managed just that with his offering of Western Lights: A Collection of Essays on Buddhism. This book is of particular interest to anyone curious about Buddhism, but remains sympathetic to concepts like faith and prayer, as Western Lights presents Buddhism through the lens of the Pure Land tradition. Andrew skillfully addresses concepts like karma, Atheism, faith, meditation practice, and enlightenment in a down to earth way that many westerners will find refreshing. I would recommend this book to any Westerner beginning their exploration of Buddhism.