The following books are among those that I feel are crucial for any basic English language Jewish collection. Most of the texts that I credit in my workshops and Shabbatons are on this list and I am more than happy to make recommendations based on subject matter and attention span. I picked a dozen good starter texts...they are hilighted in blue.

Don't have the time to read? Well, as an experiment, for one short month, cut off your cable TV, avoid the internet, cancel the newspaper and forego Stephen King. New vistas for stimulating Torah study will materialize! For those interested in procuring an instant Jewish library, simply present this list to the largest Jewish bookstore in your community and bring plenty of money. There are several online resources as well, including Artscroll.com, Feldheim.com, even Amazon.com! Better yet, find yourself a weekly learning partner who will force you to keep that all important date with your heritage.

Please note for the record that the majority of these authors are rabbis and I did not include the plethora of titles from Artscroll Publications including the Stone Chumash, Shottenstein Talmud, Chumash with Rashi and books focusing on the various holidays. Metsudah linear study guides and siddurim are fantastic for building Hebrew comprehension. Let me also plug the indispensable Artscroll siddur which includes modern translations, commentary, excellent typography and full instructions for the neophyte, and is now available in an interlinear or transliterated version.

David Aaron
Endless Light
Seeing G-d
Secret Life of God

Yitzchok Adlerstein
Be'er Hag'dolah
Nachum Amsel
Encyclopedia of Jewish Values
Shimon Apisdorf
The Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur Survival Kit
The Passover Survival Kit
Chanukah: Eight Nights of Light
Judaism in a Nutshell Series

Benjamin Blech
Understanding Judaism
Idiot's Guides to Judaism

Nachum Braverman
The Death of Cupid
The Bible for the Curious and Clueless

Natan L. Cardozo
Between Silence and Speech
The Oral and the Written Torah
Judaism On Trial
Thoughts to Ponder

Shlomo Carlebach
Holy Brother
Shlomo's Stories

Avraham Chill
The Minhagim
Eric Coopersmith
The Eye of the Needle

Eliyahu Dessler
Strive for Truth
Aharon Feldman
The River, the Kettle and the Bird
Yisoschar Frand
In Print
On the Parsha

Avraham Greenbaum/Rabbi Nachman
Under the Table

Ari Kahn

Aryeh Kaplan
Anthology I & II
The Living Torah
The Living Nach

The Infinite Light
Jewish Meditation

Lawrence Kelemen
Permission to Believe/Receive
Yitzchok Kirzner
The Art of Jewish Prayer
Eliyahu Kitov
Book of Our Heritage
Avraham Isaak Kook
The Lights of Penitence
Moshe Chaim Luzatto
The Way of G-d
The Path of the Just

The Way of Reason
Gila Manolson
The Magic Touch
Tom Meyer
Five Levels of the Soul
Misc. Authors
Jewish Matters
Heaven and Earth
Zelig Pliskin
Growth Through Torah
My Father, My King

Matisyahu Soloman
With Hearts Full of Faith
Menachem Mendel Shneerson
Torah Studies
Toward a Meaningful Life
Bringing Heaven to Earth

Akiva Tatz
Living Inspired
Letters to a Buddhist Jew

Ezriel Tauber
Choose Life
I Shall Not Want
Darkness Before Dawn
As in Heaven, So on Earth

Avraham Twerski
Living Each Day
Matis Weinberg
Patterns in Time