The list author says: "My weekly sitting group gets lots of visits from new comers. Here's a list of helpful books to learn about Buddhism in general and Zen in particular. This list is by no means exhaustive. These are books that have been helpful to me as a beginner."
"This is my preferred starting point. A very accessible and elegant translation of one of the oldest classic texts. These sayings are held to be the exact words of the Buddha, transmitted from teacher to disciple down 2,500 years. This comes as a pocket-sized paperback (I keep it in my purse) and as a small hard cover book."
"This is considered the classic American text on Zen. It is a compilation of dharma talks by San Francisco Zen Center founder Shunryu Suzuki Roshi - as edited by his American students. Caveat: Although the title contains the word "Beginner's Mind," many of the lectures address some advanced concepts. If you're just starting your study of Zen, "Not Always So" might be a better choice to read first."
"Reb Anderson is Senior Dharma Teacher at San Francisco Zen Center and was ordained by Suzuki Roshi. This book on Buddhist ethics is the fruit of nearly a decade of study and lectures about the precepts. Highly recommended!"