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Tibet Mandala
mandala To share and promote interest in Tibetan culture, people and land

Recommended Books

The followings are books that we have read and liked. They are good starting points if you would like to probe further on specific topics about Tibet. Since most conventional bookstores may not have a very complete collection of them, we try to provide the publisher information as well. In addition, each book is linked to Amazon.com, an on-line bookstore from which you can mail-order directly.

List By Category

Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan People

Tibetan Culture




Directory of Publishers

Tibetan Buddhism

The Way to Freedom
by Dalai Lama
The Library of Tibet; (order from Amazon)

    "Based on a 14th-century text and never before translated for a general audience, The Way to Freedom; is considered by Tibetans to be the essence of 1,000 years of Buddhist teachings and the heart of Tibetan practice. Presented in easy to understand steps, this is the essential primer on Tibetan Buddhism for both nonpractitioners and avid students. "

Awakening the Mind, Lightening the Heart : His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet (The Path to Enlightenment, Vol 2)
by Dalai Lama
The Library of Tibet; (order from Amazon)

    "In the second volume by the Dalai Lama in the historic new Library of Tibet series, His Holiness provides lucid, practical instructions for developing compassion in our daily lives. "

The Joy of Living and Dying in Peace (Library of Tibet Series , Vol 3)
by Dalai Lama
The Library of Tibet; (order from Amazon)

    "His Holiness the Dalai Lama, exiled spiritual and political leader of the Tibetan people, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. The Dalai Lama's gentle, accessible, and eloquently phrased teachings are one of the world's great spiritual treasures. In the third volume of the landmark Library of Tibet series on Buddhist spiritual wisdom, the Dalai Lama offers his teachings on death and dyingand living a meaningful life. "

Kindness, Clarity, and Insight: The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, His Holiness Tehzin Gyatso
by Jeffrey Hopkins
Bookpeople; (order from Amazon)

    "Collection of talks given by the Dalai Lama during his tour of North America. Discusses a wide variety of spiritual and human concerns. Not limited to Buddhists or to religious believers, the Dalai Lama's messsage speaks to people everywhere."

Journey to Enlightenment: The Life and World of Khyentse Rinpoche, Spiritual Teacher from Tibet
by Matthieu Ricard
Aperture; (order from Amazon)
    The Excellent Path to Enlightenment
    by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
    Snow Lion; (order from Amazon)
      The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
      by Sogyal Rinpoche; Forward by the Dalai Lama
      Harper; (order from Amazon)

      Tibetan People

      Tibetan Portrait: The Power of Compassion
      by Phil Borges
      Rizzoli International Publications; (order from Amazon)

        "Phil Borges conveys the quiet dignity and determination of the Tibetan people through his simple black-and-white photos. Each portrait is accompanied by a short description of the subjects, offering glimpses into their extraordinary lives. The book also features quotes of H.H. the Dalai Lama. This is a book that can be appreciated even by someone who does not know much about the Tibetan cause."

      Living Tibet: The Dalai Lama in Dharamsala
      by Nanci Hoetzlein Rose; photos by Bill Warren
      Snow Lion; (order from Amazon)

      Tibetan Culture

      Tibet: Reflection from the Wheel of Life
      by Carroll Dunham, Ian Baker, and Thomas L. Kelly (photographer)
      Abbeville; (order from Amazon)

        "Much more than a fancy coffee table book, this book introduces various aspects of Tibetan lives, faiths, and culture through its essays and photos. It is definitely worth keeping."

      History / Memoir

      Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama
      by H.H. the Dalai Lama
      Harper Collins; (order from Amazon)

        "I recommend reading this book if you want to get to know more about H.H. the Dalai Lama first hand. His straight-talking style and compassionate humor really come through. You will get to understand that he is respected not just because of the esteemed status he was born to. He has won the respect of many people on the basis of his deeds and teachings."

      In Exile from the Land of Snows: The Dalai Lama and Tibet Since the Chinese Conquest
      by John F. Avedon
      Harper Perennial Library; (order from Amazon)

        "This book vividly recounts the modern history of Tibet. Its description is lively, lucid, and detailed, so it does not read like a dry history book. It follows the life of the fourteenth Dalai Lama as well as the lives of other Tibetans and illustrates the degree of suffering the Tibetan people underwent since the Chinese conquest and how they are preserving their culture in exile."

      Turquoise Bee: the Lovesongs of the Sixth Dalai Lama
      by Rick Fields and Brian Cutillo
      Harper Collins; (Sorry! We can't find it at Amazon)

        "This little book contains a very complete collection of the poems by the Sixth Dalai Lama, accompanied by an mesmerizing introduction to his intriguing life and nicely illustrated by the author of Goddesses."


      Feminine Ground: Essays on Women and Tibet
      by Janice D. Willis
      Snow Lion; (order from Amazon)
      The Anguish of Tibet
      edited by Petra K. Kelly , Gert Bastian, and Pat Aiello
      Parallax; (order from Amazon)

        "This book is a collections of speeches, eye witness accounts, testimonies, and investigative reports. It covers many aspects, including Tibet's legal status, human right situation and environmental condition, and reflects many viewpoints. Some of the descriptions, particularly those on human right violations, are truly painful to stomach, but are necessary to read if one wants to understand what goes on in Tibet and why people are struggling for her cause."


      Reincarnation: the Boy Lama
      by Vicki McKenzie
      Wisdom Publications; (order from Amazon)

        "A light and entertaining book recounting an extraordinary story. This book is written from the point of view of a Western Buddhist about her beloved tutor in both his past life as a Tibetan lama and his present life as a Spanish boy (now also a lama). Whether one believes in reincarnation or not, the spirit of Lama Yeshe (the tutor in his previous life) shines through the pages and is very inspiring."

      Ocean of Wisdom: Guidelines for Living
      by the Dalai Lama
      Clear Light; (order from Amazon)

        "This book collects excerpts of the Dalai Lama's speeches. His words can be appreciated by people of all religions, and are definitely worth reading and re-reading. Here is an example: 'Right from the moment of our birth, we are under the care and kindness of our parents. And then later on in our life, when we are oppressed by sickness and become old, we are again dependent on the kindness of others. And since at the beginning and end of our lives, we are so dependent on others' kindness, how can it be in the middle that we neglect kindness towards others?'"

      Directory of Publishers

      Abbeville Publishing Group
      488 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022 USA
      Telephone: (800) 853-9757
      E-mail: service@bookpeople.com
      Clear Light
      823 Don Diego, Santa Fe, NM 87501 USA
      HarperCollins Publishers
      10 East 53rd Street New York, NY 10022 USA
      Telephone: (212) 207-7000
      E-mail: information@harpercollins.com
      Parallax Press
      Box 7355 Berkeley, California 94707 USA
      Telephone: (510) 525 0101
      Rizzoli International Publications
      300 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010 USA
      Snow Lion Publications, Inc.
      605 W State St/PO Box 6483 Ithaca NY, 14851-6483, USA.
      Telephone: (800)950-0313 or (607)273-8519
      FAX: (607)273-8508
      E-mail: 75061.1026@compuserve.com
      Wisdom Books
      402 Hoe Street Walthamstow London E17 9AA England
      Telephone: +44 (0)181 520 5588
      Fax: +44 (0)181 520 0932
      E-mail: 100660.2464@Compuserve.com