While advice is offered to individual newcomers from time to time, I haven't seen a recent easily searchable DW thread that discusses introductory books across all the buddhist traditions so I thought I'd start one here.
I suggest each post contains only one or two books so a number of us can participate and that you say which tradition the book belongs to and briefly why you think it's good/helpful.
If someone suggests a book by a controversial buddhist figure by all means point this out but maybe attach a link to another thread rather than cluttering up this one.
See equality between praise and criticism, between approval and disapproval, between the good and the bad reputation, since they are simply illusions or dreams and have no true existence. Learn to tolerate them as if they were mere echoes. ~ Longchenpa