Recommended First Books
Although Sensei's Library has many beginner resources, many people find it easier to learn from a book. Even if you are comfortable learning entirely online, books can be convenient. Luckily, beginner books are readily available in English.
These are books that are aimed at absolute beginners, who do not yet know the rules. Much of the material in these books is useful only once, as it involves teaching the basic rules.
Go - More Than a Game
Go - More Than a Game is a book by amateur Peter Shotwell. This book covers many essential beginner concepts while moving steadily from 9x9 up to 19x19, analyzing professional games from each board size in the process. The book also included much more about the culture and history of go than many other beginner books.
The Second Book of Go
Go for Beginners is a book by professional Iwamoto Kaoru. is another classic, originally published in 1972. It is currently published by Pantheon, a division of Random House, which means that it is likely to be easier to find in bookstores than other go books. It covers the basic rules, and then moves on to strategy and other fundamental concepts.
Learn to Play Go Vol. 1
Learn to Play Go series is a five volume, book series by professionals Janice Kim and Jeong Soo-hyun. They are well-edited and well-organized, and have provided an introduction to the basic principles of go since their original publication in the 1990s to early 2000s. The five books move from teaching the basic rules to more complex aspects of the game. The first book of this series is the introductory book, the rest are follow-up books.
These books are meant for players who already know the basic rules, and are suitable as an immediate follow-up to learning the rules. Much of the material in these books merits repeat study.
First Fundamentals is a book by amateur Robert Jasiek. The book identifies frequent mistakes made by 20 - 10 kyus. Fundamental principles correct the mistakes, with the aim of guiding the reader to single digit kyu level.
Recommended by: the author, tapir
Lessons in the Fundamentals
Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go is a book by professional Kageyama Toshiro. It is for people who know the basic rules and have played a few games. It's considered by many to be a classic in Western go literature. Kageyama engages the audience in a conversational and jovial style as he moves through several fundamental go ideas, such as "Ladders and Nets," "Territory and Spheres of Influence," "Life and Death," "How to Study Joseki," "Good Shape and Bad," and more. Much of the discussion also comprises of the psychological barriers to improvement, and ways to think about go in a broader sense.
Recommended by: RobertJasiek for readers 12 kyu to 1 dan
The Second Book of Go