Lama Surya Das is probably one of the best Buddhist authors, using examples from real life to prove his points, and even tackles the toughest parts of Buddhism. He has a great way of sounding like he's speaking to you personally. He is also able to know more than his reader and teach them, without sounding condescending or arrogant.
"Awakening the Buddhist Heart" is a great book, in which Lama Surya Das maintains his style of writing. Each passage is very inspirational, and has a lot of re-readability, with easily organized sections. It is a slow read, because there's a lot to digest, but is well worth the time. It's a good read for anyone curious about Buddhism, to the Dali Lama himself.
I have been studying Buddihism for nearly 3 years now and Lama Surya Das is by far one of my favorite authors. This book provides beautiful examples of humanity and how we can bring more love and harmony to our lives and is presented with reality to a western thinker.
He takes the intimadating part out of buddhist practice and shows how accessable it can be in one's life.
I have read many other Buddhist authors who I found so self centered, so very "enlightened" apparently that they now came off a bit cold and condescending, so wordy and esoteric that their message is lost. Or what they were writing about couldn't possibly be applied in American or Western culture.
LSD talks with you, that what I loved. I came away feeling, Yeah I can do those things and be inspired. That is what one hopes to gain when reading a book on spirituality/self improvement. Lama Surya Das succeeds amply with this book.