This book was pivotal for me as a beginning Dharma student and explains the fundamentals of Buddhism in a logically consistent way, and answered my basic questions on metaphysics. I found Art of Happiness too, uhh, pop culturey or something. Nargajuna was too heavy and way over my head. This book was perfect and I buy it for other friends who are really seeking to understand the Buddhist system. System meaning study+practice, religion+philosophy.
This book is a hodge-podge. Very difficult reading. You can do better. Based on a talk in London, it comes out in print as wet spit. Let me help you. I have always tried to help you but you wouldn't let me. Buy "How to Practice" by His Holiness. And
"The Compassionate Life" by His Holiness. Also, "Introduction to
Buddhism" by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. All of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's books are incredibly contstucted. They are like a clear
river of fresh mountain water. Forget the NKT controversy about
Dorje Shugden. I investigated it thoroughly. It all started
from a book called "The Yellow Book" published in 1975. That's
all I will tell you. This book is a wash-out. "How to Practice"
and "The Compassionate Life" are pure gems. Buy them. Buy Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's books. And above all, get a life! Thank you.