Silence, the first book by rebel composer John Cage, is not only a beautiful book but one of the most philosophically important books I have ever read. Cage's philiosophy is playful, provocative, enlightened and light. It is deep and crazy. Random and sensitive. Silence is on both my list of favorite books and my list of most influential books. I adore it.
You can learn Zen everywhere. But like when climbing a mountain, some paths are easier; some, more scenic. Zen Mind, Beginners Mind by Shunryu Suzuki is a lovely read. It is one of my most beloved Zen books.
Dhalgren is a complex post-apocalyptic novel. Delany's readers don't pick it but Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace sorts dig it. So do I!