I'm more willing to recommend books than stocks; there's much less chance of pissing off a friend. * The Intelligent Investor: A Book of Practical Counsel by Benjamin Graham, Preface and Introduction by Warren E. Buffett. From "the father of value investing," a highly readable application of Graham's ideas from "Security Analysis." There are later editions with commentary by contemporary investors (like Jason Zweig), but I don't recommend them. Graham purposely selected Warren Buffett to contribute to this edition. * Security Analysis: The Classic 1951 Edition by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd Heavy on theory: This book's original edition was the academic foundation of "value" investing. This edition follows up on the 1934 edition with some truly great footnotes. (Later editions are also available, but they're cluttered by words from other guys). * Beating the Street by Peter Lynch For many successful years, Peter Lynch directed investments at the Magellan Fund. (Jim Cramer considers this the greatest investment book of all time).