Originally posted by kmac27
depends on your rating. aka how good you are. probably a book on tactics would be good josh waitzkins attacking chess, a book on openings to understand the goal of the opening yasser seirwans winning chess openings. and maybe a fundamental book weapons of chess by bruce pandolfini. i'd start with attacking chess then read some of the opening book to get an id ...[text shortened]... ow when you read enough. and bruce pandolfinis book will help once you've reached 1300 or so.
The above advice by kmac27 is, I think, right on the money!
After mastering the basics, I would follow the advice of IM Cecil Purdy, the first World's Correspondence Champion who said that the only "infallible" method of improving your play is to play over well-annnotated master games. (A good first book for that purpose is "Logical Chess: Move by Move" by Irving Chernev.)