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I'm looking for a good book on eastern philosophy, specifically the Tao. Can anyone recommend a good annotated one with lots of notes for beginners & students?
My personal favorite translation of the "Tao Teh Ching" is by John C.H. Wu. It's been published by Shambhala, among others. I don't know of annotated editions, but it's good reading even without notes.
Thomas Merton's "The Way of Chuang Tzu" also lacks notes, but it collects some nice representative writings of the sage in a handy book.
"The Tao Speaks: Lao-Tzu's Whispers of Wisdom" and "Zhuangzi Speaks: the Music of Nature" by Chih-Chung Ts'ai and Brian Bruya are lovely and educational graphic novels about the teachings of Lao Tzu (Laozi) and Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi). These, I think, help bring the texts to life in an insightful way. (There's also a "Sunzi Speaks" and a "Zen Speaks.")
I think these are a great start, even better than the popular "Tao of Pooh" and "Te of Piglet" books by Hoff.