I am a beginner Buddhist and have tried meditating (by concentrating on the breath) but have not experienced any benefits from it. Are there any good books on meditation out there that can help me achieve a better meditation practice?
You can try reading:
- THE TRUE POWER OF KANNI MEDITATION －The Essential Guide to Anapanassati & Vipassana
- Anapanasati: Mindfulness with Breathing - Unveiling the Secrets of Life
- Mindfulness of Breathing and Four Elements Meditation
- Right Mindfulness: Memory & Ardency on the Buddhist Path
Breath meditation is covered in Ānâpāna,sati Sutta which you can directly read.
Anything by Thrangu Rinpoche with the word "Meditation" in the title.
Mahasi Sayadaw's Manual of Insight is a good text for the development of concentration leading to midfulness & alertness. There are imho definitely some thing or things wrong in the Manual and i can't for sure know the extent of wrongness but i would still recommend it just because it is so comprehensive. As for the alleged wrongness therein i recommend you train and study to find out for yourself.
Similarly a Ledi Sayadaw's Manual of Breathing presents a quite practical exposition of the commentarial and the author's interpretation of some Sutta. Whether these interpretations are accurate is imo besides the point because i think the manual outlines a tidy albeit rigorous progression for a base development which i am sure a beginner could appreciate.
Third book is A Practical Guide To Jhanas by Leigh Brasington, the first chapters of this book outline a cookie cutter progression of a method which seems to work for many, the expression is consise & practical in contrast to the Ledi Sayadaw's Manual this is afaik the most beginner friendly guide to getting into development. As for the later chapters of high attainments i will not say anything.
That being said the best books are the Sutta, Patisambhidamagga and Abhidhamma.