26 ( +1 | -1 ) SeirawanDvoretsky's book is fantastic, but I'm not sure it's the best for someone's first endgame book. For that I would recommend Seirawan's "Winning Chess Endings" instead. But then, I love that whole "Winning Chess" series; others may hate it.
227 ( +1 | -1 ) SoltisFor understanding what is going on in the endgame, Andrew Soltis's "Chessmaster Secrets: Endings" is very good. For improving your endgame play after you have a foundation, I would recommend "Purdy on the Endgame" which is a collection of a number of works Purdy did on the endgame. These books really helped my endgame play. After going through these books and working with endgame training software, my endgame skills have greatly improved; the endgame may be my strongest area of play now (as long as I have the energy to focus enough). Purdy's book also gives really good annotated games with examples of middlegame strategy (like getting the two bishops) carrying over into the endgame. It's not only a good endgame book, but it can help you with the middlegame too.
I would also recomend Personal Chess Trainer (software not a book) to practice endgames. The way the program trains you really makes all that endgame theory you learned second nature. One thing I always found hard was applying all that endgame knowledge in a game, but PCT really helps the theory get into you.
As far as strategy and position, you couldn't go wrong with Silman's Amateur's Mind (if you already know the fundamental stuff about positional play like knights need outposts and rooks need open files). My favorite book on this topic is Nimzovitch's My System, but it is a little more dry than Silman's book. I like My System better for some reason. Not because it's a better book, but probably because I like the way the book is written (even if it is in descriptive notation).
for tactics you can always get software, but books are more practical if you are on the move. My favorite books so far are the 303 series. I mainly like "303 Perplexing Chess Puzzles." The checkmate one is good too. Also it's good to get something like CT-Art (software) if you already have a tactical foundation so you can take tests and practice random positions without knowing what the theme is. I actually like the Encyclopedia of Combinations better than CT-Art which is made by the same company (I hope I'm getting the names right) but makes it harder to be lazy and also has more of a book feel than many other software.
16 ( +1 | -1 ) I liked the bookby Horowitz for a starter. Easy to understand but certainly not near comprehensive. The book by Fine was considered the Endgame Bible for many decades and has had extensive revisions.