Top Ten Reading Recommendations about the Maya
A 1566 account by a Spanish priest, Bishop Diego de Landa, which was ultimately helpful in deciphering Mayan writing but is fascinating well beyond that: Yucatan Before and After the Conquest
An 1840s account of exploring Maya ruins that made them known to the world outside Yucatan by John Stephens & Frederick Catherwood Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, Vols. I and II
A beautiful folio of pen and ink drawings from daguerreotypes by Frederick Catherwood of the 1840s trip is in The Lost Cities of the Mayas
The ongoing resistance of the Maya to Mexico, resulting in an independent Maya state in Quintana Roo from 1847-1901 by Nelson Reed: The Caste War of Yucatan
A beautiful folio of drawings of the ruins in the 1930s by Tatiana Proskouriakoff is in An Album of Maya Architecture.
How the hieroglyphics were deciphered is told in Breaking the Maya Code by Michale Coe.
Wonderful details of the translations as they were done is in The Code of Kings by Linda Schele and Peter Mathews.
The best account of the rise and fall of Preclassic and Classic Maya Civilization is Ancient Maya: The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization by Arthur Demarest.
Another strong account of the Classic Maya is in The Fall of the Ancient Maya by David Webster.
Finally, my take on the Maya is WWMD: What Would the Maya Do?