Good thread idea.
Pasuk Phongpaichit and Chris Baker have written a number of good books on recent Thai poltical and economic events that are reasonably accessible to a layman. I've just read 'Thaksin: The Business of Politics in Thailand', which tries to place Thaksin in context with the rest of the thai political scene. I've read another of theirs about the '97 crash.
The University of Hawaii seems to have quite a good South East Asian department and they occassionally publish a decent book. I rea 'Chai Yo !' which was about Rama VI and Thai nationalism a while ago and found it very instructive.