I recently read Lost Scriptures: Books That Did Not Make It Into the New Testament by Bart D. Ehrman. A blurb on the back promised I'd be unsettled, but the only way this book would be unsettling would be if you thought the Bible was an infallible collection of all of God's words (something I don't think, but my missionary experience taught me many people actually do think).
As for gospels, I found they were either derivative of the four canonical gospels or else they were gnostic (more on gnosticism later). The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is full of stories of enfant terrible Jesus terrorizing his neighborhood. Did this really help win converts, teaching them that the Savior behaved like the jerk kid with crazy powers in a horror movie? Two gospels I found informative were the Gospel of Peter and the Proto-Gospel of James. I'd read those again.
The most instructive of the acts was probably that of Peter. The Acts of Paul preach a militant celibacy that I don't believe is valid (especially considering how often Paul gives instructions to husbands and wives vis-a-vis each other, and his prophecy that in the last days false prophets will command their acolytes to not marry). Many of the acts just seemed to be pointless miracles to show the apostles were awesome. It is interesting to wonder: in the first generation after the apostles, would church leaders play up the apostles' power as a way of justifying the leaders' bona fides ("They ordained me and they were from God"), or would church leaders play down the apostles' power as a way of justifying the leaders' right to rule ("I can't do miracles but the previous leaders couldn't, either")? I've got a soft-spot for 2nd-century Christians, so the various acts books might have been my favorite part of the reading.
One thing I really gained from this reading was a clearer understanding of just of wrong gnosticism was. Fans of Hugh Nibley might carry a flame for gnostics, who claimed there was a secret knowledge passed down to the apostles that was not for general church consumption. However, what that knowledge was said to be, at least in the three examples of gnostic creationism included by Ehrman, was way off base. It seemed to discredit God and to attribute creation to a Satan-like figure who had been rejected by God. It was more pro-Satan than Milton's Paradise Lost, which itself often seems like an heroic effort in image rehabilitation (if Milton were still around, Ryan Leaf should hire him to ghost-write his autobiography). It certainly felt like "calling good evil and evil good." Gnosticism is not for me.