Badazws6- Last I checked (when I got back 7 years ago) there were only two nepali language books for the English speaker. I might still have the one they give the peace corp (the one of the two I found) floating around the house if you're interested. It's not a phrase book so much as a book focused on spoken Nepali.
As far as short hikes around Kathmandu, there are plenty of shrines/temples/monestaries to be found, though most will require a guide. However, seeing as how the western invasion has already passed through Kathamandu and changed it radically, hanging out anywhere in Thamel (neighborhood of Kathmandu that is geared towards tourists), every guy on the street is going to try to sell you a trip to the Monkey Temple. Granted, the Monkey Temple is pretty cool, but I can only imagine how packed w/ tourists it is now.
If you want to know more about the local area of Kathmandu feel free to PM me and I'll go dig through some journals.