Here are four of the best programming books I've ever read (there are others, just can't remember 'em all) but these still sit on my shelf

1. Joel On Software -- Joel Spolsky No programmer should go another day without reading this one. An excellent read. Not overly technical. Fun. You will laugh, you will learn.

2. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Performance Optimization and Tuning Handbook -- Ken England A MUST read for any serious microsoft database programmer. England is the Guru of MSSQL performance.

3. Official Netscape JavaScript 1.2 Programmer's Reference - Peter Kent -- sounds silly today, but a must read for any newbie web developer. What's really cool is that it is a good introduction to object oriented programming, and most of the book (even though it's 1.2) is still relevant today -- though there are some archaiac NS4.0 and prior references there...

4. DB2 The Complete Reference -- Roman B. Melnyk, Paul C. Zikopoulos An excellent reference for ANY database developer, but if you are a DB2 developer...well, you probably already own this one. Pretty dry and technical, but one of the best relational database references of all time