Intro

Following a small collection of my all time favorite books. These are just a few, carefully selected books which I found to be outstanding, I can fully recommend any of these.

Evolution and Genetics

On the Origin of Species

Ja ja ja, what else...but it is still a good book. It is very well written and easily understandable. He did a great job in communicating his ideas.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Origin_of_Species

Wonderful Life

In addition to the classical question "What if we could replay the tape of life" this book presents a further riddle "Why are no new animal bauplane emerging since the Cambrian explosion?".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonderful_Life_(book)

The Major Transitions in Evolution

Just brilliant.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Major_Transitions_in_Evolution

The Growth of Biological Thought

Wonderful introduction to the history of biology, although the history of taxonomy was a bit boring to me..
http://www.amazon.com/The-Growth-Biological-Thought-Inheritance/dp/0674364465

Lords of the Fly

Very nice introduction to the first years of Drosophila genetics. I especially like Dobzhansky idea that a month without publication is a wasted month...
http://www.amazon.com/Lords-Fly-Drosophila-Genetics-Experimental/dp/0226450635/

Why we get sick

An eye opening book about our diseases
http://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Get-Sick-Darwinian/dp/0679746749

Bioinformatics

Effective Java

It's not enough to know a programming language, you have to be able to use it effectively. The following is a great introduction.
http://www.amazon.com/Effective-Java-Edition-Joshua-Bloch/dp/0321356683

Beginning Perl for Bioinformatics

A brilliant book, which demonstrates how powerful a scripting language can be. It is amazing how easily the most complicated Blast output can be parsed with Perl. BTW the successor 'Mastering Perl for Bioinformatics' is not so great.
http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Perl-Bioinformatics-James-Tisdall/dp/0596000804

Mastering Regular Expression

One of the most carefully researched books I have ever read. This is certainly a masterpiece demonstrating the power of Regular Expressions.
http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Regular-Expressions-Jeffrey-Friedl/dp/0596528124

Head First Design Pattern

Once you know Design Pattern, your programming will never be the same again
http://www.amazon.de/Head-First-Design-Patterns-Loukides/dp/0596007124

Biological Sequence Analysis

An easily...well...let's say understandable introduction to probabilistic approaches for sequence analysis. With the help of this book I was finally able to understand the basics of Bayesian statistics, Hidden Markov Models and profile HMM.
http://www.amazon.com/Biological-Sequence-Analysis-Probabilistic-Proteins/dp/0521629713


History


The Guns of August

Brilliant book about World War I; The Kaiser with the least inhibited tongue in Europe, General Joffre calm and resembling Santa Claus, Paul von Hindenburg as Mr. 'Was sagst du, Marshal' and finally arrogant von Kluck disobeying commands and thus destroying the whole campaign.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Guns_of_August

Team of Rivals

I love Abraham Lincoln and I love this book, just great:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_of_Rivals:_The_Political_Genius_of_Abraham_Lincoln

A Distant Mirror

A brilliant account of life in the 14th century, which was haunted by the plague, wars and a schism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Distant_Mirror

Economics


Exodus

Omg, finally here it is, a book providing data about migration, an issue far to long solely discussed emotionally devoid of any facts. The author, whose parents were migrants themselfs, investigates the economic and social effects of migration on the host country, on the migrants and on the countries left by the migrants.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exodus:_How_Migration_is_Changing_Our_World

Capital in the 21th century

If you want to read just one book about economics, that's the one. A lucid historical perspective of economic developments and increasing problems (r>g). The author even provides a possible solution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_in_the_Twenty-First_Century


Ficton


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

I just love this one. Didn't think fantasy could still surprise me
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Strange_%26_Mr_Norrell