When I read Richard Halliburton’s first book, The Royal Road to Romance it altered how I think about the process of living. Though it is as far from a business book as you can get, it is one reason I make a good living doing things I love.
Another reason (and, to contradict what I said above, even less of a business book) is Dr. Seuss’ unknown classic I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew. A youngster, plagued by problems, sets out for Solla Sollew, “where they never have troubles, at least, very few.” The lesson he learns, again, triggered new thinking and new actions, a different path in life.
At the other end of the spectrum, I own 3/4 of Donald Knuth’s indispensable The Art of Computer Programming and haven’t made it past the first few chapters of book one (the engagingly entitled Fundamental Algorithms, which I assure is dead sexy to Knuth’s target audience.)