1. Godel Escher Bach, by Douglas Hofstader - Just as something of a geek-culture touchstone this would have been worthwhile to read and subsequently name-check (note: especially useful when having slightly tipsy Econ PhD-applicants explain computability problems to you), and it also seemed to cover a lot of things that I've never been able to get a real handle on - music, math and art, but also deeper stuff about logic and so on which I only get a peripheral idea about through Wiki-trawling. I haven't read it yet so what little I know about the book too is from Wikipedia and by word-of-mouth, so maybe I'm building it up to be bigger than it is, but given its sheer size itself, it'll probably be a while before I work up the nerve to read it.
2. The Return of Depression Economics, by Paul Krugman - Krugman came out with the first edition of this book way back around the time when I was in college, so it was a little silly of me in hindsight to wait until 2009 to read the updated edition. It wouldn't have transformed me into an economics wunderkind, but I guess it would have helped relate what I learnt in class to the real world, which, hopefully, would have made me pay a wee bit more attention. Instead I did the Delhi Times crossword, doodled or wrote atrocious schoolboy poetry and eventually had to relearn economics via pop-econ books and blogs. And of course Wikipedia.
3. The Story of Philosophy, by Will Durant - I had a copy of this when I got to college way back in 2000 and tried manfully to read through it before getting lost somewhere in the discussions about Kantian thought. I did pick it up again in my 3rd year to refer to for an assignment on Hegel and Dialectical Materialism, which I must admit was probably the best tute I ever wrote, but after that I let the book go again. Maybe I should have started with 'Sophie's World' instead...
4. The Argumentative Indian, by Amartya Sen - This started off as an OK read, but every time I picked it up it reminded me of the absolute mind-numbing horror that was my Social Choice Theory paper at D-School, and the thought that our primary reading material for the course was Amartya Sen's drier theoretical work was enough to prejudice me against him forever. Someday, perhaps, I might be able to get over it and give him a fair chance.
5. Basic Econometrics, by Damodar Gujarati - considering that I've been working in analytics for almost 5 years now, I have to admit that my knowledge of 'trics and stats is a little shakier than I'd like it to be. 'Gujarati' is something of a ready reckoner for most people working in the analytics sector in India, and although I bought myself a copy in a fit of work-related enthusiasm many moons ago, I'll admit to having opened it only sparingly since then.
So that's my list. Murthy, Han and Kanishka, consider yourself tagged. Anybody else want to talk about the books they wish they'd read, feel free to blog about it and leave a link in the comments below.