I can still remember (and love) some of the books that my teachers recommended to me when I was a student and as a teacher, I am quite often asked by students (and sometimes other educators) about which books inspire me or challenge by expectations in some way (or are just so insightful or interesting that they are a must to read!)
The first book I would recommend to any business or marketing student (and is a must read for anyone who wants to look at the "dark arts" of marketing) is Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy by Martin Lindstrom (ISBN: 0749465042)
"Marketing visionary Martin Lindstrom has been on the front lines of the branding wars for over twenty years. In Brandwashed, he turns the spotlight on his own industry, drawing on all he has witnessed behind closed doors, exposing for the first time the full extent of the psychological tricks and traps that companies devise to win our hard-earned money. Brandwashed is a shocking insider's look at how today's global giants conspire to obscure the truth and manipulate our minds, all in service of persuading us to buy.
Lindstrom reveals eye opening details such as : how advertisers and marketers target children at an alarmingly young age - starting when they are still in the womb, what heterosexual men really think about when they see sexually provocative advertising, how marketers and retailers stoke the flames of public panic and capitalize on paranoia over diseases, extreme weather events, and food contamination scares, the first ever evidence proving how addicted we all are to our iPhones and our Blackberrys, and how certain companies, like the maker of one popular lip balm, purposely adjust their formulas in order to make their products chemically addictive, and much, much more."