The Product Manager's Handbook 3rd ed (Nov 2005)
Author: Linda Gorchels
BC 2/06: A good resource for new PMs, this is a broad walk through all the essential disciplines. AdamB reports that this is one of the first books he picked up.
Product Strategy for High-Technology Companies 2nd ed (Oct 2000)
Author: Michael E. McGrath
BC 2/06: One of the better books on strategy for high-tech companies I've read. It has a useful section on how to define your position in the market vis-a-vis all potential competitors.
Value Innovation: The Strategic Logic of High Growth (Jul 2004)
Authors: W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne (article)
Harvard Business Online
BC 2/06: Every PM needs to have this in his or her library. To quote the HBR's summary of the article:
[The authors] found that the thinking of less successful organizations is often dominated by the idea of staying ahead of the competition. In stark contrast, high-growth companies pay little attention to matching or beating their rivals. Instead, they seek to make their competitors irrelevant through what the authors call "value innovation."
Metrics and Measurement
Keeping Score (May 1996)
Author: Mark Graham Brown
BC 2/06: I belong to the school that says you can't manage what you can't measure. This is an excellent "starter course" by a noted Baldridge examiner on how to manage around a few key performance indicators.
Sales and Marketing
Selling the Dream (Aug 1992)
Author: Guy Kawasaki
BC 2/06: Of all of Guys books - and he has a number of them - this is the one with the most to say on the important topic of software evangelism. As a bonus this book also includes a copy of the original Macintosh Product Introduction Plan, which has a kind of quaint charm of its own.
Designing Brand Identity (Jan 2003)
Author: Alina Wheeler
BC 2/06: It's big, it's hardcover, it's a "complete guide to creating, building, and maintaining strong brands". What I like about the book, in addition to the content, is how its designed. It is very accessible. Since much of brand management is the exclusive domain of slick fast-talkers, it helps for PM to have some background on what they're talking about so you don't get snowed.
(NOTE: If you have books you'd like to see on the shelf, or comments about any of the other books, leave a comment and I'll incorporate your thoughts. Thanks)