I got a some good design books for christmas:
Talent is not enough: Business Secrets for designers
This is a fantastic book that distills a lot of the things i've learnt in the past year and has showed me some great routes to building teams, promoting agencies, running teams, pitching etc. It essentially covers all the topics that people spend years learning (the hard way) about running a design business. Although it's very focussed on American trade and industry it really is worth looking over.
A comprehensive look at branding projects from start to finish. it covers who each agency tackled their project and shows work in progress and roll out of brand campaigns. There are some really good examples of how decisions have been made. It's not mind blowing work, that makes you drool over each page. it's some very pragmatic solutions and some great insights in to the process of some of the best branding agencies around.
20th Century Type
A real modern classic. i first read this back at victoria real it's a great way to learn about type and how it really works. from the very beginning, it takes you through decade by decade. it's amazing to look back at work from the 50's and 60's that still looks cutting edge.
i also went back and re-read
Great graphics on a budget
a really good book that i've revisited a number of times. it's written and designed by the amazing dixonbaxi and showcases a number of wide tanging design projects that have found creative ways round tight budgets. love it.