When you work in publishing and you meet someone new, she, or he, either asks what your favorite book is tells you she has written a book. Logical conversational gambits, both. The problem is, if you work in publishing, you are not a gourmet reader with one favorite volume, you are a gourmand, with volumes of favorites. The reason you are in the business of books is often labeled “psychic fulfillment,” but it is really because you love to read. Sometimes more than anything. So, it’s awfully hard to answer that question without becoming tedious.
It is easy, however, to answer politely by recommending a few favorite books on a particular subject. And since everyone wants to talk writing with publishing folk (who really love reading the most), a list of excellent books on writing will keep conversation from stalling. Or turning back to bracketology.