I recommend the following books on design, though not necessarily in the order listed. Do not judge the relevance by the publication date.
Libraries Are Your Friends
The title of this post is not Buy These. Design books tend to be overpriced, so I only own a couple of those listed. Look in the programming or web section of the library. You’ll find them there along with “COBOL for Beginners” and “How to Make A Website with FrontPage!”.
Brenda Laurel, Editor
Articles by Laurel, Don Norman, Alan Kay, Ted Nelson, Ben Shneiderman, and others.
Darrell Sano and Kevin Mullett
The OpenLook GUI used to illustrate the book may appear primitive by today’s eye-candied standards, but the concepts are still very relevant.
This book won’t do much to open your mind to new ways to solve design problems, but it is a good reference for working within currently common technical constraints.
A good introduction to interaction design. The sections on service design (think Zipcar or Apple’s iSoftware/iGadget pairings) and ubiquitous computing were most interesting to me.