Craft of Research
The Craft of Research (Wayne Booth et al) is probably one of those books that many scholars and students read at some point in their graduate or undergraduate careers. I did not encounter it then; I somehow learned how to write and conceive academic research by some combination of trial-and-error, teachers' intervention, and a process akin to whole language acquisition. But a colleague in my writing group this summer recommended it, and I've become a fan.
At this stage, the joy of the book is putting in concrete terms some of what scholars practice but do not always reflect on. Moreover, there's what I'd call the Top Chef effect: by revisiting an earlier stage of entering the field, those in the field are reminded what excites them about it.
Finally, need I say?: my writing can always use encouragement for focus and for teasing out the main ideas buried underneath the theoretical apparatus and empirical detail.