Originally posted by CEE DOG
What is the Best openings book?
What is the Best endgame book?
What is the Best middlegame book?
I'm not even going to attempt to try to give you a "best chess book" list, for a couple of reasons. First, I'm a patzer. Second, I tend to agree with JonathanB that that's a very difficult question to answer. (It depends on lots of factors - Your skill level, your interests, and your chess strengths and weaknesses.)
But I would recommend that before you decide on which books to get, you read two of Dan Heisman's Novice Nook columns, if you haven't already done so.
Novice Nook "Chess Books and Prerequisites"
and Novice Nook "An Improvement Plan"
Please keep in mind that these two articles are six or seven years old, so the information is a little dated. But the articles are still very good. Also, Dan readily admits that he can't keep up with all the chess books on the market. He doesn't pretend to know everything about all chess books, and he also admits that the choice of chess books is often just a matter of opinion.
Also, if you don't mind doing a little more web surfing, you might hit Dan's Recommended Chess Books page and the chess book reviews by ChessCafe, Jeremy Silman, and Chessville.
You SHOULD consider the book recommendations that the other RHP guys make, but I think it can also be beneficial to consider the opinions of chess instructors like Dan and the mainstream book reviewers.