A poker novel, and anti- rather than inspirational, it brings to life the solitude, cruelty, and hellish venality of the gambling world as no other book has done. For serious players, this book makes the difficult journey feel a little less lonely -- lets you know others have taken it too.
2) American Roulette by Richard Marcus.
A casino cheater's memoir, but the moral of the story is indispensable, particularly for folks just learning about card counting: the things these guys do -- while illegal and dangerous -- are so outrageous, so ballsy that you see there are a lot more possibilities out there than what the heat-averse, paranoid contingent in the counting world would have you believe. Marcus teaches courage, which is so crucial, and also exposes the general incompetence of the other side. Great read.
3) Fast Company by Jon Bradshaw
Portraits of six professional hustlers by a British literary journalist. Superb, superb, superb. You'll meet Puggy and Minnesota Fats and others and see how their hearts really operate.