– Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, Clifford Stein
The big white book of computer science. I had to pick it up one year due to a complete inability to understand the essentials of measuring algorithmic complexity.
... and possibly due to a very scatterbrained professor with a somewhat dismissive attitude and a very thick Quebecois accent.
... an experience I later found to be shared amongst most of his students.