The Book That Changed My Life
Jacques Barzun was a 2000 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction for From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present.
In answer to your request for the titles of books that have influenced my work, here are a few:
William James, Principles of Psychology
Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World
Hector Berlioz, Memoirs
Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi
The first of these, in two volumes, helped to shape my view of the human mind, my standards of scholarship, and my prose style. James's other works confirmed my adherence to his theory and his conception of ethics, which are implicit in his Psychology.