There are many lists of great books but we'd like to share the one that have a more personal touch. These books we wanted to read on the first sight and devoured them when we had an occasion.
First book that made a great impression on me was C Programming Language which we saw and read in 1987 (in Russian translation with very nice hardcover binding). There was a C implementation available on a PDP-11 clone we worked with at that time.
Another book that reinforced our better function prototype reading and pointer declarations was Expert C Programming.
We confess we had a trouble understanding C++ long back ago despite reading The C++ Programming Language by Bjarne Stroustrup ...