Since I have a few excellent books that I have already read, I figured I would post some reviews of what I am not currently reading, but I have previously read, and I use regularly for reference as I am working or answering questions online.
This book is another must have for any production support DBA. It is the Chilton's Manual/Haynes Manual for SQL Server. I have this book for SQL 2000 and 2005, and I pre-ordered the SQL 2008 version the day that it was available for pre-order on Amazon. This book actually has some really good reviews on Amazon already:
This book is really intended for those who want/need to know the how and why for the way that the Storage Engine works in SQL Server 2005. It is really is a must for anyone building or architecting an enterprise database solution or looking to upgrade/install SQL Server 2005. It is not a beginners book at all, in fact I wouldn't recommend that a beginner start off with this book due to the depth of information contained in the book. It would be very easy to get lost in the details of IAM, GAM, and SGAM allocations and never actually learn how to use SQL Server. The table of contents for the book is:
Chapter 1 Installing and Upgrading to SQL Server 2005
Chapter 2 SQL Server 2005 Architecture
Chapter 3 SQL Server 2005 Configuration
Chapter 4 Databases and Database Files
Chapter 5 Logging and Recovery
Chapter 6 Tables
Chapter 7 Index Internals and Management
Chapter 8 Locking and Concurrency
My favorite chapters have to be Chapter 5 and Chapter 8. These are two of the most misunderstood concepts in SQL Server from working on the forums. The level of detail included by Kalen in these chapters is excellent. Expect the SQL Server 2008 version of this book to be even better as Kalen is joined by industry expert Paul Randal and his wife Kimberly Tripp as well as Conor Cunningham from Microsoft.
Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2000 by Kalen Delaney
Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Internals (Pro - Developer) by Kalen Delaney, Paul S. Randal, Kimberly L. Tripp, and Conor Cunningham (Paperback - Feb 18, 2009)