Here are some books that I have read in the past. Some of these texts I re-read as they really form the basis of my ideas education, knowledge, technology and philosophy.
Watson, P. (2001). Terrible Beauty: A Cultural History of the Twentieth Century: The People and Ideas that Shaped the Modern Mind: A History. Phoenix
This book I have read twice and its a massive read. I have also recommend this book to others and those who have had a go at making their way through it are richly rewarded. If you want to gain an understanding of the cultural and historical currents that ran though the 20th Century then this is the place to look.
Khun, T. (1996, 3rd E.d) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University Of Chicago Press
This is a classic, I re-read this every three years or so. If you keep hearing the word 'Paradigm' used in conversation and in various articles and wonder what it really means then read this book and find out what it really means.