Edge City: Life on the New Frontier by Joel Garreau
Being a newcomer in America when I started my graduate studies, this book helped me to understand American cities and suburban growth in a way that standard urban geography textbooks were not able to. It reveals how transportation and infrastructure are related to urban growth patterns, and explains why we spend so much time stuck in traffic driving all over the place and never go anywhere near downtown. This understanding ultimately led me to study the topic of commuting in American cities, and how it relates to urban form. Since then I have returned to this book many times when I travel throughout the country to get acquainted to new metropolitan areas.