Most of the books here will be at least remotely related to running a shareware business or creating games. Since these books are all recommendations, you shouldn't be surprised if my comments are mainly positive.
Most of us who get into the shareware business are programmers. So one of the first tasks is to learn about marketing, on-line advertising, search engine optimization and all those other issues related to running a shareware business.
The Indie Game Development Survival Guide
As far as I know this is the only book there is on being an indie game developer. David Michael talks about everything you need to know if you want to self-publish your game: game design, finding team members, marketing your game. This book looks strictly at the business side, so there is no information on programming. The Indie Game Development Survival Guide provides a solid foundation of business knowledge for all indepent game developers.
Programming a game can be daunting, especially for beginners. The following books help ease the learning curve.
3D Game Programming All In One
This book teaches you how to create a 3D game and uses the Torque engine to do it. It goes into scripting, 3D modelling, building levels, creating textures. In other words, it gives you a nice overview of all the aspects involved in building your own 3D game. Highly recommended for anyone getting into Torque.
Tricks Of The Windows Game Programming Gurus
This is the book that guided many a person - including me - through their first steps in game programming. Andre LaMothe takes the time to show you every aspect of programming a 2D game using DirectX. Graphics, input, sound, physics, artificial intelligence, it's all in there. If you want to learn how to program your own games, this is a great place to start.
For many, C++ is still the programming language of choice when making games. It can be a tricky language, though, so some good books are a must.
Never have I learned so much from a single book as when reading C++ FAQs. Full of practical advise on all aspects of the language, the authors tell you how you should use C++. They help you avoid common pitfalls and teach you how to get the most out of the language. An indispensible reference that every C++-programmer should read regularly.
The C++ Standard Library
You won't get the most out of C++ if you don't know how to use the C++ Standard Library and there is no better book to teach you how to use it than that of Nicolai Josuttis. This book never fails to give you the answer to any question you might have about the C++ Standard Library. A most valuable reference.
I admit, these books won't really help you become a successful shareware games developer, but after reading The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, I just had to add this category.
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time
Christopher Boone is fifteen years old, has Asperger's Syndrome and is determined to find out who murdered the neighbour's dog. Christopher tells his own story and shows us a world defined by logic, where emotions are things other people have, not least of all his readers. Amazing, brilliant, truly stunning. If you love to read, read this book; if you hate to read, read this book. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry.