Here’s my favorite SQL Server books for 2016-2014:
T-SQL Fundamentals – (updated for SQL 2016) – don’t be fooled by this “fundamentals” title, because everybody who writes T-SQL queries needs this book. It’s the manual we should have been given when we started, and everyone’s going to learn something about concurrency, performance, and updates here.
T-SQL Querying – (updated for SQL 2016) – if you need to make queries go faster, this is the book.
SQL Server Performance Tuning – (updated for 2014) – if you need to make servers go faster, this is the book. The title says query tuning, but it’s actually more server-oriented than the above book. It’s good even if you can’t tune the T-SQL queries.
Securing SQL Server – I know, security sounds like a boring topic, but Denny brings it to life.
Time Management for System Administrators – As a knowledge worker, you’re never going to catch up. You’re always going to feel behind. Tom teaches you how to manage a deluge of requests in a way that works – I’ve used these approaches for over a decade.