"I sometimes think that general and popular Treatises are almost as important for the progress of science as original work."
~ Charles Darwin (in a letter to his friend Thomas Henry Huxley)
He is probably right. Here are just a few examples of popular scientific books I consider important: Luxury Fever, Linked, The Human Side of Enterprise, The Evolution of Cooperation, Finding Flow, No Two Alike, Mindset, Origin of Wealth, Outsmarting IQ, No Contest, Punished by Rewards, The Tipping Point, The Wisdom of Crowds, On Intelligence, The Origins of Virtue, Nature via nurture, Talent Is Overrated, The Brain That Changes Itself.
Also read: The development of Charles Darwin's mind