I’m not sure how I started getting an email from National Academy Press, but I’ve really come to look forward to their occasional book notices. They usually list books from a fairly specific topic areas. Most of the books can can be read completely free on their site, but there are exceptions, especially outside of the science related books. Occasionally pre-release books can be downloaded as a PDF for free. Released books can be downloaded as a PDF for a fee.
Up until recently I had not gone to the site and just looked around. The books I had looked at up to that point were all related to my work. But in one of my recent emails I saw a book that I had a personal interest in. They have a very useful “Topics” list on the left side of the page. In the areas that I looked they had a fairly good list of books to read. If you are looking at a technology topic list keep an eye on the publication date, because they keep books listed for a long time, and some of the information in these books may be dated.
This is definitely a good resource for learning something new. Some fascinating books here!
Update: As of June 2, 2011 all National Academy Press published .pdf formated books are freely available. There are other related titles available on the site for a fee.