Author Stephen King's nonfiction book On Writing is one that I turn to often. For a short work (short compared to his usual), there's a lot to be found there. He gives an overview of the highlights and lowlights of his youth, including harrowing bouts with ear infections, a babysitter who sat on him and farted in his face, an older brother who came close to getting Stephen killed with various scientific experiments, and his early forays into writing. He moves on to technical advice about writing (most famously "The adverb is not your friend"), gives us the play-by-play on his near-fatal encounter with a careless van driver, and shows us exactly how he goes about taking a raw idea and working it into something publishable. He even gives us a list of books that have made an impression on him.
Recently, I had occasion to put into practice one of his principles, which could easily have gotten lost in the midst of all the other equally pertinent nuggets.