Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers

Published only in 2010, this book is already a classic in my opinion. It introduces the so called "Business model canvas", a visual represenation of a business model which can be used to translate an initial idea into a business model. It covers nine different aspects of a business model and provides some inspiring insights in how business should be created in the 21st century. Although some critizize the "randomness" of the topics, I find the book inspiring and also visually pleasing.

Harvard Business Review on Business Model Innovation (Harvard Business Review Paperback Series)

This is a collection of articles on the topic, published by Harvard Press. It's not really a book you read from beginning to end, but the articles cover some important aspects of business models and innovation. Includes articles from Clayton M. Christensen,  Mark W. Johnson and Joan Magretta

Seizing the White Space: Business Model Innovation for Growth and Renewal

Johnson first defines the term "Business Model" and then illustrates how business model innovation can be used to generate new growth in the "white space", which is basically invludes all activities and opportunites not covered by your current business model. The book also contains some vivid real world examples including Amazon, Hilti, Tata and of course IKEA. I found the book very inspiring, but don't expect a step-by-step manual on how to generate new growth.

The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (Collins Business Essentials)

Probably this book does not fit exactly in the business model category. But nevertheless, I have to promote at least one book by Drucker. As you might guess, I'm a huge fan of Peter Drucker, mainly because almost everything he wrote decades back is still valid and of importance today.  His topic is management. And I mean all aspects of management. Not in the suite-and-tie sense of McKinsey, Bain or BCG. No, when I read Drucker I always have the feeling that he was very down to earth, did not give a sh** about fancy buzzwords or the "big business" but provided most valuable insights on what really matters in management. You have to read at least one publication of Drucker. And I mean: You HAVE to. This would be the one I'd recommned.