Back in 1984, I was in an algorithms class, using Sedgewick's excellent text entitled simply, "Algorithms" (which later spawned variants in other languages). I learned a lot from that class, but there were a few questions now answered in the text, and when I asked my prof, he said, "go read Knuth", and that led me to what many consider the best work on algorithms, and exposed me to all sorts of interesting ideas.

Donald Knuth recently gave an interview to NPR.