I got some great feedback - mostly straight to my Inbox - following my post on which subjects and books would be found in an "Essential Academic .NET Library Starter Kit."

I tried to integrate all the advice and arrive at a reasonably-sized topic and book list.  Here's the first pass.  What are your thoughts? Comments on the blog are now open! :)

 

Introductory/Reference

.NET intro: Introducing .NET, 3rd Ed (David Platt)
VB.NET dev: Introducing Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 for Developers (Kris Horrocks et al)
C# dev: Programming C#, 3rd Ed (Jesse Liberty)
C# from Java: C# for Java Developers (Allen Jones)

Patterns & Architecture

Design Patterns: Design Patterns in C# (Stephen John Metsker)
Software Construction: Code Complete, Second Edition (Steve McConnell)
Components: Programming .NET Components (Juval Lowy)
SOA & WSE 2.0: Expert Service-Oriented Architecture in C#: Using the Web Services Enhancements 2.0 (Jeffrey Hasan)

Technologies

Web: Introducing Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 (Dino Esposito)
Mobile: Microsoft .NET Compact Framework (Core Reference) (Microsoft .NET Compact Framework (Andy Wigley et al)
Database: A First Look at Microsoft SQL Server 2005 for Developers (Bob Beauchemin et al)
Networking: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 TCP/IP Protocols and Services Tech Ref (Joseph Davies, Thomas Lee)

Security

Writing Secure Code, 2nd Ed (Michael Howard and David LeBlanc)
Threat Modeling (Frank Swiderski, Window Snyder)
Assessing Network Security (Ben Smith et al)

Game Development

Managed DirectX: Managed DirectX Kickstart (Tom Miller)
Engine Design: Introduction to 3D Game Engine Design Using Directx 9 and C# (Lynn Thomas Harrison)

IT Pro

Windows Server: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit: A Microsoft Resource Kit (MS Corp)
Active Directory: Designing a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure (Walter Glenn et al)
IIS: Internet Information Services (IIS) 6 Resource Kit (IIS Team)

Management / Office

Office Dev: Microsoft .NET Development for Microsoft Office (Andrew Whitechapel)
Project: Microsoft Project 2003 Inside Out (Teresa Stover)