I am currently re-reading one of my favorite books, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. If you haven't read it, here is a brief synopsis:
The heroine of the book is the heiress of a great transcontinental railroad, which she operates with supreme competence. While she pursues excellence and achievement, almost everyone around her, including her brother, the president of the railroad, is only interested in avoiding blame and "social issues." As conditions get worse due to draconian government regulations, industrialists of the same mindset as our heroine begin to dissappear, closing their factories down without notice. Our heroine tries to discover the mystery of their dissappearance, and to avoid dissappearing herself. Set in the mid 20th century, you get the feel that every scene should be decorated in art deco style.
I like this book because I agree with the tenet that truly great people create value for society. They leave it better off than they found it.
Some of my other favorite books (fiction) include:
Ender's Game by local author Orson Scott Card
The Corps Series by W.E.B. Griffin
and of course "THE Trilogy" as my dad calls it, from the venerable J.R.R. Tolkien