this list is partly determined by whim and chance. In particular, there are many

introductory lasers texts and basic optics texts on the market that I have not listed.

I have examined most of the former at some level but, I confess, few of the latter.

Lasers | Ultrashort lasers | Basic optics |

Nonlinear optics | Quantum optics | Other useful references |

Principles
of Lasers, 4th ed., Orazio Svelto, translated by David
C. Hanna, (Plenun, 1998). |
Excellent introductory
text aimed at the advanced undergraduate student and beginning
graduate student. Contains many practical problems and
examples. The translation was not a problem. |

Laser
Electronics, 2nd ed., Joseph T. Verdeyen, (Prentice-Hall,
1989). |
Introductory text at a similar, or somewhat lower, level as Svelto's text. By comparison, it has few worked examples but the treatment of the light-matter interaction is better. The style is amusing and more casual. |

Lasers,
Peter Milonni and Joseph Eberly, (Wiley, 1988). |
Another excellent introductory text. Very clear headed treatment. I use it myself as a reference. |

Lasers,
Anthony E. Siegman, (University Science Books, 1986). |
Classic text on the subject. |

Quantum
Electronics, 3rd ed.,
Amnon Yariv, (Wiley, 1989). |
Treatment is at times archaic, but still a useful reference. |

Ultrashort
laser pulse phenomena, Jean-Claude Diels and Wolfgang
Rudolph, (Academic Press, 1996). |
The only extant textbook treatment of this subject. |

Lasers
for ultrashort light pulses, Joachim Herrmann and
Bernd Wilhelmi, (North-Holland, 1987). |
One of the first books on the subject. Still useful. |

Frequency-resolved
optical gating - The measurement of ultrashort optical pulses,
Rick Trebino (Kluwer, 2002). |
A modest text by the inventor of FROG. |

Femtosecond
technology - from basic research to application prospects,
T. Kamiya, et. al (Eds.), Springer Series in Photonics, (Springer-Verlag,
1999). |
From a communications prospective. |

Optics,
Ben Crowell |
A free on-line text. Modest in coverage, but the price is right. |

Principles
of optics, Max Born and Emil Wolf , with contributions
by A.B. Bhatia, et al., (Cambridge University Press, 1999). |
A classic. Presents a broad and formal treatment. |

Optics,
Eugene Hecht, with contributions by Alfred Zajac, (Addison-Wesley,
1987). |
Good text. Less formal than Principles
of optics. |

Fundamental
of optics, F. A. Jenkins and H. E. White, (McGraw-Hill,
1976). |
Also a good, but less formal text. |

Nonlinear
Optics, Robert W. Boyd, (Academic Press, 1992). |
Good treatment (uses cgs units). This is one of the texts I reach for first when I need a reference. |

Quantum
Electronics, 3rd ed., Amnon Yariv, (Wiley, 1989). |
Treatment is at times archaic, but still a useful reference. |

Optical
Electronics, 4th ed., Amnon Yariv, (Saunders College
Press, 1991). |
Undergraduate version of Quantum
Electronics. |

The Principles
Of Nonlinear Optics, Y. R. Shen, (Wiley, 1984). |
One of the first books on the subject. Terse treatment, but useful for a broad overview. |

Nonlinear
fiber optics, 3rd ed., Govind P. Agrawal, (Academic
Press, 1991). |
Good treatment of third order effects as they apply to propagation in fibers, but also a great resource in general. Note that application to fibers is increasingly of importantance. |

The Supercontinuum
Laser Source, R. R. Alfano, Ed., (Springer-Verlag,
1989). |
Detailed analysis of third order effects and the propagation of intense short pulses. A wide variety of media are considered. |

Quantum
Optics, Marlan O. Scully and M. Suhail Zubairy, (Cambridge
University Press, 1997). |
Good treatment. I use both this and the one below as references. |

Elements
Of Quantum Optics, 2nd ed., Pierre Meystre and Murray
Sargent III, (Springer-Verlag, 1991). |
See above! |

Fourier
transform and its applications, 2nd ed., Ronald Bracewell,
(McGraw-Hill, 1986). |
Best treatment of the subject I have seen for people that have work to do. |

Numerical
recipes in C, 2nd ed., William Press, Saul Teukolsky,
William Vettering and Brian Flannery, (Cambridge University Press,
1995). |
Or in Fortran, Fortran 90, ... Considered low brow by the cognoscenti, but I have had good luck with them. |