According to USCF Life Master and chess instructor Alan Goldsby this list of books are the only ones the beginner will ever need.
1. Chess Fundamentals by Capablanca
2. Complete Chess Player by Reinfeld
3. Logical Chess Move by Move by Chernev
4. The Amateur’s Mind by Silman
5. The Art of Attack in Chess by Vukovic
6. The Ideas Behind the Chess Openings by Fine
7. The Most Instructive Games Ever Played by Chernev
8. Modern Chess Openings by De Firmian
9. Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy by Watson
10. The Road to Chess Improvement by Yermolinsky
11. Pawn Structure Chess by Soltis
12. Zurich International Chess Tournament by Bronstein
13. Winning Chess Ending by Seirawan
If I were to take exception to his list it would be to eliminate Modern Chess Openings. Fine’s Ideas Behind the Openings is now in the public domain and can be downloaded free from a number of sources. While the lines in Fine’s book are badly out dated, the IDEAS still remain valid.