I know a teacher whose recommended bibliography for one class includes 90 books. For one class. For young people. By the time they read all those books they'll be old people.
But it's hard for old people to restrain themselves because we have so many good books to recommend and some of us will tell you that all 32 of the Beethoven Sonatas are worth a hundred listenings each, and we're right, but it's too much to put on you. If you try to conform to such recommendations you'll never have time to reproduce.
So I'm attempting a list of the best, with warnings & caveats & qualifications, but also with confidence that if you took these resources to a desert island you'd have a rich treasure of knowledge and wisdom in storytelling and picture-making. I'd throw Beethoven recommendations into the mix but it's not appropriate to this site, so if you care to know more, e-mail me. Otherwise, the reviews in the left menu will keep you busy during your fertile years.