Considering how many different reference books there are about James Bond I thought it would be good to start a discussion on the individual merits of them and maybe eventually come up with a list of the 'must have' books that every serious Bond fanatic should read, while also highlighting the ones that maybe should be left for the completest only. All reference or associated works can be included and I think if possible we could give them a score out of 10 for their suitability, quality of information and value for money.
Historical Dictionary of Ian Fleming's World of Intelligence: Fact and Fiction by Nigel West
This is an excellent book containing facts on Ian Fleming's life, his secret navel intelligence career, his friends, his fiction and the real life inspirations that he used to create the world of James Bond. As the title suggests this is laid out alphabetically in dictionary style. Nigel West is a leading expert in real life espionage and it's clear from this book that he's also something of an expert on Ian Fleming and the world of Bond. The book is literally packed with interesting facts and though I have many other books about Fleming and his works this is undoubtedly the most interesting and the easiest to use if you want to for instance quickly reference something while reading one of the novels. It should be noted that this book is about Fleming and his creation and not suitable for anyone only interested in the films, but if you are a Fleming fan I can't recommend it enough and no matter how much you think you know about this subject you will learn new, interesting facts (though the £39.99 retail price is rather steep for a book of this size).
I rate it 8 out of 10 and only marked it down because of the exorbitant pricing.