I think one should have a look at 'Globalization of World Politics' by Baylis, Smith and Owens or 'Introduction to International Relations' by Devetak, Burke and George. These books are generally included in reading lists for International Relations introductory courses at university because they provide a useful overview of the subject. Moreover, there have been several editions published, which proves that the material keeps on getting updated.
"The Clash of Civilisations and Remaking of World Order" by Samual P. Huntington
"Orientalism" by Edward Said
"The End of History and the Last Man" by Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama
These books may change the way you interpret the world of international politics. I would say their impact has already left the academic realm and has spread into a popular culture.