I recently won a prize at my school for physics (£25) for which they ask that we spend some money they have given us on a book with which they can present us during an assembly. Given that over the past two years I have dedicated a lot of work to learning about the fields of metamaterials and optics, I'd quite like to get a book which reflects the fact to some extent. However, there are a few possible categories I would think which might do this:
I was considering trying to buying Physical Review Letters Volume 85, Issue 18 30 October 2000, based off of the letter contained within by John Pendry on the topic of a perfect lens (given that, as my name suggests, I'm very interested in the topic of doubly negative metamaterials, I thought this might be a perfect book). But my knowledge of what works were the most influential is limited both by a lack of personal knowledge, and by what happens to spring to mind, so what important works would people suggest I might buy on the topic of metamaterials (preferably of the optical variety).
Textbook Style Book
Another direction is to buy something which is more utilitarian in nature than some seminal work, perhaps a textbook on optics of some sort. However, given the general availability of most non-specialised information on the internet, I'd ideally like a textbook which I'd be able to keep and use as a reference text on optics for a while to come. It doesn't have to be something I'd completely understand at the moment, but something which would be comprehensible to me after studying physics at uni, and which I could chip away at before then. I know I've seen books before going into lots of detail on quite niche topics of research, so perhaps something somewhere between a book to that professional level of detail which may not be useful if I never come into that field, and a book which is too general to be that in depth in any topic. So any suggestions here, too, would be very helpful!
If there's any other book that you think a physicist interested in optics and metamaterials would enjoy, I'd appreciate knowing that, too!
Thank you very much for all your times, and all your recommendations will be appreciated!