For the plastic surgery years, a nice book to keep in your bag is 'Essentials of Plastic Surgery' by Jeff Janis, out of UTSW. Its small enough to fit in your bag for ED calls, and its got a nice quick review of just about everything you'll see in the ED or OR, or just to skim right before grand rounds or case conferences.
For the general surgery years, I've done really well studying for the ABSITE with 'The Surgical Review' by Atluri. Its pretty easy to read a whole chapter in an evening, and there's a chapter for each rotation you'll do during those years. You can read the whole book in the several weeks before the ABSITE and do just fine each year.
There are just so many plastics books out there that there's few that will have everything you'll need. Your library will surely grow over the next several years, and there are some others that would be nice to collect: Mathes of course (8 volumes); a book on local facial flaps and there are two good ones, one by Ian Jackson, and another by Shan Baker; surgery of the hand by Greene (2 volumes); Breast surgery by Scott Spear (2 volumes); Surgical Approaches to the Facial Skeleton by Edward Ellis and Michael F Zide.
The new Grabb & Smith is very good. I advise all PGY 1 through 3 residents to read it cover to cover a couple of times.
I agree with the UTSW book. It's useful as a quick reference. I also (still) carry "Netter's Concise Atlas of Orthopaedic Anatomy" -- it's a small anatomy atlas that is great for looking up stuff in the middle of the night.
Mathes is a waste of money. Don't buy it. $1400 for some really crappy stuff.
Green's Hand Surgery is OK, but not as good as I'd like it to be.
Kevin Chung's Hand Surgery Atlas is pretty nice -- excellent pictures and step-by-step instuctions on lots of hand and wrist.
Selected Readings is good once you have some baseline knowledge -- it's a bit much for someone who hasn't read Grabb and Smith.
Agree with Grabb and Smith as a general text
Green's is key
Approaches to the facial skeleton is great
The new Bostwick's breast set is great
Grabb's new flap atlas is super comprehensive but the classic Mathes and Nahai atlas is a better "how to" text
Bentz has a good Peds book
Art of aesthetic surgery by Nahai is a classic
Sherrell Aston has a new single volume aesthetic text which I haven't seen but I hear is great
Sorry this is a bit off topic.
I happen to have a brand-new set of 8-volume Mathes (still in original packaging) with internest access that I am selling for $900.
I will be relocating soon and need to unload as many books as possible. Let me know if you're interested! Thanks!