My app is acting odd and won't allow me to comment, but here's my follow up comment.
Yeah, for sure! My list consists of this:
Wealth of Nations - Adam Smith
Capital - Karl Marx
- Principles of Economics - Alfred Marshall
- General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money - John Maynard Keynes.
Those are just the most definitive works in the field that I've found, so there are many more I've yet to discover. If I remember correctly I think Marshall put most of his analytic work in the appendices at the back of his Principles. Marshall had the body of his work written - not in math, but in words - to be concise, but yet understandable for most of the laymen of his day.
Anyways, I pulled out those four books because they establish a turning point in some way for the field (i.e. General Theory caused a bifurcation between macro and microeconomics where it left Marshall's Principles for micro and Keynes for macro.)
If you are pressed for time, then I'd suggest reading Backhouse's book along with the Teachings book by Heilbroner. Those will give you a very broad and quick view of where the fields come from and almost catch you up to modern day economics. And unfortunately a lot of the classics are lengthy and hard to decipher. Karl Marx writes his critique of capitalism in a full three or four volume set! (I can't remember the exact number.)
I think if you approach this adventure in the right manner, you may become hooked. That's how I got fascinated with the field, I read Worldly Philosophers when I was younger and just fell head over heels for the subject.
Hopefully this helps out, just let me know if you have any more questions or concerns.