Best Books for Programmers in 2023

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Computer programming might have seemed a second-rate career 30 years ago, but this is an industry that has quickly exploded. Coding, programming, web design, and information technology have become massive parts of our world.

Moreover, this field contains many different career paths and opportunities, with pretty good salaries. That said, computer programming and coding can be challenging to learn. Therefore, you need a good learning source to make a career in this field.

You could take expensive classes or follow YouTube tutorials, but those aren’t ideal. However, if you want to learn on your own time and need the information at hand, a good book can add to your knowledge base.

This article discusses the best books for programmers today. Then, we will provide reviews of the best books for learning Java, Python, HTML, and C++. So, let’s get to it.

Best Books for Learning Java

Effective Java 3rd Edition

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“Effective Java” is the third edition of this book, authored by Joshua Block, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Block was formerly the chief Java architect at Google, where he led the design of various Java platform features. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon and a BS in computer science from Columbia University.

“Effective Java” is rated the No. 1 book on Java programming, and it is said to be one of the easiest and most beginner-friendly reads. Each chapter starts with a small essay that provides clear instructions on a specific topic.

Moreover, this book focuses on new language idioms and design patterns created since the last version of this book was released in 2008. As a result, you will find the most up-to-date advice on techniques and practices related to objects, libraries, classes, serialization, and more. If you need to learn all the essential aspects of Java from scratch, “Effective Java” is one of the best options.

Head First Java, 2nd Edition

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This is another excellent Java instructional, co-authored by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates. Sierra’s strength lies in computer science theory; she has been a game developer with some of the biggest companies. She is the Sun Microsystems master trainer teaching its Java instructors how to teach Java to others. In addition, she and Bates created, the world’s largest volunteer Java community.

Bert Bates has been a software developer for 20 years, a Java instructor, and an expert in artificial intelligence.

“Head First Java” immerses newbies in the world of Java in a way that is easy to understand. The way this book is written exploits how the human brain learns; it’s designed to be very easy to follow. It combines interviews, mysteries, strong visuals, and puzzles to maximize your learning.

It engages and connects with the reader. This visually rich book makes learning Java computer programming language about as easy as it gets.

Java Concurrency in Practice

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This Java programming book is authored by various computer science and programming experts. The lead is Brian Goetz, a software consultant with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Tim Peierls is another computer programming expert.

Joshua Bloch is a Jolt Award winner and principal engineer at Google. Then, there’s Joseph Bowbeer, David Holmes, and Doug Lea, all computer science and programming experts in their own right.

“Java Concurrency in Practice” has stunning reviews across the board. Anyone who has read it hails it for being so effective at teaching the most essential Java practices yet being easy to read. It starts with the basics of Java Concurrency and then advances to the more complex aspects, such as nonblocking algorithms, atomic variables, and more.

If you want to create concurrent programs using Java, this is the book you need to read. The subject material might be complicated, but it’s written in a way that even the greenest programmers can easily understand.

97 Things Every Java Programmer Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts

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This is an interesting book if you want to learn Java programming language. However, unlike other books, this one does not provide step-by-step instructions on various topics.

Instead, it is a collection of knowledge about Java programming provided by dozens of authors and computer science experts. These include, but are not limited to, Edson Yanaga, Jeanne Boyarsky, Holly K. Cummins, Ben Evans, Christin Gorman, Sander Mak, and many more.

You will not get tutorials on specific topics per se. Still, you will get expert advice on the theoretical side, particularly when thinking outside the box and looking at problems differently.

You get many lifetimes of programming experience you can now learn from. You should already know minimal Java programming before reading this book, but if you are looking to take things to the next level and become a world-class Java expert, it is a book worth reading.

Learn Java: A Crash Course Guide to Learn Java in 1 Week

If you need to learn Java from scratch and learn it fast, this book is worth looking at. Timothy C. Needham has been an expert in Java computer programming language for many years.

Although he also touches on theoretical aspects, this is a practical approach to learning Java. One selling point of this book is that it doesn’t focus on trivial aspects that won’t make a difference in your learning process. Instead, it provides clear visuals and instructions for performing specific tasks that beginners need to learn.

This book will teach you the fundamentals you need to know to start your journey in Java. Using the information, you can advance your knowledge further, but everyone has to start somewhere, and most would agree that this is a great starting point.

Best Books for Learning Python

Python Crash Course, 2nd Edition: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming


This is a good starting point if you want to learn the basics of Python. “Python Crash Course” is the updated version of the first edition released a few years back.

The author is Eric Matthes, an Alaska-based high school math, science, and computer programming teacher, who has been programming since he was five years old. He specializes in creating computer programs to help children learn faster and better.

Moreover, the “Python Crash Course” is the bestselling Python coding book in the world, with more than 1 million copies sold. This very fast-paced book starts with the basics so everyone can learn, even those who don’t know the first thing about programming.

It then quickly advances to more complex aspects of Python coding. This book is one of the fastest and easiest ways to learn the Python coding language. There are plenty of visuals and fun little projects to do, and it’s a very interactive and hands-on approach to learning programming.

Head First Python: A Brain-Friendly Guide

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If you want an easy way to learn Python programming, “Head First Python” is worth checking out. Paul Barry is an expert with a master’s degree in computer science and over 25 years of experience in coding, particularly with Python.

This book is designed to enable you to quickly learn. However, not everybody learns the same way, which is why you get multiple learning and teaching styles, with redundancy and repletion, stunning visuals, verbal explanations, activities and projects, and more.

It is written using a conversational style to ensure even the greenest programmer can quickly catch on. Furthermore, it makes learning Python as fast, easy, and painless as possible. Therefore, we think this is an excellent option for beginner programmers, as it is one of the easiest to follow and user-friendly Python programming guides at this time.

Learn Python 3 the Hard Way: A Very Simple Introduction to the Terrifyingly Beautiful World of Computers and Code

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The author of this Python guide, Zed A. Shaw, has been a computer programming and coding guru for over 20 years. However, his focus is actually on art history and painting. This is very interesting, as most computer programmers don’t have art as their primary focus. However, you can rest assured that this guide makes it easy to understand.

It’s written from an outsider’s perspective, not a true coder or programmer, which is excellent for beginners. This book is easy to follow, even for people who don’t know the first thing about Python. It uses simple explanations and examples to explain some of the most challenging and complex aspects of Python coding.

It focuses on all significant aspects of Python programming, looping, logic, testing, mathematics, writing code, variables, and more. If you need to learn the basics of Python, this is a book we recommend starting with.

Python Automation Cookbook

This is the second and updated edition of the hugely popular “Python Automation Cookbook” by Jaime Buelta, a full-time Python developer, for over a decade. He is a regular guest speaker at the Python Convention, or PyCon, in Ireland.

He has been developing programs for industrial SCADA systems, aerospace, video games, networking, and communications, for over two decades. In addition, he is a true Python coding expert and a great teacher, as evident in how this book is written.

As the name implies, it’s about Python automation. The focus is on recipes to help produce a good understanding of all Python fundamentals you will need to automate business processes.

The book starts with the basics and then advances to the more complex aspects of Python automation. It uses a combination of verbal and visual explanations to make learning easier. By the end of the book, you will know all about identifying mundane and repetitive tasks and using Python to make life easier.

Python Programming for Beginners: The #1 Python Programming Crash Course for Beginners to Learn Python Coding

If you are looking for a highly rated and user- and beginner-friendly Python coding guide, “Python Programming for Beginners,” is recommended. It is hailed for being very clear, concise, and to the point, with no time wasted on theory that won’t advance your programming skills.

It is one of the simplest guides to Python coding, and it is written in such a way that even someone who has never heard of Python before could easily learn. However, just because it is easy to follow doesn’t mean that it doesn’t teach you the most essential parts of coding with Python.

It might not teach you the most complex Python coding aspects, but it introduces the topic. Furthermore, it offers many examples and exercises for interactive and hands-on learning, which most people need for fast and easy learning.

Best Books for Learning HTML

HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites

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This book is highly recommended if you want to learn HTML and CSS for website building and design. It is a full-color introduction to HTML and CSS, designed to make learning easy for beginners, and a book written for true greenhorns.

It’s an introduction to the world of HTML using various teaching methods that make learning fast, easy, and fun. Hobbyists and those who have never coded with HMTL will learn about it in a fun and easy way.

This book has a unique yet well-organized structure so you can advance through HTML coding basics in a way that makes sense. In addition, it has many graphics and visuals to help make learning even easier.

If you want to design and create your own websites without relying on website builder apps, “HTML and CSS, Design and Build Websites” is something you should read.

Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics

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This excellent book teaches newcomers how to design, build, and create websites. Again, HTML is the main focus; however, it teaches CSS, JavaScript, and more. The book starts with the basics and fundamentals of building a website, showing how the internet and websites work.

This book is structured to make learning easy and as fast. Each chapter builds on the previous chapter, so you never have any loopholes in your knowledge. In addition, it has many activities, examples, and exercises to make learning interactive, hands-on, and as practical as possible.

This book was written by Jennifer Robbins, who has been in the web design business since 1993. She’s written several coding and programming books and taught web design at the Massachusetts College of Art and Johnson and Wales University.

HTML: Beginners Guide to HTML to Master Your Web Designing

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Josh Steven, the author of this book, has been in the business of coding, programming, and web design for many years. He is a true expert on this topic, and now he is here to teach you the most essential basics. Not only is he an expert HTML guru, but he also knows how to teach these concepts in ways that are easy for beginners to understand.

This is a beginner’s guide to programming with HTML. It starts by teaching the most essential basics and fundamentals and then advances to more complex aspects of website design with HTML.

If you want to learn to design your own websites, then “HTML: Beginners Guide to HTML to Master Your Web Designing” is worth checking out. As with other books we have reviewed, it is written so that even the freshest programmers can learn. In addition, the book contains a combination of theory and practical knowledge that will take your skills to the next level.

Web Design Playground: HTML & CSS the Interactive Way

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This great beginner’s guide to HTML takes you through a step-by-step process on how to use both HTML and CSS to build the most stunning websites. What is interesting to note is that author Paul McFedries has written over 100 books, many about computer programming, that have sold over 4 million copies worldwide.

This book is organized to make learning both HTML and CSS as easy as possible, and it is divided into four sections to help facilitate easy learning. These sections include getting started with HTML and CSS, working with images and styles, laying out a web page, and making your web pages shine.

This book is worth reading if you want to build beautiful websites. Moreover, if you need simple step-by-step instructions with visuals and easy-to-complete exercises, we recommend this book as an educational source. This project-based book offers a hands-on and interactive approach to HTML and CSS.

HTML5 Pocket Reference: Quick, Comprehensive, Indispensable

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This HTML programming book was written by Jennifer Niederst Robbins, one of the first web designers. She has been designing and creating websites since 1993, so almost 30 years. She is also the author of numerous other computer programming and coding books, focusing on various coding languages. In addition, she has been a web design teacher at some of the most prestigious universities in the US.

This HTML coding book is designed for beginners—for people who have no clue about coding or web design. This book contains every element and attribute in HTML, with content categories and models, markup examples, and more. In addition, it includes valuable charts on special characters, at-a-glance notes, and more.

Best Books for Learning C++

C++ Primer (5th Edition)

This is the No. 1 bestselling programming tutorial and reference for C++. In fact, this is the fifth edition and has been updated for the brand new C++11 standard.

C++ Primer (5th Edition) teaches you the most common C++ applications, mainly how to use this language effectively and in a modern way. The C++ primer was written by several authors who have come together and combined their knowledge into one comprehensive yet simple-to-follow guide.

If you are a beginner in the world of programming and you want straightforward explanations with simple visuals and graphics, this is worth checking out. Not only will you learn the practical side, but the theory as well.

Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++

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“Programming, Principles and Practices Using C++” is a comprehensive guide to using C++ coding language, written by Bjarne Stroustrup, a world-famous programmer.

Stroustrup is the original creator and implementor of the C++ programming language and the current managing director in the technology division of Morgan Stanley. He has also received various technology-related awards over the years.

The interesting thing about this book is that it is so comprehensive yet written in a way that is easy for beginners to follow. It is one of the most comprehensive and concise C++ coding instructional written.

The main focus is the introduction to various modules, concepts, coroutines, and more, all of which are a part of the C++20 standard. In addition, it introduces components currently in use, even those that aren’t scheduled to be included in the C++23 standard.

Learn C++ Quickly: A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Learning C++

This is another excellent book if you need to learn to code with C++ quickly. It uses simple explanations and visual examples of broken-down code to teach you the basics.

It mainly focuses on the three essential structural elements required to effectively use this coding language. In addition, it contains many clear visuals and examples to provide easy ways to learn.

It also features easy-to-follow programming exercises and solutions you can work through to learn the C++ language. As a result, this is rated as one of the simplest and most user-friendly C++ coding guides. If you are a beginner who has never used C++ before, this book is worth checking out.

Murach’s C++ Programming (2nd Edition)

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This book is co-authored by Joel Murach and Mary Delamater. Murach has been writing and editing books for decades, focusing on computer programming. He has extensive experience writing code using C++, Java, Python, and several other computer programming languages. Delamater holds several certifications in computer programming.

Murach’s C++ Programming will teach you C++ language in a very easy-to-follow way. The book is divided into manageable sections, making learning this complex computer language much less intimidating. It has clear visual and verbal examples, an excellent learning format for beginners. You will learn the most basic yet essential fundamentals of C++ language.

C++ Crash Course: A Fast-Paced Introduction

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This crash course in C++ is written by Josh Lospinoso, a Ph.D. and entrepreneur who spent 15 years in the armed forces. He is a Rhodes Scholar and the author of over 20 peer-reviewed papers.

It is a C++ programming guide for those who have moderate to advanced knowledge of this language. Therefore, this book will not be for you if you are a total beginner. However, if you already have some experience and want to learn about the most complex aspects of using C++, this book is for you.


Usually, we would finish things off by providing a recommendation for the best books for programmers. However, since our focus was divided between four different computer languages, providing a single recommendation is not feasible.

So instead, we recommend you look at each book and then go from there; the one you choose will depend on which computer programming language you want to learn.

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