Best Programming Books You Must Read in 2021 (Top 12 Books Included)

With the rise of the digital age, programming has become an indispensable part of our lives. Every organization requires a number of people who know at least one or more programming languages. Although community forums like StackOverflow or even “googling stuff” have made life for programmers easier, there is no doubt that books offer a more in-depth learning approach to learning programming languages. The best programming books in the world offer you the advantage of leveraging decades worth of experience in a single book.

While learning how to code, you should not only focus on the syntax of the programming language but also learn how to write good code and solve errors, which is one of the fundamental lessons for programmers. Here is a list of some of the best programming books that you must read in 2021. 

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Top Best Books to Learn Python

To begin with the list of the best programming books, let us look at the best books to learn Python -

1. Python Crash Course: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming

Author: Eric Matthes

Python Crash Course is one of the best Python books in the world. This book will help you learn Python programming quickly by teaching you the basics first before introducing the real projects. It also contains the most updated version of the latest Python code and practices. You will learn how to build charts, graphs, web applications and even simple video games by going through this book.

2. Head First Python: A Brain-Friendly Guide 

Author: Paul Barry 

If you are a visual learner and hate text-heavy books, this visually rich Python book is the perfect fit for you. It is based on the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory to help you quickly grasp Python's basic fundamentals and learn to build your web apps in no time. 

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

Author: Zed A. Shaw

This book has a total of 52 exercises to help you learn Python through a step-by-step process. It also comes with 5+ hours of video where the author goes through the process of breaking, fixing and debugging code. You will learn how to read, write, think and breathe Python, and also understand what right code should look like.

Let us explore the best programming books by looking into the ones to learn Java.

Top Best Books to Learn Java

1. Effective Java

Author: Joshua Bloch

This is the best Java book of all time and also nicknamed by readers as “The Bible of Java programming”. Each chapter consists of a short, standalone essay that provides specific advice to the reader on Java platform subtleties and updated code examples. There is also a whole chapter dedicated to lambdas and streams.

2. Head First Java

Author: Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates

If you’re fond of games, this book combines puzzles, mysteries and illustrations of famous Java objects to keep you engaged. It is a super fun book and provides a very effective way of learning for visual learners. Although it comes with a lot of games, it does get the serious stuff about Java through to the readers. You will learn everything about Java from the fundamentals to the more advanced topics such as network sockets and distributed programming with RMI.

3. Java Concurrency in Practice

Author: Brian Goetz

One of the most important things that every Java programmer should know is concurrency - the ability to run several tasks at the same time. This book provides a deep insight into concurrency techniques and patterns to help you build better programs. You will learn about the basic concepts of concurrency as well as more advanced topics such as the Java memory code, nonblocking algorithms and atomic variables.

Next, let's look into the best programming books to learn C.

Top Best Books to Learn C

1. C Programming Language

Author: Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis M. Ritchie

This book was written by the developers of C themselves and is easily the best C programming book out there. It includes a comprehensive guide to the C programming language, ANSI changes, scope rules and everything else related to C. This book also comes with the official C language reference manual that you can quickly use as a guide for whenever you need help coding with C. 

2. Practical C Programming: Why Does 2+2 = 5986?

Author: Steve Oualline

This book teaches you not just the fundamentals of C, but also to create programs that are easy to read, debug and update. It stresses on the importance of how the coding style can play a significant role in creating programs that are easy to run and maintain. Since programmers spend most of their time modifying code which are not entirely their own, this book will also help you learn electronic archaeology or the art of going through someone else’s code.

We will now explore some of the best programming books to learn Javascript.

Top Best Books to Learn Javascript

1. Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming

Author: Marijn Haverbeke

This is the best selling book on Javascript that provides a deep dive into the Javascript language. Every chapter has a number of projects to give you a hands-on experience of writing real-world applications. You will also learn how to script browsers, use the DOM effectively, harness Node.js to build servers and make artificial life simulations.

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2. You Don't Know JS Yet: Get Started 

Author: Kyle Simpson

This book provides all the Javascript basics including the building blocks and more niche things that you can do with Javascript. Even if you are a more experienced Javascript programmer, this book can help you learn the more complex and trickier parts of the language.

Let's now explore the best programming books to learn Ruby.

Top Best Books to Learn Ruby

1. Eloquent Ruby 

Author: Russ Olsen

This book starts with answering a number of simple tactical questions on Ruby and goes on to address bigger questions related to building methods and classes. There are several Ruby tips and tricks given in the book, such as when to use tiny methods and operator overloading and when you should avoid using them. It also stresses on the “Ruby way” of thinking and problem solving to write “eloquent” and beautiful Ruby code.

2. The Well-Grounded Rubyist 

Author: David A. Black

This book is divided into three major parts - Ruby foundations, Built-in Classes and Modules, and Ruby Dynamics. It begins with how to write your first Ruby program and goes on to address more advanced topics like threading, reflection, and callable objects. It also covers all the new Ruby features such as lazy enumerators, keyword arguments and Module#prepend.

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Every single organization in the world runs on software. As such, the demand for programmers will also remain high. If you want to advance in your career or even start afresh as a programmer, learning how to code will take you a long way. Simplilearn provides training and certification courses on various programming languages - Python, Java, C, Javascript, Swift, C#, Ruby and lots more. All of these courses are developed by industry leaders with an emphasis on hands-on training with real world applications. You can start with one of these courses today to land on a high-paying programmer job tomorrow!

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