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A Gallery of Useful Programming Books

, 19 Jul 2014 CPOL
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A list of useful programming books, some general, some platform- or language-specific

Editorial Note

This article is in the Book Review chapter. Reviews are intended to provide you with information on books - both paid and free - that others consider useful and of value to developers. Read a good programming book? Write a review!

I own dozens and have read dozens more of what my wife calls "those stupid books" (programming books) over the last 20 years. Just when it comes to books covering various aspects of my first (programming) love alone (Borland/Inprise/CodeGear/Embarcadero (etc.?) Delphi), I have upwards of a dozen, dating from the mid-1990s to the mid-200s. One of the best was "Delphi Component Design" by Danny Thorpe, and I even wrote one myself, but I have "moved on" from Delphi and will not list any of those here, as I consider Delphi sort of a lost cause and have embraced the "Microsoft stack" (for the most part - you'll see some Android books in the list, too) which seems to be getting better and better all the time.

Click on the book's image to go to its Amazon page, where you can read reviews by several people; that way you don't get just my opinion. Obviously, in each case I recommend the book, provided you are working in -- or at least interested in -- the category (the first category applies to all programmers, of course).

General (Globally applicable concepts/Best Practices, Etc.)

Code Complete 2 by Steve McConnell

The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt & David Thomas

The Psychology of Computer Programming by Gerald Weinberg


Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design by Brett D. McLaughlin, Gary Pollice, and Dave West


Coding in Delphi by Nick Hodges

Delphi XE2 Foundations by Chris Rolliston

Delphi in a Nutshell by Ray Lischner

The Tomes of Delphi: Developer's Guide to Troubleshooting by B. Clay Shannon


JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

Murach's JavaScript and jQuery by Zak Ruvalcaba and Mike Murach


HTML5 24-Hour Trainer by Joseph W. Lowery and Mark Fletcher


CSS3: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland


Beginning Android Tablet Application Development by Wei-Meng Lee

Programming Android by Zigurd Mednieks, Laird Dornin, G. Blake Meike, and Masumi Nakamura

Android Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach by Dave Smith and Jeff Friesen


Beginning ASP.NET Web Pages with WebMatrix by Mike Brind and Imar Spaanjaars

Building ASP.NET Web Pages with Microsoft WebMatrix by Steve Lydford


C# 5.0 In a Nutshell: The Definitive Reference by Joseph Albahari & Ben Albahari

C# in Depth by Jon Skeet


Windows 8 Apps with XAML and C# Unleashed by Adam Nathan

Programming Windows 8 Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript by Kraig Brockschmidt


These are my favorite programming books (so far); I have many others on my amazon "wish list," of which some may eventually make it to this list. Among those on my "short list" are:

  • Pro ASP.NET Web API: HTTP Web Services in ASP.NET by Tugberk Ugurlu
  • Mastering Web Application Development with AngularJS by Pawel Kozlowski
  • Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices in C# by Micah Martin
  • Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

B. Clay Shannon
Founder "Across Time & Space"
United States United States
Ideaman and Coder at Across Time & Space, creator of "Mark Twain Central" at

Peripatetic and picaresque, I have lived in eight states; specifically, besides my native California (where I was born and where I now again reside) in chronological order: New York, Montana, Alaska, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Idaho, and Missouri.

I am also a writer of both fiction (for which I use a nom de plume, "Blackbird Crow Raven", as a nod to my Native American heritage - I am "½ Cowboy, ½ Indian") and nonfiction:

You may also be interested in...

Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 3 Pin
mahmood seyedkarimi21-Jul-14 0:00
membermahmood seyedkarimi21-Jul-14 0:00 
SuggestionBetter merge these... Pin
Kornfeld Eliyahu Peter19-Jul-14 20:32
professionalKornfeld Eliyahu Peter19-Jul-14 20:32 
QuestionMy rating of 5 Pin
Bill_Hallahan5-Nov-13 15:04
memberBill_Hallahan5-Nov-13 15:04 
SuggestionFew more suggestions. Pin
Ranjan.D2-Nov-13 7:08
professionalRanjan.D2-Nov-13 7:08 
QuestionLink not working: The Psychology of Computer Programming by Gerald Weinberg Pin
_Noctis_1-Nov-13 21:50
member_Noctis_1-Nov-13 21:50 
AnswerRe: Link not working: The Psychology of Computer Programming by Gerald Weinberg Pin
B. Clay Shannon1-Nov-13 23:52
professionalB. Clay Shannon1-Nov-13 23:52 
GeneralRe: Link not working: The Psychology of Computer Programming by Gerald Weinberg Pin
_Noctis_2-Nov-13 0:09
member_Noctis_2-Nov-13 0:09 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
mikepwilson1-Nov-13 8:21
membermikepwilson1-Nov-13 8:21 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
B. Clay Shannon1-Nov-13 8:38
professionalB. Clay Shannon1-Nov-13 8:38 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
thatraja21-Jul-14 23:30
protectorthatraja21-Jul-14 23:30 
SuggestionDo we need another list? Pin
DaveAuld1-Nov-13 6:37
protectorDaveAuld1-Nov-13 6:37 
GeneralRe: Do we need another list? Pin
B. Clay Shannon1-Nov-13 8:57
professionalB. Clay Shannon1-Nov-13 8:57 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
ProgramFOX1-Nov-13 5:49
member ProgramFOX1-Nov-13 5:49 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
B. Clay Shannon1-Nov-13 5:57
professionalB. Clay Shannon1-Nov-13 5:57 
QuestionCode Complete Pin
ednrg1-Nov-13 5:44
memberednrg1-Nov-13 5:44 
AnswerRe: Code Complete Pin
B. Clay Shannon1-Nov-13 5:55
professionalB. Clay Shannon1-Nov-13 5:55 
GeneralRe: Code Complete Pin
Pete O'Hanlon5-Nov-13 12:55
protectorPete O'Hanlon5-Nov-13 12:55 
GeneralRe: Code Complete Pin
B. Clay Shannon5-Nov-13 13:05
professionalB. Clay Shannon5-Nov-13 13:05 
GeneralRe: Code Complete Pin
bombersa21-Jul-14 9:00
memberbombersa21-Jul-14 9:00 
GeneralRe: Code Complete Pin
B. Clay Shannon21-Jul-14 9:05
professionalB. Clay Shannon21-Jul-14 9:05 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
Andreas Gieriet1-Nov-13 5:21
memberAndreas Gieriet1-Nov-13 5:21 
QuestionNice list Pin
LOKImotive1-Nov-13 4:32
memberLOKImotive1-Nov-13 4:32 
AnswerRe: Nice list Pin
B. Clay Shannon1-Nov-13 5:01
professionalB. Clay Shannon1-Nov-13 5:01 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Prasad Khandekar31-Oct-13 21:51
professionalPrasad Khandekar31-Oct-13 21:51 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
Rob Grainger30-Oct-13 23:26
memberRob Grainger30-Oct-13 23:26 
QuestionThat's not a Review Pin
Rob Grainger30-Oct-13 23:25
memberRob Grainger30-Oct-13 23:25 
AnswerRe: That's not a Review Pin
B. Clay Shannon31-Oct-13 3:10
professionalB. Clay Shannon31-Oct-13 3:10 
GeneralRe: That's not a Review Pin
Rob Grainger31-Oct-13 23:16
memberRob Grainger31-Oct-13 23:16 
GeneralRe: That's not a Review Pin
B. Clay Shannon1-Nov-13 2:31
professionalB. Clay Shannon1-Nov-13 2:31 

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