Best Programming Books You Should Read in 2023


How to learn to program? There are various ways to do that, one of which is through programming books. Yes, books are your best friends for learning to code. There are a few must-haves on every programmer’s bookshelf. We agree reading is not for everyone, but books make the learning process easier.

Programming is the most demanding task for a developer. Success in programming directly depends on choosing the right programming book(s) during the learning process. However, it doesn’t just end there. Books are companions for all seasons and every scenario.

Sure, there are free sources of information online, but there are programming books that purchased once will serve for a lifetime. Moreover, programming books not only come useful when you’re learning but they might also offer insights when coming across problems during the development of real projects.

Best Programming Books to Read in 2023

Books that explain concepts in a logical way and provide many illustrations help you retain information better than just reading source code online. You should know these best programming books, whether you want to start coding or advance into its complex topics.

1. Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

Author – Robert C. Martin

Latest Edition – 1st

Publisher – Pearson

The book aims to help you understand both software development and programming. The book largely focuses on object-oriented programming and different techniques that can be used to write programs in such a way that it looks much like the one that is written in the C programming language.


  • Discusses the agile practice of writing clean code.
  • Explains test-driven development.
  • Guides on how to convert bad code into good code.
  • Replete with examples.

When it comes to programming books, Robert C. Martin is a celebrated author, with decades of experience in crafting books that make lives easier for programmers and developers of all levels.

The writing style of Clean Code adheres to the typical ‘academic textbook’ style wherein the author presents the concepts and then provides an explanation of how these could be applied in the real world with easy-to-grasp examples.

2. Introduction to Algorithms

Author – Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, and Clifford Stein

Latest Edition – 3rd

Publisher – MIT Press

Introduction to Algorithms is the authoritative textbook that introduces the modern study of computer algorithms. Every serious computer science student and IT professional should have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of algorithms.


  • Covers a wide range of algorithms.
  • Employs pseudocode that is readable by programmers of all levels.
  • Goes in-depth into dynamic programming and greedy algorithms.
  • Self-contained chapters.

No other book covers the topic of algorithms in as much depth or breadth as Introduction to Algorithms. The book dives deep into the details and notorieties of algorithms but still keeps it simple for beginners to make sense out of it.

3. Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (SICP)

Author – Harold Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman, and Julie Sussman

Latest Edition – 2nd

Publisher – MIT Press

This book’s main goal is to help students understand the principles of programming and computation “from the bottom up”: starting with elementary logical reasoning and introduction to programming in Scheme – which is a dialect of Lisp – all the way to abstractions used in modern operating systems.


  • Covers implementations of many of the major programming systems.
  • Known as the Wizard Book among the hacker community.
  • Uses a virtual assembler and register machine to implement Lisp compilers and interpreters.

The book has two central goals. The first is to introduce the essential ideas of abstraction and modularity that underlie all modern programming languages; and the second is to demonstrate how these ideas can be used to make programs clearer, more understandable, and more maintainable.

4. The Pragmatic Programmer

Author – Andrew Hunt and David Thomas

Latest Edition – 2nd

Publisher – Addison-Wesley

The Pragmatic Programmer is not an introduction to how to program in any particular language. Rather, this insightful programming book focuses on the process of programming, developing, testing, and debugging computer programs.


  • Covers career development and personal responsibility.
  • Explains the best approaches and issues of many software development approaches.
  • Features a galore of fascinating examples.
  • Leverages analogies and short stories to explain development methodologies.
  • Offers solutions to the underlying problems of concurrent code.

It’s a welcome counterpart to many informal introductions to programming that are full of bad advice, dated techniques, and cartoonish characters. Although it contains a fair amount of technical material, its focus is on developing good programming habits, not on jargon or programming language details.

5. Head First Design Patterns: A Brain-Friendly Guide

Author – Eric Freeman, Bert Bates, Kathy Sierra, and Elisabeth Robson

Latest Edition – 2nd

Publisher – O’Reilly

Design patterns are essential to efficient programming. This book is different from most other patterns books because it does not just describe them in abstract terms; it explains how and why they work.


  • Excellent illustrations.
  • Explains object-oriented design principles in detail.

By reading and working through the examples in this popular programming book, you will develop a solid understanding of how design patterns work, and when and why to use them (or not to use them).

6. Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code

Author – Martin Fowler

Latest Edition – 2nd

Publisher – Addison-Wesley

Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code is a book on how to take an existing piece of code and improve its design. Before diving into object-oriented programming, you will get a comprehensive overview of refactoring.


  • Explains 70 refactorings.
  • The programming book looks into the importance and role of testing.
  • One of the best books on code refactoring.

This will include all the basic principles such as adding structure, reducing duplication, renaming variables and methods, extracting methods, and introducing new abstractions. As you finish each chapter, you will get practical exercises to help you test your knowledge in a real-world project.

7. The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-4

Author – Donald E. Knuth

Latest Edition – 3rd

Publisher – Addison-Wesley

The Art of Computer Programming is widely acknowledged as the seminal work in computer science, a monumental and complete exposition of all facets of algorithms and computation. Its four volumes provide a comprehensive view of essential theoretical questions and topics, as well as current practical algorithms and systems.


  • Among the best physical-science monographs.
  • Covers almost every programming algorithm and its analysis.

This definitive set has been completely reorganized to enhance clarity, logical progression, and ease of use, offering fundamental insights with classic papers from many fields.


There are an endless number of resources available for developers to learn new skills, whether they are learning to code, learning to program, or trying to improve their existing knowledge.

If you want to learn programming in a fast and effective way, the programming books we covered here will help you learn in no time. Focus on one book at a time and do not be afraid to jump around chapters within the same book if you need to grasp an idea before moving forward.

What books should or shouldn’t be on the list? What are your favorite programming books? Let us know via comments.

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