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Ask HN: What are the latest and greatest books on your favorite language?
81 points by djent on Sept 7, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 45 comments
What are the most recently updated and most helpful books on the programming language you program in most?

Clojure: The Joy of Clojure. Not for beginners, but it's excellent.


I've heard good thing about Clojure for the Brave and True, free online:


Halloway's Programming Clojure isn't exactly recent, but it's available used, has a lot of depth like Joy of Clojure, but is targeted at beginners. Clojure from the Ground Up is free and online, it's awesome and so is Aphyr.


C++ - "A tour of C++"


I read this book after having programmed C++ with the common "C++ is C with classes" attitude for a while, and it really made me change the way I looked at this language.

It was the book that made me realize how beautiful the RAII idiom is, that the STL was clearly not hacked together by a bunch of crazy monkeys, that you rarely need raw pointers in your code and that -- in contrast to popular belief -- you seldom need to care about memory management.

When I finished that book, and though in the full knowledge that I was dealing with this ugly monster of the Frankenstein kind; just like at the end of "the beauty and the beast", I had somehow come to respect and appreciate that language.

http://www.springer.com/us/book/9781430266679 Advanced C and C++ Compiling by Stevanovic, Milan I've been reading to hack around node.js to customize it

the big 4, 2 very large dense books, and 2 small, very very very dense books:

- Lippman et al, C++ Primer, 5th ed

- Stroustrup, The c++ Language, 4th ed (which has earlier version "A Tour of" as 1st 150 pages

- Meyers "Effective C++", 3rd ed and

- "Effective Modern C++" http://www.aristeia.com/books.html (don't dismiss the others cause theyre 14+ years old, either

I have to second this 180 page book "A tour of C++". A best book out there to get an overview of the C++ land. There are so many bad books out there on C++; there is a guy in Israel, who maintains a list of bad books on C/C++.

"Mastering Regular Expressions" by Jeffrey E. F. Friedl - http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Regular-Expressions-Jeffrey-... It's not on particular programming language or recently updated, but related and very helpful.

Ruby: David A. Black - The Well-Grounded Rubyist - http://www.amazon.com/Well-Grounded-Rubyist-David-Black/dp/1...

Great both for people new to the language and those looking to strengthen their foundations.

I'm going through that right now, and finding it incredibly good, but still fairly outdated. It was written for Java 6, while Java 7 and (especially) 8 have more or less re-written the language. All of the advice is still really great, but some of the items are workarounds for weaknesses in the language that have since been strengthened. I'm working through Java 8 in Action[0] in parallel, and it's been a good experience.

I've also been enjoying this Modern Java blog series, which is book-ish[1].

In a similar vein, I really enjoyed Effective Modern C++[2].

I think The Ruby Way[3] is still the best ruby book, and a new edition just came out earlier this year.

I'm looking for a good book about modern javascript if anyone has any suggestions.

[0]: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20534354-java-8-in-actio...

[1]: http://blog.paralleluniverse.co/2014/05/01/modern-java/

[2]: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22800553-effective-moder...

[3]: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4514.The_Ruby_Way

> I'm looking for a good book about modern javascript if anyone has any suggestions.

I just finished writing an eBook about building large modern web apps in JavaScript. If you're interested, here's the link:



I found Effective Java to be very enlightening—not just for Java, but for any language. It's especially at providing patterns for writing APIs with a guide toward future maintainability.

For C#, the book I always find myself going back to is C# In Depth by Jon Skeet. It's one of the most accessible books I've read, and it's one I always recommend to other devs that are interested in the language.


Jon Skeet facts:


My favourite:

  Jon Skeet is immutable. If something's going to change, it's going to have to be the rest of the universe.

Programming Scala 2nd edition and Functional Programming in Scala.

Functional Programming in Scala


Not for Scala beginners, more for people who want to learn functional programming paradigm and how to apply its ideas in Scala. Very clear explanations of immutability, laziness, monads, etc. There are also a lot of interesting programming problems in the book to train yourself.

Stanley B. Lippman - C++ Primer - http://www.amazon.com/Primer-5th-Stanley-B-Lippman/dp/032171...

I haven't been using C++ for a few years now and I needed a quick refresher. While I wouldn't call C++ Primer quick it covers all the basics really well. Great resource for people new to the language.

Second this. It's the only book I own that specifically covers a programming language. I own the fourth edition - has a slight different cover.

Only complaint is the same as yours, it's pretty verbose but I guess that's what you get with c++.

The C++ Programming Language, 4th Ed.

https://isocpp.org/tour has PDFs of the first four chapters, which offer something of a breadth-first overview of C++11.

Here is my favorite author: http://cs.newpaltz.edu/~dosreist/

This a good opportunity to say thank you to Anthony J. Dos Reis.

I like the way he writes and when reading his books, I feel like he is in front of me teaching the subject.

Here are his books that I bought:

Assembly Language and Computer Architecture Using C++ and Java , Course Technology, 2004

By reading this book, I've developed my skills in programming with C/C++, assembly language and while learning computer architecture all at the same time. This book contains lots of low level stuffs. The exercises are easy enough and had really sharpen my skills. Although the target machine is theoretical, I was able to switch easily into the real machine.

Compiler Construction Using Java, JavaCC, and Yacc, IEEE/Wiley, 2012

This book taught me how to create compilers. The author started from simple principles in grammars then slowly introducing a very simple compiler eventually adding more features to the compiler. I was able to adapt his method in developing a compiler. In later chapters, the book does a great job in presenting an application of what was learned from the previous chapters by implementing grep using automata theory.

I might have forgotten some of the topics after more than a year but I will not forget the fun it gave to me when reading and learning from those books.

JavaScript - "JavaScript: The Good Parts"


Can anyone please suggest more good books for JavaScript? - for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels? Thanks in advance :)

You cannot go wrong with JavaScript Allonge


The "You Don't Know JS" series was a real eye-opener for me.

whoa. Thank you for this. Already shared with team at office and a whole bunch of other people. We are moving into a JS framework based project soon so having this resource is going to be pretty handy to reset and refresh our minds on any 'forgotten' or broken pieces of knowledge about JS. I'd upvote this multiple times if I could have.

Secrets of the Javascript Ninja (by John Resig, creator of jQuery) is amazing for Advanced level Javascript explanations and tips.

"Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming"

"Functional JavaScript: Introducing Functional Programming with Underscore.js"

"Professional JavaScript for Web Developers"

[edited to add more books]

Effective JavaScript by David Herman

"Javascript Enlightenment" is the book that made me understand the pitfalls you might encounter when you come from another language and you are learning Javascript. I liked it very much. http://www.javascriptenlightenment.com/

I'd love to see some Python or Go references.

If you want latest for Python, here's a Kickstarter that my partner just launched for her latest book about intermediate webapp concepts:


It's mostly focused around Django, but it's great for learning web app stuff in general. Has a chapter about Stripe integration, doing SASS/SCSS stylesheets, fiddling with images, and lots more. :)

I mentioned Fluent Python a couple minutes ago. http://shop.oreilly.com/product/mobile/0636920032519.do

Python for Kids


It's one of my favorites.

The Go Programming Language: Brian W. Kernighan is avail preorder on Amazon.

SCJP by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates is an amazing book to learn Java. With interesting examples (often about movie characters) and advanced images/graphics for a better understanding of the concepts.

I recommend it to anyone starting to learn Java, with or without any previous programming experience.

You Don't Know JS by Kyle Simpson is essential if you want to learn Javascript in depth.

I'd be interested to see what people currently think are the best books for iOS Development.

JavaScript Enlightenment Cody Lindley

Helped me a lot.

Any recommendation for Standard ML ?

Not that many options I think.

A classic is Larry C Paulson's "ML for the Working Programmer", although it's (a) apparently a bit divisive (see e.g. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9667264) and (b) out of print. It's a thoughtful treatment of functional programming that happens to use ML, and a book I enjoy reading rather than just referring to. I appreciate the fact that the second edition introduces modules very early on, and that it's relatively un-mathematical in the way it presents things like module semantics.

Robert Harper's "Programming in Standard ML" (online only I think, at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rwh/smlbook/book.pdf) is more thorough. It's modern enough to present the Basis library as part of the language, so you do get a handful of useful existing data structures rather than feeling you're expected to build everything yourself. A pity the Basis library is so slight though.

I think Ullman's Elements of Standard ML Programming is pretty good. I found a used dead tree copy for about $5 at thriftbooks.com.

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