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Anything by EWDijkstra or CAR Hoare or David Gries.

The Science of Programming by David Gries was very good, it covered some maths needed for programming such as set theory and then it used its own programming language (based on Dijkstra's) to discuss programming language concepts that may come up. It had a great little section about deriving conditions based on loop invariants. Also there's a section on Predicates. Basically it covers all the stuff you'll need to know when using any programming language and that programming language tutorials fail to discuss.

You can see a preview at Google Books: http://books.google.ca/books?id=vv5pot-ySsEC&lpg=PP1&...

There's also A Discipline of Programming by Dijkstra and I love that one too. He has examples of great algorithms and the way he develops them is awesome: http://www.amazon.com/Discipline-Programming-Edsger-W-Dijkst...

The reason books like that aren't written is because they're too academic for some peoples' tastes. Unfortunately, books like Head First or whatever else, sell like hot cakes because they appeal to the lowest common denominator of programmer, the one whose eyes glaze over whenever there's math involved (that's usually the North American programmer, Europeans (at least the French and Dutch) don't mind the math).

I also think a lot of people dislike books with several exercises because they add way more pages. You don't need 3-5 pages of exercises, older math books only had 0.5-2 pages of exercises. Older math books are also not cluttered like the modern textbooks.

You could also do what Dijkstra did, which was write. Think and write about your experience, think and write about how you will approach a problem and explore alternative solutions, etc. Make up your own little notation for programming so you can free yourself from worrying about some obscure syntax or library call in a language.




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