Jeff Mesnil
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Best First Books for Programming Languages

October 13, 2009

As a followup to my previous entry, this is the list of first books I wholly recommend to learn programming languages:

C
K & R
Clojure
Programming Clojure
Erlang
Programming Erlang
JavaScript
JavaScript: The Good Parts
Lisp
The Little Schemer
Objective-C
Cocoa Programming with Mac OS X 1
Python
Dive into Python 2
Ruby
Why's (poignant) Guide to Ruby
Smalltalk
Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns

These books are not necessarily the most complete references and they do not cover all features offered by the languages but I found that they gave me the best insight to understand and think with these languages.

One language I did not list is Java. I have used Java for so long that the last introduction book I read was for version 1.2. Which book would you recommend to learn Java?


  1. This is more than just Objective-C but I found that learning Cocoa stuff really make the language shine. 
  2. I have not read Dive into Python 3 yet but I bet it is as good or even better than Dive into Python