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:

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