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5 books for learning Java

Time for another list of 5: 5 books for learning Java. I’ve written about a lot of programming languages, but it’s time to dive a little deeper. Here are 5 books that are a great help when you’d like to learn Java. Some of them might be a bit old, but they I’ll get you through the basics in no time. Enjoy reading!

  • Head First Java, 2nd Edition This book is written with a sense of humor. It’s very comprehensive and covers essential programming knowledge about classes, objects, syntax, variables, using the Java library and more. It also contains a nice explanation on how your brain works. It goes into how people learn, how to make things stick in your mind and basically make something like learning computer programming actually fun. If you’re new to programming and don’t have any experiences with scripting languages, then it’s better to start with another book. It can be difficult for you.
  • Thinking in Java (4th Edition)
    Thinking in Java book is written by Bruce Eckel who is also author of Thinking in C++. This is one of the reasons why you’ll notice that this book is especially for some more experienced programmers. Nevertheless, Thinking Java covers a lot of important subjects like basic Java types, keywords, operators, exception handling, classes, inheritance, composition and Swing. Although it’s quite out-dated, it’s still detailed and can give you a good insight in the basics of Java. You can also use this book as reference.
  • Java: The Complete Reference, Ninth Edition Nice thing about this book, is that it’s fully update for Java SE8.  Java: The Complete Reference explains how to develop, compile, debug, and run Java programs. It’s very comprehensive and cover almost everything you need to know about Java: syntax, keywords, fundamental programming principles, Java API Library, servlets etc.  Sidenote: The book is over 1200 pages, so if you’re not a reader, then maybe this book isn’t for you.
  • Java How To Program (late objects) (10th Edition) If you’re already familiar with other programming languages and object-oriented programming, then this book is fine. But if you start with Java and don’t have any other experience in programming, then you should start with another book / course first.  Java How To Program is a book series that covers not only the basics of programming in Java, but it also offers more depth on programming.  If you’re stuck, I recommend you to use the website as reference, it offers a full complement of online resources and information.
  • Java: A Beginner’s Guide, Sixth Edition
    This book is very well-written and filled with hands-on exercises and quizzes to evaluate your learning. This book is really directed to beginners and every chapter starts with some key concepts and goals. It’s easy to follow and I think this is one of the few books that are quite understandable for code newbies.

I noticed that a lot of Java books are for people who are already familiar with programming, so it’s difficult to find a good one for non-experienced programmers. Another problem is that most of the books are outdated and that they don’t cover the latest version of Java. Of course there are many more Java books, so if you have suggestions about which books are really worth mentioning when learning Java (or way better than the ones above), please let me know!

  • Nice suggestions for Java book. I am not a core java developer but i have worked on some small java applications. Much similar to C# language plus it’s open source IDE availability ( like eclipse and netbeans ) makes it better for beginners. I think there should be a book on java with a complete example application ( windows desktop client application) using database. Thanks Lieke boon.

  • Cosmic PvP

    Is Java a Beginners Guide: Sixth Edition a good book for people with no prior programming experience?

    • Hi! I think the book is under stable for people without any programming experience. It covers a lot of examples and exercises to get you started. If that’s something you like when learning to code, then I think this is a great book..enjoy coding!

    • steelheart624

      did you ever get that book and answer your question? i would like to know if that is what i need to

      • Hi! I’m sorry for the late response. I’d recommend to start with an online course like Codecademy. The book is really good, but is difficult to keep up if you don’t know anything about the basics of Java (in my experience). I think, if you start learning the basics first, that this book is a great next step! Good luck and enjoy coding!