Frequently Recommended C and C++ Books

Good C/C++ programming books, tutorials, references


Frequently Recommended C and C++ Books

Listed on this page are some C and C++ books that are considered to be good books on the subject by many programmers. Included here are C tutorials, C++ tutorials, books on efficient coding in C++, references on the C++ language and C programming language, etc.

Note that these books are not free. For free C/C++ tutorials check out the Free Online C and C++ Tutorials and References page instead. The books listed here, are however, books recommended by people on C or C++ programming.

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1. C++ Tutorials and References

C++ Primer (4th Edition)

This book, by Stanley B Lippman, Josee Lajoie and Barbara Moo, is often cited as the best introduction to the C++ language for beginners. Others say that the book is terse, and more suited for the experienced programmer. This fourth edition includes tips, warnings and best practices for programming in C++ that many have found helpful. If you use this book, you might also want to check out the answer guide to the exercises given in the book: C++ Primer Answer Book.

The C++ Programming Language (3rd Edition)

Written by Bjarne Stroustrap, the creator of the C++ language, this book serves both as a tutorial to the language as well as a reference for the language. Although I have a fondness for terse, reference books and tutorials, I found this book hard to use as a tutorial for the language, but very useful as a reference once I mastered the language.

C++ Primer Plus (5th Edition)

Written by Stephen Prata, this well-known introduction to the C++ language is (in my opinion) far more readable than the other famous introduction, C++ Primer (also reviewed on this page).

2. Efficient C++ Coding and Programming Techniques

Effective STL: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Use of the Standard Template Library

Scott Meyers is no stranger to C++ programmers. This book, the third in his series of books on using C++ effectively, deals with how you can get the most out of the Standard Template Library. This books gives you an in-depth understanding of STL and how you can write good STL code.

Effective C++: 55 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Designs (3rd edition)

This famous book, by Scott Meyers, gives expert tips on how to improve your C++ programs so that they are clear, less prone to bugs and efficient. This latest edition has been updated to reflect the latest ANSI/ISO standard.

Inside the C++ Object Model

Ever wondered how compilers implement C++ constructs such as classes and virtual functions? This book, by Stanley B Lippman, takes the reader into the internal workings of the C++ language and explains how the various implementation models affect your programs, enabling you to code more efficiently and with greater confidence.

More Effective C++: 35 New Ways to Improve Your Programs and Designs (2nd edition)

This book continues the author's list of useful and sound advice to C++ programmers to help them write effective, efficient and correct code. It covers a number of the advanced C++ language features, such as placement new, virtual constructors, smart pointers, double-dispatching, etc.

3. C Tutorials and References

C: A Reference Manual (5th Edition)

This well known book by Harbinson and Steele has been the tutorial and reference book on C used by many C programmers for many years.

The Standard C Library

Written by P J Plauger, this book provides a comprehensive coverage of use and implementation of the Standard C library. It also contains little gems on things you should and should not do when creating your own library (for whatever routines you may wish to put there). It includes the source code for a portable C library.

The C Programming Language, 2nd Edition

Written by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M Ritchie, this book is regarded as a classic introduction and reference book on the C language. It is succinct in its explanations yet clear, and the programming examples inspire the reader (or at least it inspired me years back when I first read it) to start writing C code.

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