22 books like C Programming Language

By Brian Kernighan, Dennis Ritchie,

Here are 22 books that C Programming Language fans have personally recommended if you like C Programming Language. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

Yehonathan Sharvit Author Of Data-Oriented Programming

From my list on become a great developer.

Why am I passionate about this?

I boast a two-decade-long career in the software industry. Over the years, I have diligently honed my programming skills across a multitude of languages, including JavaScript, C++, Java, Ruby, and Clojure. Throughout my career, I have taken on various management roles, from Team Leader to VP of Engineering. No matter the role, the thing I have enjoyed the most is to make complex topics easy to understand.

Yehonathan's book list on become a great developer

Yehonathan Sharvit Why did Yehonathan love this book?

This book profoundly influenced my thinking process, combining the worlds of mathematics, art, and music. I was captivated by how the book explores the deep connections between Gödel’s incompleteness theorems, Escher’s art, and Bach’s art of counterpoint.

The book’s puzzles and thought experiments pushed me to think more abstractly and critically. Despite being dense, I found it incredibly rewarding and eye-opening. I recommend this book to anyone interested in logic, creativity, and the nature of human thought. It’s a masterpiece!

By Douglas R. Hofstadter,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Gödel, Escher, Bach as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Douglas Hofstadter's book is concerned directly with the nature of maps" or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of the cell, if consciousness can emerge out of a formal system of firing neurons, then so too will computers attain human intelligence. Goedel, Escher, Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much more.


Book cover of Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns

Philipp Fehre Author Of JavaScript Domain-Driven Design

From my list on learning from programming classics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Computers have fascinated me since my childhood, having fond memories of my dad's ZX81, but even so I played around I was never truly captured by the programming until I recognized it as a way of writing rather than raw engineering. Through my studies of media sciences I found my fascination with how language can shape perception, and through my work in developer advocacy, I found how communities are shaped as well. Now I am fascinated with how different programming languages can shape thinking, having had the opportunity to solve problems at large companies in nonmainstream languages.

Philipp's book list on learning from programming classics

Philipp Fehre Why did Philipp love this book?

Smalltalk is not as common or popular as it once was, but the influence its design had on programming is hard to overstate.

Reading this book has changed how I think about object orientation, and how I design systems, learning the patterns of Smalltalk makes it clear what object oriented design is really intended to achieve.

By Kent Beck,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This classic book is the definitive real-world style guide for better Smalltalk programming. This author presents a set of patterns that organize all the informal experience successful Smalltalk programmers have learned the hard way. When programmers understand these patterns, they can write much more effective code. The concept of Smalltalk patterns is introduced, and the book explains why they work. Next, the book introduces proven patterns for working with methods, messages, state, collections, classes and formatting. Finally, the book walks through a development example utilizing patterns. For programmers, project managers, teachers and students -- both new and experienced. This book…


Book cover of Software Tools in Pascal

Arnold Robbins Author Of Linux Programming by Example

From my list on for learning the Zen of Unix.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professional software developer and technical author, with a number of books published by O’Reilly and Prentice Hall. I have been working in the C / C++ / Unix / Linux world for over four decades. I am also the maintainer of the Free Software Foundation’s GNU Awk interpreter for the awk programming language. I have a passion for writing clear, correct, efficient, and portable code, and for applying the UNIX and Software Tools principles in my development. I hope that this book list will help you climb the learning curve of doing great Unix / Linux development.

Arnold's book list on for learning the Zen of Unix

Arnold Robbins Why did Arnold love this book?

This book (an update to Software Tools by the same authors) codifies and instructs the principles by which the Unix / Linux toolset was designed. It emphasizes clear, robust code, and the building of tools, reusable, general purpose software components that can be hooked together to solve many kinds of programming and data management tasks. The lessons it teaches are timeless, and the current generation of programmers would be well served to try and learn them.

The original Software Tools was perhaps the single most influential software book that I ever read. It taught me how to think with the Unix mindset, how to make the best use of what the Unix system (and now Linux) offers, and how to focus on readability and maintainability in my own software.

By Brian Kernighan, P.J. Plauger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Software Tools in Pascal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With the same style and clarity that characterized their highly acclaimed The Elements of Programming Style and Software Tools, the authors have written Software Tools in Pascal to teach how to write good Pascal programs that make good tools. The programs contained in the book are not artificial, but are actual tools that have proved valuable in the production of other programs. Structured programming and top-down design are emphasized and applied to every program, as are principles of sound design, testing, efficiency, and portability. All of the programs are complete and have been tested directly from the text. The programs…


Book cover of Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment

Arnold Robbins Author Of Linux Programming by Example

From my list on for learning the Zen of Unix.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professional software developer and technical author, with a number of books published by O’Reilly and Prentice Hall. I have been working in the C / C++ / Unix / Linux world for over four decades. I am also the maintainer of the Free Software Foundation’s GNU Awk interpreter for the awk programming language. I have a passion for writing clear, correct, efficient, and portable code, and for applying the UNIX and Software Tools principles in my development. I hope that this book list will help you climb the learning curve of doing great Unix / Linux development.

Arnold's book list on for learning the Zen of Unix

Arnold Robbins Why did Arnold love this book?

Modern Unix systems (including Linux) offer a wealth of APIs. This book provides detailed instruction, including sample code, on how to make the best use of them. It is a one-stop-shop for mastering the details of Unix programming in C.

I recommend the book because it is thorough, authoritative, and clearly written. Richard Stevens was a well-known author and consultant and his books are models of clear exposition. Steven Rago is an experienced Unix developer and author as well.

By W. Richard Stevens, Stephen Rago,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For more than twenty years, serious C programmers have relied on one book for practical, in-depth knowledge of the programming interfaces that drive the UNIX and Linux kernels: W. Richard Stevens' Advanced Programming in the UNIX (R) Environment. Now, once again, Rich's colleague Steve Rago has thoroughly updated this classic work. The new third edition supports today's leading platforms, reflects new technical advances and best practices, and aligns with Version 4 of the Single UNIX Specification.



Steve carefully retains the spirit and approach that have made this book so valuable. Building on Rich's pioneering work, he begins with files, directories,…


Book cover of Lions' Commentary on Unix

Arnold Robbins Author Of Linux Programming by Example

From my list on for learning the Zen of Unix.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professional software developer and technical author, with a number of books published by O’Reilly and Prentice Hall. I have been working in the C / C++ / Unix / Linux world for over four decades. I am also the maintainer of the Free Software Foundation’s GNU Awk interpreter for the awk programming language. I have a passion for writing clear, correct, efficient, and portable code, and for applying the UNIX and Software Tools principles in my development. I hope that this book list will help you climb the learning curve of doing great Unix / Linux development.

Arnold's book list on for learning the Zen of Unix

Arnold Robbins Why did Arnold love this book?

The previous books all cover programming at the user level – how to write regular programs for a Unix / Linux system. But what about the operating system itself?

This classic work explains the operating system code of the 6th Edition Unix system, which ran on Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PDP-11 systems. If you want to learn the basics of operating system implementation by reading real, working code, this is the place to start.

This is worth reading, even if you never intend to write kernel code, since an understanding of how the operating system works makes it easier for you to correctly use the system calls (APIs) that the operating system provides.

By John Lions,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lions' Commentary on Unix as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The most famous suppressed book in computer history! * Used as an Operating System textbook at MIT"After 20 years, this is still the best expostion of the workings of a 'real' operating system." --- Ken Thompson (Developer of the UNIX operating system)After years of suppression (as trade secrets) by various owners of the UNIX code, this tome has been re-released, and we owe a debt to all involved in making this happen. I consider this to be the single most important book of 1996. Unix Review, June 1997"The Lions book", cherished by UNIX hackers and widely circulated as a photocopied…


Book cover of The Design of the Unix Operating System

Arnold Robbins Author Of Linux Programming by Example

From my list on for learning the Zen of Unix.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professional software developer and technical author, with a number of books published by O’Reilly and Prentice Hall. I have been working in the C / C++ / Unix / Linux world for over four decades. I am also the maintainer of the Free Software Foundation’s GNU Awk interpreter for the awk programming language. I have a passion for writing clear, correct, efficient, and portable code, and for applying the UNIX and Software Tools principles in my development. I hope that this book list will help you climb the learning curve of doing great Unix / Linux development.

Arnold's book list on for learning the Zen of Unix

Arnold Robbins Why did Arnold love this book?

This book looks at UNIX System V Release 2 and Release 3, describing a more modern version of Unix.  It presents pseudo code of the internal algorithms with diagrams of the major data structures used by the system.

Here too, knowing how the operating system works will help you write better code to take advantage of the services provided to you.

Supposedly, Linus Torvalds read this book before he produced the first Linux kernel!

By Maurice Bach,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Design of the Unix Operating System as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this timely new book, Maurice J. Bach traces the popularity of the UNIX system throughout the computer industry. The author describes the internal algorithms and structures that form the basis of the operating system (the kernel) and their relationship to the programmer interface. Among its key features, the book: *Describes the outline of the kernel architecture *Introduces the system buffer cache mechanism *Includes data structures and algorithms used internally by the file system *Covers the system calls that provide the user interface to the file system *Defines the context of a process and investigates the internal kernel primitives that…


Book cover of Gödel's Proof

David B. Black Author Of Wartime Software

From my list on teaching and inspiring the best programmers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started programming in high school and wrote software in many domains for 30 years, from the early ARPA-net to massive credit card software. I wrote a FORTRAN compiler with one assistant in a year. I got hassled to do proper project management. Nightmare. It was all about inflated expectations instead of moving fast and winning. Then in 25 years of venture capital investing, I learned from many young companies how the little startups built quickly and well things that giants like Google literally could not get done. This book and my others spell out what I learned from the little guys who beat the giants.

David's book list on teaching and inspiring the best programmers

David B. Black Why did David love this book?

Nagel’s book is the most understandable explanation I’ve found about one of the most cosmically seminal math proofs: Godel’s incompleteness theorem.

It takes the idea of recursion and self-reference to the ultimate conclusion about truth, understanding, and boundaries of existence. This may sound hootie-tootie, but think of the sequence of abstraction in math: arithmetic, algebra, calculus, etc.

Once you add in recursion (self-reference), you’ve got the most important concepts underlying true understanding and productivity in software – something never discussed in computer science, and certainly not in practical programming.

Think about the so-called Von Neumann computer architecture, which underlies all modern computers – instructions are data, stored in the same place as ordinary data, and some instructions write data that are instructions. This is recursion taken to the next level. 

By Ernest Nagel,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Gödel's Proof as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An accessible explanation of Kurt Goedel's groundbreaking work in mathematical logic
In 1931 Kurt Goedel published his fundamental paper, "On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems." This revolutionary paper challenged certain basic assumptions underlying much research in mathematics and logic. Goedel received public recognition of his work in 1951 when he was awarded the first Albert Einstein Award for achievement in the natural sciences-perhaps the highest award of its kind in the United States. The award committee described his work in mathematical logic as "one of the greatest contributions to the sciences in recent times."
However, few…


Book cover of Erlang Programming: A Concurrent Approach to Software Development

Philipp Fehre Author Of JavaScript Domain-Driven Design

From my list on learning from programming classics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Computers have fascinated me since my childhood, having fond memories of my dad's ZX81, but even so I played around I was never truly captured by the programming until I recognized it as a way of writing rather than raw engineering. Through my studies of media sciences I found my fascination with how language can shape perception, and through my work in developer advocacy, I found how communities are shaped as well. Now I am fascinated with how different programming languages can shape thinking, having had the opportunity to solve problems at large companies in nonmainstream languages.

Philipp's book list on learning from programming classics

Philipp Fehre Why did Philipp love this book?

Distributed systems are everywhere now, but long before there were telephony switches, and Erlang was built to make those work.

Reading this book gave me not only an understanding about Erlang, but the language and understanding to talk and think about systems which are distributed from the beginning, not as an afterthought. For me personally Erlang/OTP is the DSL for dystributed system and the patterns implemented have applications every time I think about distributed systems now.

By Francesco Cesarini, Simon Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Erlang Programming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Concurrent Approach to Software Development


Book cover of Land Of Lisp: Learn to Program in Lisp, One Game at a Time!

Philipp Fehre Author Of JavaScript Domain-Driven Design

From my list on learning from programming classics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Computers have fascinated me since my childhood, having fond memories of my dad's ZX81, but even so I played around I was never truly captured by the programming until I recognized it as a way of writing rather than raw engineering. Through my studies of media sciences I found my fascination with how language can shape perception, and through my work in developer advocacy, I found how communities are shaped as well. Now I am fascinated with how different programming languages can shape thinking, having had the opportunity to solve problems at large companies in nonmainstream languages.

Philipp's book list on learning from programming classics

Philipp Fehre Why did Philipp love this book?

Lisp will always have a special place in my brain, not language can be as expressive and molded to what the programmer wants to do in my opinion.

Learning a programming language can be a bit dry, but not in the case of Land of Lisp, honestly I just found this book to be fun from beginning to end, and even so I was already familiar with Lisp before reading it I actually followed all the way through not skipping a page.

Yes Lisp is hardly in use these days, but if you know it you will find its concepts popping up all over the place and this is why knowing it is so useful.

By Conrad Barski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Land Of Lisp as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lisp has been hailed as the world s most powerful programming language, but its cryptic syntax and academic reputation can be enough to scare off even experienced programmers. Those dark days are finally over Land of Lisp brings the power of functional programming to the people! With his brilliantly quirky comics and out-of-this-world games, longtime Lisper Conrad Barski teaches you the mysteries of Common Lisp. You ll start with the basics, like list manipulation, I/O, and recursion, then move on to more complex topics like macros, higher order programming, and domain-specific languages. Then, when your brain overheats, you can kick…


Book cover of Modern Operating Systems

Philipp Fehre Author Of JavaScript Domain-Driven Design

From my list on learning from programming classics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Computers have fascinated me since my childhood, having fond memories of my dad's ZX81, but even so I played around I was never truly captured by the programming until I recognized it as a way of writing rather than raw engineering. Through my studies of media sciences I found my fascination with how language can shape perception, and through my work in developer advocacy, I found how communities are shaped as well. Now I am fascinated with how different programming languages can shape thinking, having had the opportunity to solve problems at large companies in nonmainstream languages.

Philipp's book list on learning from programming classics

Philipp Fehre Why did Philipp love this book?

Not really a programming book, Modern Operating Systems has been influential for me to understand what I am working with.

When learning about how OSs do their job it is impossible to know everything, but having a rough picture and being able to know how and where to drill down further is what it is all about and this is where this book really shined for me. Even when never writing a driver or working with kernel code, knowing how the details fit together helps in estimating complexity.

The knowledge I got from this book more than once helped me recognize when something was too good to be true, or simplify complex software by working with not against the OS, in my opinion a must read for every programmer.

By Andrew S. Tanenbaum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Modern Operating Systems as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Please Read Notes: Brand New, International Softcover Edition, Printed in black and white pages, minor self wear on the cover or pages, Sale restriction may be printed on the book, but Book name, contents, and author are exactly same as Hardcover Edition. Fast delivery through DHL/FedEx express.


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