57 books like Modern Operating Systems

By Andrew S. Tanenbaum,

Here are 57 books that Modern Operating Systems fans have personally recommended if you like Modern Operating Systems. 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 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 C Programming Language

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?

This is the defining book on the C language, written by the authors of the language and published in 1978.

By the early 1980’s it became the standard for writing systems software, helped by the fact that the UNIX operating system was written in it. UNIX grew to become the world’s dominant operating system, running over 90% of the world’s web servers. 

By the time I encountered the language I already had programmed extensively in assembler, COBOL, FORTRAN, and other languages. I had written a commercial FORTRAN compiler. The language changed my world, and this book was unique then and now for being written by the creators of the language that changed the world of programming forever.

Nothing about all the languages since C makes things better – yes, including C++. All they do is add complexity and put unnecessary constraints on language, along with continuing the focus on language…

By Brian Kernighan, Dennis Ritchie,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked C Programming Language as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This edition describes C as defined by the ANSI standard. This book is meant to help the reader learn how to program in C. The book assumes some familiarity with basic programming concepts like variables, assignment statements, loops, and functions. A novice programmer should be able to read along and pick up the language.


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 How's the Pain?

Daniel Ben-Horin Author Of Substantial Justice

From my list on funny international classics you (may) have not heard of.

Why am I passionate about this?

Humor is based on surprise and the ‘foreign’ is often surprising. As I traveled all over the world for work, I searched out local authors and found myself laughing. It started with At Swim Two Birds and has never stopped.

Daniel's book list on funny international classics you (may) have not heard of

Daniel Ben-Horin Why did Daniel love this book?

I like to read thrillers set in countries I'm visiting, and so I randomly picked up How's the Pain? billed as “French Noir”.  The title alone is almost worth the price of admission.

It is supposedly the standard greeting among some African tribesmen. Beats the existential pants off “How are you?”, don’t you think? The writing fulfills the title’s promise. It is tight and funny, brutal in parts, but doesn’t succumb to some noir’s tendency to gratuitously pile on the awfulness of it all. 

By Pascal Garnier, Emily Boyce (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How's the Pain? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How's the Pain? is an off-kilter, blackly comic novel about an unlikely duo of a soon-to-be-retired assassin and a deadbeat young man, from the 'slyly funny' [Sunday Times] Pascal Garnier.

'Deliciously dark ... painfully funny' New York Times

Death is Simon's business. And now the ageing vermin exterminator is preparing to die. But he still has one last job down on the coast, and he needs a driver.

Bernard is twenty-one. He can drive and he's never seen the sea. He can't pass up the chance to chauffeur for Simon, whatever his mother may say. As the unlikely pair set…


Book cover of 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel

James R. Benn Author Of Road of Bones

From my list on essential books for writers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always wanted to write. It took years to get started, and after working in the library and information technology fields for over thirty-five years, I quit the day job routine in 2011 to write full time. I've learned two valuable lessons since I started writing which have been of immense help. The first is a quote from writer and activist Mary Heaton Vorse, who said, "The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair." The second is from novelist Rachel Basch, who told me that "the story has to move down, as well as forward." Both sound simple. Neither is.

James' book list on essential books for writers

James R. Benn Why did James love this book?

Smiley classifies and defines the novel and provides a primer of supportive instructions to the struggling writer. She explores the reasons why some novels succeed and some don’t. She provides the reader with a list of 100 books she has read, from thousand-year-old texts to recent bestsellers, offering her own insights and assessments of each work. Smiley provides a glimpse into the creative process and gives writers and readers new ways to be aware of what goes on between the lines. This book contains important and joyful advice for aspiring writers and is a gift to lovers of literature.


By Jane Smiley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres comes an essential guide for writers and readers alike: an exhilarating tour through one hundred novels that "inspires wicked delight.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

From classics such as the thousand-year-old Tale of Genji to fiction by Zadie Smith and Alice Munro, Jane Smiley explores the power of the form, looking at its history and variety, its cultural impact, and just how it works its magic. She invites us behind the scenes of novel-writing, sharing her own habits and spilling the secrets of her craft, and offering priceless advice to aspiring…


Book cover of Starfarers

Allen Steele Author Of Coyote

From my list on lost classics of space science fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Okay, so you’ve read Dune, you’ve read Starship Troopers, you’ve read 2001: A Space Odyssey, and maybe you’ve even read From Earth to the Moon and The First Men in the Moon. Seen the movies, too (or maybe you cheat and say you’ve read the books when you’ve only seen the flicks). Bet you think that makes you an expert on science fiction about space, right? Not even close! If you want to read more than just the well-known classics everyone else has, find these books. Some have become obscure and are now out of print, but they’re not hard to find; try ABE, eBay, and local second-hand bookstores. They’re worth searching for, and then you’ll really have something to talk about.

Allen's book list on lost classics of space science fiction

Allen Steele Why did Allen love this book?

Before writing this little gem, the author produced some of the most notable Star Trek novelizations. Then she decided to create her own version of Star Trek and do the stuff she couldn’t do there. The first volume of a series, it kicks things off when the science crew of the good ship Starfarer, upon learning that their brand-new ship is about to be turned over to the military and become a warship, decides to take matters in their own hands and hijack their own starship. Space adventure at its best. 

By Vonda N. McIntyre,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the first in the Starfarers series of novels, the commander of the Starfarer spacecraft, scientist Victoria MacKenzie, must battle her own commanders on Earth to keep on her mission to find extraterrestrial life. Reissue.


Book cover of Happiness is Possible

Daniel Ben-Horin Author Of Substantial Justice

From my list on funny international classics you (may) have not heard of.

Why am I passionate about this?

Humor is based on surprise and the ‘foreign’ is often surprising. As I traveled all over the world for work, I searched out local authors and found myself laughing. It started with At Swim Two Birds and has never stopped.

Daniel's book list on funny international classics you (may) have not heard of

Daniel Ben-Horin Why did Daniel love this book?

In the lineage of Goncharov’s Oblomov, with that very Russian mixture of humor and fatalism, this novel is a treat. In a sense, you know everything you need to know concerning the book’s content from the title.

The achievement is in making this somewhat kitschy, Hallmark card notion, come alive, entertain, and contain real meaning. Zaionchkovsky pulls it off like nobody’s business. Terrific job. Very funny and, also touching, without bathos.

By Oleg Zaionchkovsky, Andrew Bromfield (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Happiness is Possible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Of Curses and Kisses

Zoë Markham Author Of Under My Skin

From my list on YA retellings of the classics.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my previous role as a teacher, I often encountered teens who never, ever read outside of school – and hated having to read in school. Finding YA retellings of the classics became an indispensable tool for me in terms of not only linking the past with the present for the young adults in my classes, but also in terms of helping them see themselves in fiction, finding representation there, and discovering their own importance. It opened up whole worlds for all of us, and offered a pathway to a love of reading that I hope they will never forget!

Zoë's book list on YA retellings of the classics

Zoë Markham Why did Zoë love this book?

I wanted to include an unashamedly fun read for balance, and Of Curses and Kisses is absolute bucketloads of fun. A contemporary Beauty and the Beast retelling, it’s charmingly clever, funny, and vibrant, with its cast of diverse characters and its boarding school setting. If you’re ever looking for a hug in book form, look no further! 

By Sandhya Menon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Of Curses and Kisses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. That's why when she finds out she'll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, a member of the rival royal family behind a humiliating scandal involving her little sister, she schemes to get revenge on the young nobleman in order to even the score between their families. The plan? Make him fall in love with her and then break his heart the way his family has broken hers.

Grey Emerson doesn't connect with people easily. Due to a curse placed on his family by the Raos that…


Book cover of Non-Stop

Arnie Benn Author Of The Intrepid: Dawn Of The Interstellar Age

From my list on sci-fi classics that offer insight into human nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since childhood, I have been obsessed with understanding everything — science and the universe. Now, in this age of the JWST and a burgeoning space industry, I do sub-quantum mechanics research at an international physics think-tank, The Quantum Bicycle Society. My own hard sci-fi novel is intended to help publicize these scientific advances, as well as the behavioral psychology concepts that are the subject of my next nonfiction book, The Animal In The Mirror. The books on this list represent the foundation of inspiration that propelled my formative sci-fi journey, stories that also shine the light of insight onto our shared, instinctive nature.

Arnie's book list on sci-fi classics that offer insight into human nature

Arnie Benn Why did Arnie love this book?

This is an evocative story world with many great twists as the plot unfolds, and I’m a sucker for a great twist. I also love the very cool mix of sci-fi, human evolution, and complicated choices.

It not only explores how we might evolve on a journey so long that our tribal factions have forgotten we are even on a journey, but it gets even more interesting when we find out where we are.

By Brian Aldiss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Non-Stop as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Curiosity was discouraged in the Greene tribe. Its members lived out their lives in cramped Quarters, hacking away at the encroaching ponics. As to where they were - that was forgotten.

Roy Complain decides to find out. With the renegade priest Marapper, he moves into unmapped territory, where they make a series of discoveries which turn their universe upside-down ...

Non-Stop is the classic SF novel of discovery and exploration; a brilliant evocation of a familiar setting seen through the eyes of a primitive.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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