The 4 best C Programming Books

C is a general-purpose language that was first developed in 1969 by Dennis Richie. It is an evolution of B language, hence the name. It is oriented to the implementation of operative systems. It is very efficient and one of the most popular languages to create software systems.

C language is important to learn if you want to be a polyglot in programming languages. C provides you with the learning fundamentals and makes it easier for you to understand all the other higher-level languages. It is at the middle level. The language is very simple, elegant and fast. It has raw pointers, bitwise operations, and keywords. It will help you asses your efficiency abilities more than any higher code.

If you are going to learn C, it is important you learn how to write maintainable code. C language requires a huge undertaking for fixing simple syntax errors. These books will give you solid enough foundations to tackle the issues C language might bring to you.

C Programming Absolute Beginner’s Guide

  • Greg Perry and Dan Miller bring this book for us to learn and conquer the C language.
  • As the name states, this book is designed for absolute beginners.
  • However, being a beginner won’t stop you here, this book will help you write beautiful and functional C programs.

Even though you won’t be writing super advanced stuff, the book makes sure that C language is within your zone of comfort. It will make sure you can further develop your abilities as you continue to practice. Since it is aimed at beginners, it is very easy to read. It consists of 32 chapters in which the concepts of C language are explained clearly and in-depth. The concepts are discussed and presented, and then you jump to coding lines. The main things this book wants you to learn are organizing programs, I.O, functions, storing and displaying data, strings and much more.

The book is overall very practical, so if that is what works for you, then it is a great way to learn C.

Learn C the Hard Way

  • The book by Zed A. Shaw is perfect for beginning C programmers who are eager to advance their skills.
  • It is clear and direct and has the advantage that is not only going to help you on isolated C skills.
  • It introduces the reader to a bunch of skills that are valued in programs.

By “the hard way” it means you will be exposed to a lot of coding, and I am not talking about small programs. The book includes the kind of code you would be seeing on Github. You will have to work through 52 exercises with accompanying videos. The book also makes you constantly fix your mistakes thoroughly. The exercises are specially designed for you to learn defensive programming. Defensive programming will help you if you intend to continue programming, even in other languages. You’ll learn how to program files and linkers, arrays, strings, functions, memory allocation, libraries, data structures, stacks, and queues. But also about mistake fixing, debugging, and things like illegal memory accessing and breaking/hacking your one code. It comes with a lot of tutorials that might help you better understand everything.

Head First C

  • The Headfirst series are usually very well ranked among programming books, and this one is not the exception.
  • By David and Dawn Griffiths, this book is mainly focused on comprehension.
  • It will help you grasp the concepts of C language on a deeper level. The book is about becoming actually good in C programming, and not only about learning about it.

The book comes with the characteristic diagrams of these series, helping with the how-tos and the syntaxes. After that, the book will guide you through what is called “labs”. These labs are projects that will help you apply the acquired skills. Most importantly, they’ll make you feel comfortable and confident when using C language.

This book goes through all the basics and some advanced parts of C programming. And it is especially good for students who want to learn it. You will acquire abilities concerning pointers, dynamic memory management, multi-threading, and network programming. As well as dominating, all of the C language basics. The book is great for beginners. It does stay on a basic level; however, it gives you very strong bases to continue perfecting your skills.

C Programming: A Modern Approach

  • K. N. King brings this book to a wide range of learners. From intermediate to absolute beginners.
  • This book has been adopted by many colleges throughout the years as the preferred material for learning C programming.
  • It is not a reference book since it is explicitly written for teaching.

If you are in a blank beforehand, then this book will teach you everything you need to know. If you have an idea of C language, then this book will help you perfect your skills. It will also give you more reference work to further learn about the C language. Examples are very straightforward. If you learn through examples this book might not be for you, since they are only provided when really necessary. The book is through but very clear in its explanations. The main difference between other books is that it helps you understand the core of C in many different contexts. If you are more in the intermediate level, you might find this book a little slow. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t learn anything from it since it is in no way a “for dummies” kind of book. Basically, this book builds the knowledge for you to build the rest.

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