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10 Best C and C++ Books For Beginners & Advanced Programmers

Last Updated : 18 Jun, 2023
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No matter whether you’re a working professional or a student, if you want to become a good software developer, your learning should never be stopped. But why just C or C++? The basic thing is that C provides programmers with what they desire and they can design as per their needs. C++ was introduced as a successor to C which enables programmers to use code with high mobility and it also introduced the concept of objects and classes. In the present technology-driven world, these two have been most widely used among developers globally and are being adopted by all business scales and that’s why the demand for C and C++ is booming every day.

Best C and C++ Books


Yes, there’re other languages too which you can learn, the main reason to learn C is that it is the foundation to enter into the world of programming. However, one can master or learn these languages with the help of the best books that we’re going to discuss in this article today. Why Books? Because Reading enhances your ability to catch (learn) things at a higher pace. You get to know each concept in detail which makes you a pro in that particular language. 

With the help of this article, we’ll understand the 10 best books on C and C++ for both beginners and professionals. Let’s find out.

1. The C++ Programming Language (4th Edition) By Bjarne Stroustrup

This book entails content for both beginners and professionals for mastering C++ language and was written by the creator of C++ itself i.e. Bjarne Stroustrup. This is the fourth version of the book which provides extensive details in a full-fledged form and also included exercises for practicing. With the help of this C++ book, you can learn the basic concepts of C++, libraries, containers, OOPS, and so on. The author has also contributed some other books based on C++ and currently, he’s serving as a member of the U.S National Academy of Engineering.

2. C Programming Language (2nd Edition) By Brian W. Kernighan & Dennis M. Ritchie

This 2nd edition book goes by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards and specifies the basic concept of C programming language. Written by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie, elaborates on the concept of OOPS and basic fundamentals of writing C language, and is considered among the best c programming book. This book is suitable for both beginner and advanced levels programmers and the best part about this book is one can learn all the concepts right from the beginning including functions and loops, libraries, data structure, etc. While practicing with this book, one can also solve different exercises like error correction, and modifications in the existing codes which will enhance conceptual understanding and knowledge.

3. Head First C: A Brain-Friendly By David Griffiths and Dawn Griffiths

Ever wondered how you can master C with the help of just a book? With the help of this book “Head First C”, you can do wonders, no matter whether you’re a student or a working professional. This is among the best book for C that covers a wide range of methods and helps you to understand the language basics, pointers, dynamic memory management, etc. This book was released in 2012 by David Griffiths and Dawn Griffiths with the idea to share their expertise in a fun way and to make it more interesting they added a lab section with specific projects to test the reader’s ability and to develop top-notch skills.

4. C++ Primer (5th Edition) By Stanley B. Lippman, Josee Lajoie, and Barbara E Moo

This book is perfect for those who are looking to master their skill or learn about the C++ language. This book introduces all the libraries of C++ along with the functions. Since this is the fifth edition book, it comes with refreshed content for the new version of C++ and the examples you may find in this book is much more advanced and relevant for both advanced and beginners level of student or working professional. Written by Stanley Lippman, Josee Lajoie, and Barbara Moo, and was published back in 2012. This book can be a good choice for understanding C++ right from the root.

5. Let us C By Yashavant P Kanetkar

To learn the concept of C, this book is a one-stop solution for all. From describing the basic concept to going forward for in-depth knowledge, this book is suitable for everyone. Also considered as one of the best books for C, was written by Yashavant P Kanetkar who himself is a pioneer and has been awarded by Microsoft with “Most Valuable Profession” released his 17th edition of Let Us C in 2020. Even if someone is trying to prepare for competition, they can sharpen their skills by participating in various exercises and MCQs. This book covers all the basic details about arrays, functions, strings, etc., and has also a separate section for those who are preparing for job interviews.

6. Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++ (2008) By Bjarne Stroustrup

This is another masterpiece written by the creator of C++ himself in 2008.  This book is well crafted for both beginners/advanced coders and as the reader will start diving in, it goes up to an advanced level. In this book, a student can go with the fundamental of C++, modern techniques of newer versions, libraries, and object-oriented programming for writing efficient codes. If you’ll go by the reviews only this is perhaps one of the best books, especially for those who have never done coding before. On the other hand, it also enhances the skillsets of those who know a bit of coding. The book is divided into different segments where a student will get to learn basic concepts, and techniques and the other phase will drive you with essential topics such as testing, text processing, etc., and also provides sufficient exercises for better understanding.

7. C: The Complete Reference By Herbert Schildt

This is one of the best books for learning C for both beginner and advanced-level programmers. Written by Herbert Schildt has sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide so far and has been widely translated into different languages. The new edition gives an overview of arrays, functions, operators, expressions, structure, etc. as per ANSI standards. The insight of this book also covers the newest C libraries, variable-length arrays, inline functions, etc. For better understanding and brushing skillset, it comes with a variety of examples and exercises at the end of every unit which you can solve to master in C language.  

8. Effective Modern C++ (2014) By Scott Meyers

Those who are looking to excel in their skills in C++ should definitely consider getting this book by Scott Meyers. It was introduced to improve the concept of C++11 and C++ 14 and ways of implementing them in a real-life project. This book covers the basic concept of C++ which consists of lambda expressions, type declarations, etc. Apart from this, the user will be also able to learn how to develop an efficient coding technique using C++. It has a vast variety of subjects that have been used for better understanding like the pros and cons of braced initialization, the relationship between std:: move, std:: forward, and also explains how std:: atomic is different from volatile. So, in contrast, if you’ve started learning C++ and want to learn how you can implement coding in real-life projects then you might seek the help of Effective Modern C++ for a better understanding.

9. Programming in ANSI C By E. Balaguruswamy

This book has been designed for every group of programmers i.e. beginners to advanced and has been crafted well and covers every level of this mother language of programming i.e. C. Written by E. Balaguruswamy kept this in mind how it will reflect users who have no prior experience in coding and that’s the reason why it has been listed among the Best C Programming Books. Besides this, the newer edition of this c programming book covers the latest functions, arrays, strings, etc. The in-depth covers all the exercise parts which programmers can utilize to suit their skillset. The 8th edition covers the updated content as per AICTE standards for students with strong pedagogical features, graphic programming using C, and much more.

10. Practical C++ Programming (2nd Edition) By Steve Oualline

The second edition of practical C++ programming offers a wide range of assessments, redefined introduction, and a brief history of C++ and also explains how to design anything with C++ with perfection. This book covers C++ syntax coding, style creation, use of object classes, template debugging, etc. Those who want to learn C++ can take the help of this book and focus on the introduction part and ensure to complete all the exercises that have been provided at the end of every unit. By the end of the book, it will show you how you can implement it in real-life projects by writing clean and efficient code.  


Perhaps you might find ample of c programming books on different resources but only a handful of them are offering the best variety of matter for both beginners and advanced-level programmers. We tried to pull out the list of 10 Best C and C++ Books For Beginners & Advanced Programmers that are worth giving a try and getting your dream job in your core specialty such as C++ Analyst, Junior/Senior Programmer, Game Programmer, etc.

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