15 best Java books for beginners & experts

We’ve rounded up a handful of the best books in 2020 for beginners as well as seasoned Java programmers that will help to further their learning the language.

Even if you are attending a classroom course with advanced peers and an excellent professor, you still need a book, because there’s no teacher like a good book. If you are looking at developing a career as a java developer and want the perfect book for a round off your teaching supplies, look no further.

In the following list, we’ve hand-those seasoned picks 11 of the best books you’ll ever find on Java programming. They cater to the whole spectrum of learners, ranging from beginners, who are only looking to begin their journey in Java, to seasoned programmers who need a refresher and reference material from time to time to stay abreast with the current developments. So, dig in!

Summary:

  1. Introduction
  2. For Beginners
    1. Core Java Volume- 1
    2. Effective Java
    3. Java: A beginner’s Guide
    4. Java: The Complete Reference
    5. Java: How to programme, Early Objects
    6. Java: Programming Basics for Absolute Beginners
  3. For Intermediate to Advanced
    1. Head First Java
    2. Java Concurrency in practice
    3. Test-Driven: TDD and Acceptance TDD for java developers
    4. Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design
    5. Java Performance: The Definitive Guide
    6.  Head First Design Patterns
    7. Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship
  4. Other Java Books
    1. Core Java
    2. Extreme Java: Concurrency Performance for Java 8

FOR BEGINNERS

1.   Core Java Volume I – Fundamentals

MRP: Rs. 4,482 (Offer Price-Rs.3,120 [may vary])

Author: Cay S. Horstmann
Publisher: Prentice-Hall
Latest edition: 11th Edition
Online ratings: 4.7/5
Our rating: 4.8/5

Written by Cay S. Horstmann, a computer science professor at the San Jose State University, this incredibly detailed book with a 4.7 rating gives an overview of the capabilities of the Java language. It is basic enough for newbies and explains everything in a style that can be understood by the layman. At the same time, it is also detailed enough to be beneficial for experienced programmers. It’s a great choice for beginners in software development.

PROS:

  • Relevant for all experience level
  • Coding examples
  • Thoughtful explanations

CONS:

  • Collection chapter not in the printed version
  • More on the basics side

2. Effective Java

MRP: Rs.4,124 (Offer Price-Rs. 2,449 [may vary])

Author: Joshua Bloch
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Latest edition: 3rd Edition
Online ratings: 4.7/5
Our rating: 4.7/5


This is a marvellous piece of work authored by Joshua Bloch, who holds a PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University and one of the developers behind Java. It not only comes packed with a ton of good practical advice for programmers but also explains the reasoning behind the things you may have heard casually thrown about in this field.
As a bonus, this wondrous book also gives you all the never-before known meaty behind-the-scenes of Java programming. This almost-5 star book is available on Amazon even in an online format.

PROS:

  • Precise and to the point
  • In-depth explanations
  • New language Features included

CONS:

  • For beginner to intermediate
  • Some concepts redundant

3. Java: A Beginner’s Guide

MRP: Rs. 750(Offer Price-Rs. 638 [may vary])

Author: Herbert Schildt
Publisher: McGraw Hill
Latest edition: 8th Edition
Online ratings: 4.5/5
Our rating: 4.7/5

If you are looking for a course in Java programming but don’t wish to pay the hefty bucks that will cost you such a course, this is the book for you. Written by Herbert Schildt, this book is often used as a textbook in intro classes of Java programming. The book dives into every minute detail and explains everything with helpful reference tables and clear examples. All chapters are succeeded by a small exercise and questions, thereby allowing students to become self-reliant.

PROS:

  • Cheaper comparatively
  • In-depth explanations
  • Easy to follow

CONS:

  • For beginner to intermediate
  • Vocabulary on the tougher side

4. Java: The Complete Reference

MRP: Rs.1,099 (Offer Price – Rs. 854[may vary])

Author: Herbert Schildt
Publisher: Oracle Press
Latest edition: 10th Edition
Online ratings: 4.5/5
Our rating: 4.4/5

Coming from the same author, who incidentally is also a famous musician, this slightly advanced book covers certain points that teach you the most important aspects of programming that will guide you throughout your career in coding. It gives you deep insights into Java core including generics, interfaces, inheritance, classes, packages, as well as the basic programming concepts.

PROS:

  • Comprehensive coverage
  • In-depth explanations

CONS:

  • For beginner to intermediate
  • Fewer code examples

5. Java: How to Programme, Early Objects

MRP: Rs.5,003 [Offer Price: Rs. 4,061]

Author: Harvey Deitel
Publisher: Pearson
Latest edition: Global Edition
Online ratings: 5/5
Our rating: 4.5/5

Paul J. Deitel and Harvey Deitel authored this book for those who have just begun their career in programming and have only developed a basic understanding of coding. The book explains the super basic programming constructs, data structures and simple algorithms. If you aren’t a seasoned programmer, then this book might be a waste for you.

PROS:

  • Comes with MyLab Programming for hands-on Learning
  • In-depth explanations
  • With examples and exercise

6. Java: Programming Basics for Absolute Beginners (Step-By-Step Java Book 1)

MRP: Rs. 0 (Free)

Author: Nathan Clark
Publisher: Kindle
Latest edition: Kindle Edition
Online ratings: 4.2/5
Our rating: 4.5/5

You can read this absolutely free kindle unlimited version of Nathan Clarks – Java for absolute beginners. It is always difficult to start learning a new programming language. This book is especially for those who are just starting with java. It covers all the simple concepts and basics of Java programming language. This book is packed with various practical examples and explanations to them. A must-read if you just started exploring Java.

PROS:

  • Free of cost
  • In detail explanation of basic concepts
  • With examples and code

For intermediate to advanced

7. Head First Java

MRP: Rs. 1000

Author: Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates
Publisher: O Reilly’
Latest edition: 2nd Edition
Online ratings: 4.3/5
Our rating: 4.2/5

Also dubbed as brain-friendly guides, this line of books are very popular with those who’ve just begun their career in programming. Co-authored by Bert Bates and Kathy Sierra, this is the kind of book that caters to amateur and advanced programmers.
The book follows a set pattern of introducing a concept, some code examples, visual aid in the form of pictures and diagrams, a bit of humour to reinforce the subject, followed by puzzles and other exercises at the end of the chapters.

PROS:

  • Animation and Pictures instead of a plain boring read
  • In-depth explanations of basic concepts
  • With examples and codes

8. Java Concurrency in Practice

MRP: Rs. 550 (Offer Price-Rs. 420 [may vary])

Author: Brain Goetz and others
Publisher: Pearson
Latest edition: 1st Edition
Online ratings: 4.4/5
Our rating: 4.5/5

Brian Goetz provides a thorough, 360-degrees learning strategy to Concurrency in Java, It unveils all possible aspects of Java concurrency, beginning at the very basic concepts and advancing to the difficult ones. The author has done an excellent job in illustrating the basics and then developing a solid foundation on top of it.

PROS:

  1. Easily Understandable concepts
  2. Coverage of beginner to advanced concepts
  3. With examples and code

CONS:

  1. Technical Jargon
  2. Language on the tougher side

9. Test Driven: TDD and Acceptance TDD for Java Developers

MRP: Rs. 3,189 (Offer Price- Rs.3,078 [may vary])

Author: Lasse Koskela
Publisher: Manning
Latest edition: 1st edition
Online ratings: 4/5
Our rating: 4.2/5

Authored by Lasse Koskela, this book gets full marks for writing text that is well written and engaging. The introductory material serves as the perfect refresher course for developers on TDD. The author has been extremely patient and has maintained the pace that will keep the reader interested.

PROS:

  • For beginners of TDD
  • Descriptive Explanation

CONS:

  • For seasoned Java developers

10. Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design

MRP: Rs. 950

Author: Brett D. McLaughlin & Dave West
Publisher: O Reilly’
Latest edition: 1st Edition
Online ratings: 4.2/5
Our rating: 4.4/5

Another brain friendly guide from the series, authors Brett McLaughlin, Gary Pollice and David West have attempted to create material that isn’t too intimidating or overwhelming. The easy-to-read approach and the added humour make this book a good fit for beginners.
The title may be misleading but all the examples are exhibited in Java which makes it a must-read for all Java enthusiasts. All books from this series follow a non-conventional format and this ensures that readers retain the information long after they have read it.

PROS:

  • Easy to understand
  • Coverage of beginner to advanced concepts
  • With examples and application code

11. Java Performance: The Definitive Guide

MRP: Rs. 1425

Author: Scott Oaks
Publisher: SPD
Latest edition: 2nd Edition
Online ratings: 4.8/5
Our rating: 4.6/5

Authored by Scott Oaks, this book has been written keeping in mind the struggles and expectations of new inexperienced programmers. Oaks provides an amazing insight into JVM performance tuning and the Java SE code performance.
The book contains instructions on how to measure Java performance and understand exactly why it works the way it does. After reading this book, you’ll have some performance improvement tips up your sleeve.

PROS:

  • Theoretical Explanation

CONS:

  • Purpose specific. I.e – Performance Testing

12. Head First Design Patterns

MRP: Rs. 4,137 [Offer Price: Rs. 3,594]

Author: Eric Freeman & Elisabeth Robson with 2 others
Publisher: O Reilly’
Latest edition: 10th Anniversary Edition
Online ratings: 4.5/5
Our rating: 4.5/5

This book is yet another brain friendly guide co-written by Eric Freeman, Bert Bates, Kathy Sierra and Elisabeth Robson. It’s popular for a humorous and simplistic representation of programming concepts.
While the book does teach a bit of code, it still leaves quite a bit of the logic structures to the reader to figure out. Having said that, it explains design patterns with examples. As the reader progresses through the book, they find underlying answers and the patterns that lead back to the design principles.

PROS:

  • Design Pattern concepts covered in detail

CONS:

  • Need previous knowledge on Java programming

13. Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

MRP: Rs.1,250 [Offer Price: Rs.680]

Author: Robert C Martin
Publisher: Pearson
Latest edition: 1st Edition
Online ratings: 4.6/5
Our rating: 4.5/5

Robert C. Martin does an excellent job of explaining functions, classes and code smell. Quoted as a critical thinker’s book, it offers the reader the option to use their own programming style and language of choice.
Every point is painstakingly explained until it’s clear and relatable to problems faced by seasoned programmers in their day-to-day coding life.

PROS:

  • Sufficient code examples
  • Helpful tips and tricks with explanation

CONS:

  • Not beginner-friendly

Other Java books

Didn’t get enough of this list? Need some more books? Here are a few bonus books that didn’t quite make the cut, but might be interesting to you. 

14. Core Java

MRP: Rs. 929 [Offer Price: Rs. 870]

Author: Cay S.Horstmann
Publisher: Pearson
Latest edition: 11th Edition
Online ratings: 4.7/5
Our rating: 4.6/5

Co-authored by Cay S. Horstmann and Gary Cornell, this book is ideal for those looking to expand their knowledge in Java programming. With its conversational diction, the book comes packed with a lot of high-level topics of discussion. However, these topics can often digress, thereby making the book long-winded and away from the point.

15. Extreme Java – Concurrency Performance for Java 8

Not exactly a book, but more of a tutorial developed by Dr Heinz Kabutz, this promises to provide the most productive learning experience to those who want to quickly learn and apply Java concepts. The author, Dr Heinz Kabutz, is also the creator of The Java Specialists’ newsletter that aims at keeping professionals up-to-date with all the current developments made in the field.

 To learn more about Java, take a look at Coding Ninjas courses. And to know more about the best books to gain knowledge of JavaScripts, check out our blog’s section.

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