10 Best Java Books for Beginners and Advanced Programmers

Java Books


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Books make up for an excellent mode of learning. Combining them with articles, tutorials, and videos, you get an excellent recipe to learn Java.

As Java is one of the leading programming languages, there is no scarcity of books written on the high-level, general-purpose programming language. While some of them offer an overview of various Java concepts, others go in-depth into specific Java topics.

10 Best Java Books for Beginners and Advanced Programmers

Here, we have assembled a list of 11 excellent Java books to advance your learning in Java.

Core Java Volume I – Fundamentals

Core Java Volume I--Fundamentals (11th Edition)

Author – Cay S. Horstmann

Latest Edition11th Edition

Publisher – Prentice Hall

Core Java Volume I – Fundamentals is a Java reference book that offers a detailed explanation on various features of Core Java, including exception handling, interfaces, and lambda expressions. Major highlights of the book include simple language, conciseness, and detailed examples.

The latest edition of the Core Java Volume I – Fundamentals is comprehensively updated for covering Java SE 9, 10 & 11. The book helps Java programmers develop an ability to write highly robust and maintainable code.

You can buy the book here.

Effective Java

Effective Java

Author Joshua Bloch

Latest Edition – 3rd Edition

Publisher Addison Wesley

A must-have book for every Java programmer and Java aspirant, Effective Java makes up for an excellent complementary read with other Java books or learning material. The book offers 78 best practices to follow for making the code better.

Effective Java divides all the mentioned best practices into 11 distinct sections, such as Concurrency, Generics, and Methods, to make it easier for the reader to grasp it all. The book offers something to Java programmer of any skill level.

Effective Java is written by Joshua Bloch, who is also the author of many key Java classes and API, including java.lang and Java Collection framework. The context of the latest edition of the book is built around Java 7, 8, and 9.

You can buy the book here.

Java: A Beginner’s Guide

A beginner's GuideAuthor Herbert Schildt

Latest Edition 8th Edition

Publisher McGraw-Hill Education

If you are a seasoned Java programmer looking to enhance your Java knowledge, don’t be averted by the title of the book, Java: A Beginner’s Guide. It is, in fact, one of the most comprehensive books for learning Java.

Anyone with basic programming knowledge can easily benefit from the Java: A Beginner’s Guide. The Java book covers all concepts pertaining to Core Java.

The latest edition of the Java: A Beginner’s Guide is fully revised to include Java 11 SE. In order to let the readers self-evaluate their learning, the book offers several hands-on exercises as well as a quiz section at the end of every chapter.

You can buy the book here.

Java – The Complete Reference

Java Complete ReferenceAuthor Herbert Schildt

Latest Edition – 11th Edition

Publisher McGraw Hill Education

Java – The Complete Reference is an opportune Java reference book with over 1000 pages. It contains each and every aspect of Java that you need to master.

In addition to examining important portions of the Java API library, Java – The Complete Reference covers essential programming principles, Java language syntax, and keywords. The book is full of discussions and apt examples to better the Java learning.

You can buy the book here.

Head First Java

Head First JavaAuthor Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates

Latest Edition – 2nd Edition

Publisher Shroff/O’Reilly

The most important selling points of Head First Java is its simplicity and super-effective real life analogies that pertain to the Java programming concepts. Head First Java covers almost all OOPS concepts and explains them in a very fascinating way.

Despite several readers claiming it to be a dated book, as it covers nothing beyond Java 5.0, Head First Java can still be found on the shelves of numerous Java veterans. Thus, it a must-have book for every Java pursuer and developer.

You can buy the book here.

Some notable topics covered by Head First Java include common OO mistakes, distributed programming with RMI and network sockets, and threads. Additionally, the book overs 42 mind-bending puzzles that will ensure a better understanding of Java.

Java Concurrency in Practice

Java ConcurrencyAuthor Brian Goetz with Tim Peierls, Joshua Bloch, Joseph Bowbeer, David Holmes, and Doug Lea

Latest Edition – 1st Edition

Publisher Addison-Wesley Professional

Java Concurrency in Practice is one of the best Java programming books to develop a rich understanding of concurrency and multithreading. Don’t be fooled by the book’s coverage of Java 5.0, as it is still relevant and essential for any ardent Java developer.

The only issue with the Java Concurrency in Practice is that some sections might be very difficult to comprehend at first. However, you need to understand that the topics covered by the book i.e. concurrency and multithreading are tricky topics in themselves. Hence, you will realize later that the strenuous task of going through the book is worth the effort.

You can buy the book here.

Test Driven: TDD and Acceptance TDD for Java Developers

Test DrivenAuthor Lasse Koskela

Latest Edition – 1st Edition

Publisher Manning Publications

Test Driven is an excellent book for learning how to write excellent automation testing programs. It is a must-have book for those Java developers that prioritize code quality as well as have a knack for writing unit, integration, and automation tests.

Test Driven: TDD and Acceptance TDD for Java Developers offers hands-on examples to test drive Java code. Further, the book covers acceptance test-driven development, the Fit framework, and testing Java EE components – JSPs, Servlets, and Spring Controllers.

You can buy the book here.

Head First Object-Oriented Analysis Design

Head First Objected OrientedAuthor Brett D. McLaughlin, Gary Pollice & David West

Latest Edition – 1st Edition

Publisher Shroff/O’Reilly

Head First is one of the finest book series ever written on Java programming language. Another gem in the series is the Head First Object-Oriented Analysis Design. It is part of the Head First Java trilogy, the other two being Head First Java and Head First Design Patterns.

Head First Object-Oriented Analysis Design details different techniques used in object-oriented programming and design. The list includes coding for interfaces as well as how to encapsulate what changes. Head First OOAD is an excellent book to know how to write Java code better.

You can buy the book here.

Java Performance: The Definite Guide

Java PerformanceAuthor Scott Oaks

Latest Edition – 1st Edition

Publisher Shroff/O’Reilly

Garbage collection, JVM, and performance tuning are some of the most favorable aspects of Java programming language. Java Performance: The Definite Guide covers all three of these Java topics in a simple yet effective manner.

Java Performance: The Definite Guide educates readers about maximizing Java threading and synchronization performance features, improve Java-driven database application performance, tackle performance issues in Java EE and Java SE APIs, and much more.

You can buy the book here.

Head First Design Patterns

Head First Design patternsAuthor Eric Freeman & Elisabeth Robson with Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates

Latest Edition – 10th Anniversary Edition

Publisher Shroff/O’Reilly

A good hold on the OOP and design patterns are essential for writing immaculate Java applications. Head First Design Patterns is one of the leading books to build that particular understanding of the Java programming language.

Head First Design Patterns provides answers to a number of commonly asked questions about Java, including why Composition is better than Inheritance and how to change runtime behavior of a class without stirring the already tried and tested code.

You can buy the book here.

The latest edition of Head First Design Patterns is updated for Java 8. Unlike other books that rely on a text-based approach, Head First Design Patterns flaunts a visually rich format that makes learning faster and more efficient.

Clean Code – A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software CraftsmanshipAuthor – Robert Cecil Martin a.k.a. Uncle Bob

Latest Edition1st Edition

Publisher – Pearson Education

As the name hints at, Clean Code is a classic Java programming book that imparts the knowledge of writing better code to its readers.

Clean Code is divided into three sections. The first section covers the patterns, practices, and principles of writing clean code. The second part describes a number of case studies of ascending complexity. Each of them is an exercise in cleaning up the code.

The third, and final section of the Clean Code is a single chapter that contains a list of heuristics gathered while creating the case studies covered in the previous section.

You can buy the book here.

Learning and getting started with Java is easy. However, writing effectual Java code requires robust knowledge of OOP principles. Clean Code helps in building that knowledge about the Java programming language.


Here are 11 other Java programming books that will further refine your Java understanding and knowledge:

  • Core Java by Cay S. Horstmann and Gary Cornell
  • Extreme Java – Concurrency Performance for Java 8 by Dr. Heinz Kabutz
  • Java: How to Program: Early Objects by Paul J. Deitel and Harvey M. Deitel
  • Java 8 in Action by Alan Mycroft and Mario Fusco
  • Java in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference by David Flanagan
  • Learn Java in One Day and Learn It Well by Jamie Chan
  • The Java Language Specification by Bill Joy, Gilad Bracha, Guy L. Steele Jr., and James Gosling
  • Think Java: How to think like a Computer Scientist by Allen B. Downey
  • Thinking in Java by Bruce Eckel
  • Sams Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days by Rogers Cadenhead
  • Spring in Action by Craig Walls

So, that sums up the list of 11 best Java books and 11 additional Java books. Which Java programming book or books you consider the best? Let us know via the comments section below.

Happy Java learning!

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23 Comments, RSS

  1. Avatar

    Steven Tan January 31, 2019 @ 8:15 pm

    Hello! I just wondered if you read all of the 11 books you suggested to study? I wanted to study more about the same topic, especially java to know it better because I want to have a carreer in Java later on. kindly share to me your experience, your frustration in learning java, and how long did you finish one book of java?

    • Vijay Khatri

      Vijay Khatri March 1, 2019 @ 1:59 pm

      Java Concurrency in Practice (Old Edition) by Brian Goetz and Joshua Bloch
      Traps, Pitfalls, and Corner Cases by Joshua Bloch and Neal Gafter
      Java Performance: The Definitive Guide by Scott Oaks

  2. Avatar

    Vera Moore February 8, 2019 @ 9:39 am

    Which is the best book to learn java from scratch?

    • Avatar

      Sterling Markley February 20, 2019 @ 8:06 pm

      Head First Java by Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates recommended to be the best to learn Java from scratch always. This books explains each topic in detail with the graphical representation and exercises are also given after every topic to give the better understanding.

  3. Avatar

    Gustavo Holland February 8, 2019 @ 9:40 am

    What are the best books a Java developer should read?

    • Avatar

      Chauncey Otero February 20, 2019 @ 8:07 pm

      This article is all about the best books to learn Java for 2019. Java: A beginner’s guide, Head First Java, Head First Design Patterns, Core Java Volume I-Fundamentals etc. are some of the top best books for Java.

  4. Avatar

    Faith Mills February 8, 2019 @ 9:41 am

    What is the best book for advanced Java programming?

    • Avatar

      Carmelo Burrows February 20, 2019 @ 8:08 pm

      The best books for advanced developers are Java: The complete reference, Java concurrency in practice, Java 8 in Action, Java Performance: The Definite Guide etc.

  5. Avatar

    Miguel Williamson February 8, 2019 @ 9:42 am

    Which is the best book of core Java for in-depth study and programming?

    • Avatar

      Darrick Emanuel February 20, 2019 @ 8:08 pm

      Head First Java and Java complete reference are two awesome books to learn Java in depth. Both are best books but first one is for those who want to learn oops concepts in depth.

  6. Avatar

    Rose Gonzalez February 8, 2019 @ 9:43 am

    What are some tricks to learn Java quickly?

    • Avatar

      Granville Fitch February 20, 2019 @ 8:09 pm

      You must follow this regularly to learn Java quickly-
      Learn the language basics, Create some small programs, Create advanced programs using Java API’s, Create at least one desktop application and one web application at your own, Read and participate in some good java blogs or forums etc.

  7. Avatar

    Lydia Knight February 8, 2019 @ 9:43 am

    Which sites are good for learning Java?

    • Avatar

      Alphonse Cano February 20, 2019 @ 8:09 pm

      Hackr.io and Udemy are the best websites for learning Java online. These offered the best courses with the deep understanding of every topics in Java from the beginner level to advanced.

  8. Avatar

    Eleanor Horton February 8, 2019 @ 9:44 am

    Which sites are the best to learn Java for free?

    • Avatar

      Milford Stillwell February 20, 2019 @ 8:10 pm

      The best sites which teach you coding for free are as below:-
      • CodeAcademy
      • Coursera
      • Hackr
      • edX
      • Udemy
      • GitHub
      • Code Avengers
      • Free Food Camp etc.

  9. Avatar

    Kim Freeman February 8, 2019 @ 9:51 am

    Head first java vs java the complete reference, Which one is the best?

    • Avatar

      Demarcus Hannon February 20, 2019 @ 8:10 pm

      In terms of concepts, Java: The Complete Reference always stands out to be one of the best Java books both for beginners as well as experts than Head First Java. This is certainly much better than Head First Java.

  10. Avatar

    Clinton Rivera February 8, 2019 @ 9:56 am

    What are the best books a Java developer should read?

    • Avatar

      Rigoberto Biddle February 20, 2019 @ 8:11 pm

      1. Effective Java
      2. Clean Code
      3. Java Concurrency in Practice
      4. Head First Design Patterns
      5. Spring in Action
      6. Test Driven
      7. The Definitive Guide to Java Performance
      8. Head First Java
      9. Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design
      10. Java: A Beginner’s Guide

  11. Avatar

    Ernesto Bowers February 8, 2019 @ 9:57 am

    Which is the best java book for in depth understanding of concepts?

    • Avatar

      Mauro Stjohn February 20, 2019 @ 8:11 pm

      Head First Java is the best books for an understanding of concepts in Java. This book explains every topic with graphical representations, images, and exercises also.

  12. Avatar

    Shashank Temburni August 7, 2019 @ 1:53 pm

    Which is the latest version and best book for Core Java and Advanced Java, not only for beginners but also for future purpose.The book you are suggesting should be useful and effective.