C programming was developed by Dennis Ritchie between 1969 and 1973. It has since been one of the most widely used programming languages in the world. Since 1989, C has been standardized by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and later by ISO.
C programming is present in the syllabus of most of the engineering colleges in India and in some of the other professional institutes to help students get an affinity towards programming in general and help them with the basics.
Most of the beginners who would like to learn to code will have the question that whether C is still relevant or is learning C programming worth the time and effort. To them, I say C is still a popular language, proven itself to be evergreen through its derivatives C++, Objective- C, C and its derivatives have a monopoly on various fields as it favorably combines functionalism, concurrency, interoperability and performances
C programming can be learned using books, online tutorials etc.
Here are the top 10 best C programming books for anybody to learn, understand and to code in C programming.
List of Top 10 best C programming books
These books will benefit beginners, amateurs, professionals and experts in dealing with C efficiently and to experience the power of C programming.
- The C programming Language
Authored by B.W. Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie who developed the C language. This is a must read for all who wants better insights into C. In this book, control flow, constructors, data structures and operators have been discussed to provide the reader with a better understanding.
But there are some areas of discussion which might confuse beginners, so most of the people who learned C recommend this be your second book to read after a simple read book to understand the basics.
This book helps you to understand the importance of proper comments, reuse of code and learning and mastering a better programming style. Concepts are all discussed with proper examples which can help coders master C.
- Absolute Beginner’s Guide to C
This book is authored by Greg Perry and has been written for people who haven’t written a single line of code in their entire life. For a beginner, this book is perfect as it explains very basic stuff like I/O functions (printf(), Scanf()) and then moves on towards complex stuff like data structures, loops, creating functions etc.
The book is simple and clear to understand and follows a specific instructions scheme suitable for beginners. Even the basic stuff like syntax and notations have been discussed in detail for students to learn and understand.
- C programming :A modern approach
This book follows a different approach towards learning C and is authored by K.N. King. As the programming has undergone some changes over the years, in this book all those changes have been enlisted properly and effectively like token concatenation. This book makes you think of your own solution for a given problem rather than spoon feeding it directly. Examples given in the book are written in pure C to make it portable and effective.
- Expert C programming :Deep C Secrets
This is not a book for beginners. Authored by Peter V. Linden, this book is for experts who are trying to gain insights into high level C concepts. Not only does it highlight some of the best techniques which are used by experts, it is written in an entertaining manner also exhibiting writer’s expertise. This book defies some standard practices and includes some practical tips which can be put to use immediately by the coders.
- C Primer Plaza
Authored by Stephen Prata, this book is a self help guide to get all the possible explanations of programming concepts in C. It has short examples after different concepts which make it easier to understand topics like Functions, Pointers etc. Book covers the ANSI standard, C99 and can be helpful to understand the core concepts which can later be used to study JAVA or PHP.
- The Complete Reference
Written by Herbert Schildt, this book gives one an in depth coverage of the latest features of C programming, The peculiarity of this book is the wide range of examples it has provided along with sample applications. This is a very popular book.
- Programming in ANSI C
This is the book that is used by lecturers and teachers to teach students as the concepts are given with clarity, lot of examples and lavish comments. Authored by E. Balaguruswamy, this book is perfect for students, beginners to get the ideas and concept of C. This book is very popular in India for its simplicity and abundance of examples.
- Let us C
Authored by Yashawant Kanetkar, this is another popular bestselling book in India on C programming. The USP of this book is the examples present at the end of each chapter which helps in clarifying the concept and instills the idea firmly in the student’s mind.
- Head First C
Authored by David Griffiths, this provides a complete learning and structured imperative programming for C language. This helps you become a great programmer in C by helping you learn the basics as well as the advanced topics with suitable examples which guide you to code better and be a efficient programmer.
- C How to program
Authored by Harvey Deitel and Paul Deitel, this book has a comprehensive introduction, beginner source of information for C. This book has a ‘Live code’ approach which means you can try the examples as the concepts are not provided in incomplete snippets but working examples so the application part of the programming will also be understood by the students(or learners).
As you study each program, you can run it and see how it applies to real world programming scenarios by which the exposure obtained for coders is massive. This is book is the best for professionals and students who are embarking on a career in coding with programming in C.
All these books can guide you through your journey to be a better programmer, but if you want to be proficient in C or in any language, you must work hard, practice, solve examples, solve problems, make mistakes but never give up.
Do keep this in mind:-
“An expert is a person who has found out by his own painful experience all the mistakes that one can make in a very narrow field.”- Niels Bohr