36 Best Books on C Programming

We have compiled a list of the Best Reference Books on C Programming, which are used by students of top universities, and colleges. This will help you choose the right book depending on if you are a beginner or an expert. Here is the complete list of C Programming Books with their authors, publishers, and an unbiased review of them as well as links to the Amazon website to directly purchase them. If permissible, you can also download the free PDF books on C Programming below.

  1. C Programming Books for Beginners
  2. Advanced C Programming Books
  3. Data Structures and Algorithms in C
  4. Objective C Programming
  5. Popular C Programming Books
  6. C Programming Resources
  7. Additional Recommendations

1. C Programming Books for Beginners

5."The C Programming Language" by Brian W Kernighan / Dennis Ritchie
“The C Programming Language” by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie is a book that focuses on the ANSI standard C Language. As we know that Kernighan and Ritchie were the inventor of C programming language, this book is most authoritative book for the learners of C language, and is suitable for all – beginners, intermediate and advanced users. It provides an explanation of the different operators and data structures used in C Language. It introduces the basics of procedure-oriented programming and the fundamentals of writing C codes. The book also covers topics like functions and loops, which are important for beginners to learn and write simple codes effectively.

2."Computer Basics and C Programming" by Rajaraman V
This book is useful to students of all branches in engineering and technology. It provides algorithms to understand the language in an easy way and explains the techniques of all the concepts. The book “Computer Basics and C Programming” specifically focuses on C and its basic programming techniques, making it suitable for beginners. It helps students develop a solid foundation in algorithms, enabling them to grasp the overall concepts of C programming.

3."C Programming: Language: A Step by Step Beginner's Guide to Learn C Programming in 7 Days" by Darrel L Graham
“C Programming: Language: A Step by Step Beginner’s Guide to Learn C Programming in 7 Days” by Darrel L Graham is a helpful book for learning the C programming language. It explains the basics of C programming, including how to write conditions, expressions, statements, and commands to make the language work effectively. It also teaches how to compile and run C programs. This book serves as an introduction to C, which is a widely used programming language. It is designed for beginners who want to learn C programming.

4."Programming in C" by Reema Thareja
“Programming in C” by Reema Thareja is a book that teaches C programming through case studies. The book begins with an introduction to C programming and then explores different aspects of C in detail. It covers important topics such as loops, if statements, functions, arrays, strings, pointers, structures, unions, file management, and pre-processor directives. The book also explains the basic concepts of data structures like linked lists, stacks, queues, trees, and graphs. It is a comprehensive guide for learning C programming and understanding various programming concepts.

1."Let Us C" by Yashwant Kanetkar


2. Advanced C Programming Books

1."C in Depth" by Deepali Srivastava and S K Srivastava
“C in Depth” by Deepali Srivastava and S K Srivastava is a helpful book for both beginners and advanced programmers. It includes 310 programs and 450 exercises, providing ample practice opportunities. The book offers valuable tips and hints for programmers to enhance their skills. “C in Depth” explains each topic in a detailed manner, ensuring clarity without sacrificing the simplicity of the text and programs. The well-organized programs are easily understandable for beginners and beneficial for experienced programmers. The book covers all the essential concepts, making it accessible even if you have no prior programming knowledge.

2."Programming in ANSI C" by E Balgurusamy
“Programming in ANSI C” by E Balgurusamy follows the “Outcome-based Learning approach” to simplify the learning process. The book covers all the important topics in C-Language, including data types, functions, structures, pointers, and graphics programming. Each concept is explained with examples for better understanding. The book also provides practical ideas and applications of the learned concepts. QR codes are included to access exercise questions and interactive simulation videos online. Each chapter concludes with a summary to recap key points. The author also shares tips on C language-based UNIX programming. This book is a valuable resource for anyone looking to develop a strong understanding of C Language.

3."O-Level Made Simple: Programming and Problem Solving Through C Language" by Shashi Singh and Madhulika Jain
“O-Level Made Simple: Programming and Problem Solving Through C Language” by Shashi Singh and Madhulika Jain is a user-friendly guide for beginners in programming. The book covers various topics such as data types, operators, control statements, functions, arrays, strings, file handling, and problem-solving techniques using the C language. Each chapter includes practical examples and exercises to enhance understanding. The book’s clear explanations and step-by-step approach make it easy to grasp fundamental programming concepts. It is an excellent resource for students preparing for O-Level exams or anyone interested in learning programming using the C language.

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4."Programming in C (Oxford Higher Education)" by Pradip Dey and Manas Ghosh
“Programming in C (Oxford Higher Education)” by Pradip Dey and Manas Ghosh is a comprehensive guide that covers the fundamental topics of C programming and their practical applications. The book explains concepts like bitwise operators, arguments, and memory models in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. It includes numerous examples, questions, and exercises to help readers practice and reinforce their learning. The book covers a wide range of topics including basic programming concepts, arrays, strings, functions, pointers, and data structures. It also provides dedicated chapters on linked lists, stacks, queues, and trees, along with their implementation in C.

5."Programming Languages C with Practicals" by Ananthi Sheshasaayee and Sheshasaayee

6."Cracking the C, C++ and Java Interview" by S G Ganesh and K U Subhash
“Cracking the C++ and Java Interview” by S G Ganesh and K U Subhash is a valuable resource for students preparing for job interviews. The book focuses on the topics of Data structures and Algorithms, providing explanations and insights. It includes multiple-choice questions, programming theory, and aptitude questions to help students practice and improve their skills. “Cracking the C++ and Java Interview” is particularly beneficial for candidates aiming to excel in interviews for C, C++, and Java programming roles. The book also covers the latest interview techniques and addresses challenging questions that candidates may encounter during the interview process.

3. Data Structures and Algorithms in C

1."Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in C" by Mark Allen Weiss
“Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in C” Book Review: In this book, the author emphasizes the utilization of C for Abstract Data Types (ADTs) and algorithm analysis. The book comprehensively explains important concepts including Hashing, Heaps, Trees, Lists, graphs, and more. Each chapter concludes with ample exercises for practice, and a solutions manual is available online. A summary is provided at the end of each chapter to aid in reviewing the learned topics. Targeted towards undergraduate students with prior knowledge of pointers, recursion, and discrete mathematics, this book serves as a valuable reference for studying algorithm analysis and advanced data structures.

2."Data Structure Through C" by Yashavant P Kanetkar
3."Data Structures Through C in Depth" by Deepali Srivastava and S K Srivastava
4."Problem Solving in Data Structures and Algorithms Using C: The Ultimate Guide to Programming Interviews" by Hemant Jain
5."Data Structures and Algorithms in C" by Adam Drozdek
6."Advanced Topics in C: Core Concepts in Data Structures" by Noel Kalicharan
7."Data Structures and Program Design in C" by Kruse Robert L
“Data Structures and Program Design in C” Book Review: The book explains data structures and algorithm design using problem-solving methods. Programs in the book are coded with data abstraction in mind to maintain code uniformity. Individual chapters provide elaborate explanations of stacks, queues, linked lists, trees, and graphs. Concepts are illustrated using sketches. The book also integrates real-time case studies, highlighting their relevance. It covers important topics like splay trees, red-black trees, and amortized algorithm analysis. Each chapter includes exercises and programming project ideas. This book serves as a useful reference for students and enthusiasts learning data structures and algorithms.

8."The C Programming Language" by Brian W Kernighan
“The C Programming Language” Book Review: This book follows the established ANSI standard for the C Language. It begins by introducing basic concepts in a beginner-friendly manner. Detailed explanations are provided for topics such as flow control, functions, pointers, and structures. Each concept is accompanied by clear examples that aid in understanding. The book also includes exercises at the end of each chapter to reinforce comprehension. The author effectively illustrates how to utilize C’s extensive set of operations. Designed for beginners and intermediates on their journey to learn C Language, this book serves as a valuable resource.

9."C Programming: A Modern Approach" by K N King
“C Programming: A Modern Approach” Book Review: This book follows the C99 ANSI C standard and provides explanations that are easy for students to understand. It covers a wide range of modern topics, including linked lists, error handling, dynamic programming, and more. The book is enriched with numerous examples and exercises designed to promote higher-level thinking. Notably, it includes unique sections dedicated to Q&A and programming projects. As a valuable reference for C programmers, the book concludes with additional information in the appendix, such as the standard library functions and ASCII character sets.

10."Data Structure Using C" by A K Sharma
“Data Structure Using C” Book Review: The book begins with an overview of C, providing a comprehensive understanding of the essential concepts. Diagrams are used to illustrate these concepts effectively. Starting from the second chapter, the author delves into explaining data structure concepts. Each chapter includes examples and exercises to reinforce learning. All the programs in the book have been tested in Turbo C. The book covers various data structure topics, including searching, sorting, linked lists, queues, stacks, trees, and more. With its comprehensive coverage, this book serves as a valuable reference for undergraduate (UG) and Master of Computer Applications (MCA) students.

11."Algorithms in C Parts 1-4" by Robert Sedgewick
“Algorithms in C Parts 1-4” Book Review: This book is divided into four parts, covering the fundamentals, data structures, sorting, and searching concepts, all implemented in C. The presentation of the book is enhanced by innovative pictorial representations and insightful comments. The fundamental data structures, such as linked lists, trees, and graphs, are explained in detail. With over 100 algorithms and 1000 exercises, the book offers ample opportunities for a thorough understanding of the concepts. Each program in the book is concise and fits within a single page, making it easily comprehensible. With a primary focus on algorithms and Abstract Data Types (ADTs), this book is a valuable resource for students and enthusiasts delving into the study of algorithms.

12."Data Structures: A Pseudocode Approach with C" by Richard F Gilberg and Behrouz A Forouzan
“Data Structures: A Pseudocode Approach with C” Book Review: This book provides a comprehensive exploration of data structures and algorithms using pseudocode as the primary language. Its main focus is on data structures, covering linear ADTs, non-linear ADTs, sorting, and searching algorithms. One of the unique features of this book is its graphical visualization of pseudocode, which aids in better comprehension of the concepts. Each chapter concludes with a summary that serves as a quick review of the important points. Additionally, there are three practice sets: exercises, problems (taking 2-3 hours), and projects (taking 6-9 hours), allowing readers to deepen their understanding of the subject matter. This book serves as a valuable resource for those embarking on their journey of learning data structures.

13."The C Programming Language" by B W Kernighan and D M Ritchie
“The C Programming Language” Book Review: This book is a comprehensive guide to programming in ANSI standard C language. It covers various aspects such as utilizing C’s operators, efficient expression handling, enhanced control flow, and data structures. The book provides detailed explanations of syntax notation, declarations, ANSI changes, and scope rules in the C language. Ample examples and exercises are included to help readers practice implementing complex language constructs. It is an ideal resource for C programmers, those using ANSI compilers, and students seeking a thorough understanding of the language.

14."C Programming Language" by Brian W Kerighan and Dennis M Ritchie
“C Programming Language” Book Review: This book serves as an excellent introduction for individuals interested in coding. It begins with an introductory chapter that provides a brief overview of the covered programs. Subsequent chapters delve into various topics, including the preprocessor, guidelines for C program development, implementation of linked lists in C, and more. The book caters to both engineering students and those embarking on software engineering careers, making it a valuable resource for beginners in the field.

4. Objective C Programming

1."Objective-C Programming" by Aaron Hillegass
“Objective-C Programming” Book Review: The primary focus of this book is to provide an introduction to programming and the Objective-C language. The initial chapters cover essential aspects such as Xcode, Apple’s documentation, tools, objects, classes, methods, messages, pointers, addresses, memory management with ARC, and properties and key-value coding. As the book progresses, it delves into programming fundamentals, including variables, loops, functions, categories, classes from the Foundation framework, blocks, delegation, target-action, notification design patterns, key-Value Observing (KVO), and runtime basics. This book is designed to be beneficial for aspiring developers and programmers looking to build a strong foundation in Objective-C.

2."Programming in Objective-C" by Stephen G Kochan
“Programming in Objective-C” Book Review: This book provides a comprehensive overview of Objective-C and object-oriented programming for Apple’s iOS and OS X platforms. It caters to both beginners and experienced programmers familiar with object-oriented programming languages or C. The book covers all the fundamental topics and concepts before progressing to advanced and complex ones, making it accessible to a wide range of readers. The content is divided into three sections, focusing on the Objective-C language, the Foundation framework, and Cocoa, Cocoa Touch, and the iOS SDK, respectively. Throughout the book, numerous practical examples illustrate the implementation and real-world applications of Objective-C, offering valuable insights into its day-to-day usage.

3."Objective-C Programming For Dummies" by Neal Goldstein
“Objective-C Programming For Dummies” Book Review: This comprehensive book covers all aspects of Objective-C, ensuring that readers establish a solid programming foundation. Its well-structured and reader-friendly approach facilitates easy comprehension. Each chapter delves into various topics, including Xcode, debugging, and code completion. The book concisely explains complex and advanced Objective-C concepts, providing a comprehensive understanding. It also incorporates the latest standards for Objective-C and Apple programming. Designed with beginners and students pursuing iPhone, iPad, and Mac OS X development in mind, this book serves as a valuable resource throughout their programming journey.

4."Flying with Objective-C - iOS App Development for Non-Programmers" by Kevin J McNeish
“Flying with Objective-C – iOS App Development for Non-Programmers” Book Review: This book serves as an introduction to Objective-C, the programming language used for creating iPhone and iPad apps. Written with non-programmers in mind, the chapters gradually guide readers through various programming concepts. The topics are presented in an easy-to-complex manner, allowing for a smooth learning progression. Each concept is accompanied by step-by-step instructions for building an app, showcasing the practical application of Objective-C programming in real-world scenarios. The content of this book is applicable to the latest iOS technologies, including iOS 7 and Xcode 5. To reinforce learning, the book offers numerous exercises and provides a movie that demonstrates the exercise solutions.

5."Effective Objective-C 2.0: 52 Specific Ways to Improve Your iOS and OS X Programs" by Matt Galloway
“Effective Objective-C 2.0: 52 Specific Ways to Improve Your iOS and OS X Programs” Book Review: The book aims to provide insights into writing clear, maintainable, and efficient code. It delves into lesser-known facts, pitfalls, and intricacies of Objective-C that significantly impact code behavior and performance. Thorough explanations are provided for topics such as modern system libraries, arrays, dictionaries, sets, cocoa and cocoa touch frameworks. Each chapter covers important subjects related to optimizing interactions, understanding relationships between Objective-C objects, mastering interface and API design, working with protocols and categories, leveraging Automatic Reference Counting (ARC), and utilizing Blocks and grand central dispatch. The book also highlights the distinctions between Objective-C protocols and multiple inheritances found in other programming languages. It is supported by objective-C best practices, helpful tips, time-saving shortcuts, real-world examples, and realistic code samples.

6."Ry's Objective-C Tutorial" by Ryan Hodson
“Ry’s Objective-C Tutorial” Book Review: This book serves as a useful resource for beginners entering the field of programming. Each chapter is carefully crafted to describe features in clear and understandable steps. Complex programming concepts are illustrated using hands-on examples, aiding comprehension and practical application. The text incorporates numerous tools essential for managing large and scalable frameworks. Key topics covered include language constructs, memory management techniques, and an exploration of built-in Objective-C data types like NSNumber, NSArray, and NSDate. With its comprehensive approach, the book aims to cover all aspects of the programming language, providing a solid foundation for aspiring programmers.

7."Objective-C for Absolute Beginners: iPhone, iPad and Mac Programming Made Easy" by Gary Bennett and Brad Lees
“Objective-C for Absolute Beginners: iPhone, iPad and Mac Programming Made Easy” Book Review: The book showcases the utilization of Objective-C in constructing program logic and translating it into functional applications. It starts by introducing the fundamentals of computer programming, including variables, designing data structures, and file systems. Progressing from there, it delves into topics such as classes, objects, and methods. The book equips readers with the skills to install Xcode, write Objective-C programs, create applications for OS X, and develop apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

8."Beginning Objective C Programming" by Peter Paul
“Beginning Objective C Programming” Book Review: The book adopts a systematic approach to present the essential concepts of Objective-C programming. It starts by providing guidance on installing Xcode and gradually introduces topics such as variables, If-Else statements, objects, methods, managing multiple objects, and NSString comparisons. It also covers important programming language features like loops and arrays. Throughout the book, readers are guided in building their first iPad, iPhone, and Mac app, with concepts and topics illustrated through relevant examples. Designed to cater to non-programmers and beginners, this book serves as an invaluable resource, offering a well-structured and accessible introduction to Objective-C programming.

9."Learn C the Hard Way: Practical Exercises on the Computational Subjects You Keep Avoiding" by Zed A Shaw
“Learn C the Hard Way: Practical Exercises on the Computational Subjects You Keep Avoiding” Book Review: The book begins by providing guidance on setting up a C programming environment and proceeds to cover a wide range of topics including syntax and idioms, compilation, files, linkers, operators, variables, data types, program control, arrays, strings, functions, pointers, structures, memory allocation, and I/O and files. It then delves into libraries, data structures, linked lists, sorting, searching, stacks, queues, debugging, defensive coding, automated testing, fixing stack overflows, and handling illegal memory access. The final section of the book explores the intriguing aspects of breaking and hacking one’s own C code. Throughout the book, numerous exercises are included to reinforce the concepts, and practical projects are featured to demonstrate complex ideas and enhance the development of new skills.

10."Numerical Recipes in C: The Art of Scientific Computing" by W H Press and B P Flannary
Book Review: This book is written by four well-known scientists who have expertise in academics and industry. It explains the fundamental concepts of mathematics and computer science and provides practical examples. The book is widely recognized for its scientific computing content and includes approximately 400 routines for numerical recipes. It also showcases scientific applications using an object-oriented approach. The book includes updated routines and covers various topics like Gaussian mixture models, hierarchical clustering, polygons, triangles, squares, and various statistical distributions.

11."Mastering Algorithms with C" by Kyle Loudon
Book Review: The book explores common programming techniques and their implementations, demonstrating examples of algorithms and data structures. It covers the usage of lists, queues, stacks, heaps, graphs, and priority queues. The book also includes implementations of sorting and searching algorithms, as well as coverage of data encryption and compression, numerical analysis, and computational geometry. Additional chapters focus on recursion, pointers, algorithm and data structure analysis, geometric and graph algorithms, and data encryption and compression methods.

5. Popular C Programming Books

1. C Programming Absolute Beginner’s Guide Book
2. Head First C Book
3. The C Programming Language 2nd Edition Book
4. The C Programming Language 3rd Edition Book
5. Clean Code Book by Robert C Martin
6. Programming with C Book by Byron Gottfried
7. Data Structures in C Book
8. Programming in C Book by Stephen G Kochan

You can buy these additional reference books on C Programming from “Amazon USA” OR “Amazon India”.

We have put a lot of effort into researching the best books on C Programming and came out with a recommended list and their reviews. If any more book needs to be added to this list, please email us. We are working on free pdf downloads for books on C Programming and will publish the download link here. Fill out this C Programming books pdf download" request form for download notification.

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Manish Bhojasia, a technology veteran with 20+ years @ Cisco & Wipro, is Founder and CTO at Sanfoundry. He lives in Bangalore, and focuses on development of Linux Kernel, SAN Technologies, Advanced C, Data Structures & Alogrithms. Stay connected with him at LinkedIn.

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