36 Best Books on C Programming

We have compiled a list of Best Reference Books on C Programming. These books are used by students of top universities, institutes and colleges. Here is the full list of C Programming books with their authors, publishers, and an unbiased review of them. This will help you choose the right book depending on if you are a beginner or an expert in this topic. We have also provided amazon links to purchase these books from their website.

The C programming language is a compiled & procedural language, which means that people can write their programs as a series of step-by-step instructions. The reason most experienced C Programmers recommend reading books for learning the C programming language is because the books contain in-depth and authentic knowledge. We have compiled the list of C Best Books which are used by beginners and advanced programmers.

Here’s a full list of C Programming Books with their authors, publishers, and an unbiased review of books as well as links to the Amazon website to directly purchase these books.

  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

1."Let Us C" by Yashwant Kanetkar

2."Computer Basics and C Programming" by Rajaraman V
“Computer Basics and C Programming” by Rajaraman V is useful to students of all the branches in engineering and Technology. It contains a number of algorithms to understand the language in an easy way. It explains the techniques of all the concepts. The book “Computer Basics and C Programming” explains C and its basic programming techniques for beginners. It helps students have a solid foundation in algorithms to help them 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 useful to learn C Language. It explains what the C programming language involves, how to write conditions, expressions, statements, and even commands, for the language to perform its functions efficiently. It also teaches us how to compile and execute the C Program. “C Programming Language” book introduces the readers to the most commonly used programming language, C.

4."Programming in C" by Reema Thareja
“Programming in C” by Reema Thareja explains C Programming with a number of case studies. The book “Programming in C” starts with an introduction to C programming and then dives into an in-depth analysis of various constructs of C. It also includes key topics like iterative and decision-control statements, functions, arrays, strings, pointers, structures and unions, file management, and pre-processor directives also explains the fundamental concepts of various data structures such as linked lists, stacks, queues, trees, and graphs.

5."The C Programming Language" by Brian W Kernighan / Dennis Ritchie
“The C Programming Language” by Brian W Kernighan / Dennis Ritchie contains the ANSI standard C Language. It explains the set of operators and data structures of C Language. The book “The C Programming Language” explains the concepts related to C Programming language, as prescribed by ANSI standard. The book briefs on the basics of procedure-oriented programming and the fundamentals of writing C codes. It covers aspects like functions and loops, learning which will help beginners to code elementary level codes properly.

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 useful for both beginners and advanced programmers. It contains 310 programs and 450 exercises. It gives many tips and hints for programmers. The book “C in Depth” explains all the topics in-depth without compromising the lucidity of the text and programs. The well-structured programs are easily understandable by beginners and useful for experienced programmers. It explains all the basic concepts and doesn’t assume that you know how to program.

2."Programming in ANSI C" by E Balgurusamy
“Programming in ANSI C” by E Balgurusamy has written this book based on the “Outcome-based Learning approach”. The book explains all the essential topics in C-Language such as Data-types, function, structures, pointers, Graphics programming in C and many more. Examples are provided for all the concepts. This book has practical ideas & Applications of the concepts we learn. This book offers QR codes for accessing the exercise questions and interactive simulation videos over the internet. Each chapter winds up with a Summary (points to remember). In the end, the author delivers tips on C language-based UNIX programming. This book is a useful resource for a person who wishes to build up a strong knowledge in 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 covers the entire concepts of programming and problem-solving through “C” language, in clear and simple style.

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 contains all the fundamental topics of C and its applications. It explains bitwise operators, arguments, and memory models. The book has a lot of examples, questions, and exercises. The book “Programming in C (Oxford Higher Education)” covers various topics like the Basic concepts of programming, arrays, strings, functions, pointers, and data structures. The book also contains separate chapters on linked lists and stacks, queues, and trees, 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 helpful for the students who are attending interviews. This book explains the Data structures and Algorithms. It contains multiple-choice questions, programming theory, and aptitude. “Cracking the C++ and Java Interview” book is very useful for candidates trying to crack interviews for C, C++ & Java programmers. It explains today’s cutting-edge interview techniques and tricky questions.

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: The author focuses on Abstract Data types (ADTs) and Algorithms analysis using C in this book. The book explains crucial concepts such as Hashing, Heaps, Trees, Lists, graphs and many more. The book has plenty of exercises for practising at each chapter-end with solutions manual provided over the internet. A summary is provided at the end of each chapter to recall the learned topics. For UG students with knowledge on topics like pointers, recursion and discrete maths this book serves as a good reference to study algorithm analysis and advanced data structures.

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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 the Data structures and algorithm design by using Problem-solving methods. To maintain uniformity in code Programs are coded based on Data abstraction in mind. Stacks, Queues, Linked lists, Trees and Graphs are elaborately explained in individual chapters. Concepts are illustrated using sketches. The key feature of the book is integrating topics with Real-time ‘Case studies.’ Modern important topics like splay trees, red-black trees, amortized algorithm analysis are covered. Exercises, programming projects ideas section is at every chapter-end. The book is a useful reference for Students and enthusiasts Learning DataStructure & Algorithm.

8."The C Programming Language" by Brian W Kernighan
“The C Programming Language” Book Review: This book is written based on the finalised ANSI standard for C Language. The book starts with basic concepts in a beginner-friendly way. Concepts like Flow control, Functions, Pointers, Structures are explained elaborately. Each topic is depicted clearly with Example programs. Exercises are given at the end of the chapters to understand the concepts better. The author describes how to use C’s rich set of operations. This book is suitable for beginners and intermediates who are in the path of learning C Language.

9."C Programming: A Modern Approach" by K N King
“C Programming: A Modern Approach” Book Review: This book is based on C99 ANSI C standard with student-friendly explanations. As the name suggests, this book covers all modern topics like Linked list, Error handling, Dynamic programs and many more. The book is filled with examples and exercises to induce high-level thinking. The unique features are the Q&A section and Programming Project section. This book is a useful reference for every C programmer. The author closes the book by giving add-on information like Standard Library Function and ASCII Character sets in the Appendix section.

10."Data Structure Using C" by A K Sharma
“Data Structure Using C” Book Review: The books open with Overview of C covering all the essential concepts in C. Concepts are illustrated with diagrams. The author starts explaining the Data Structure concepts from the second chapter. All chapters include examples and Exercises. All programs in this book are tested in Turbo C. Data structure topics like searching, sorting, Linked lists, queue, stack, trees and many more were undoubtedly narrated. This book is a suitable reference for UG and MCA students.

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11."Algorithms in C Parts 1-4" by Robert Sedgewick
“Algorithms in C Parts 1-4” Book Review: The Parts 1 – 4 of this book covers fundamentals, data structures, sorting and searching concepts with C implementation. The innovative pictorial representations and comments features enhance the Presentation of the book. The fundamental data structures, like linked lists, trees, and graphs are explained in a detailed manner. The book is compiled with over 100 algorithms and 1000 exercises for better understanding of concepts. The programs in this book are not larger than one page, so it is easy to understand. As the author mainly focuses on Algorithms and ADTs, Students or enthusiasts who are learning algorithms can find useful information in this book.

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 explains Data structures and algorithms by only using Pseudocode. This book mainly focuses on Data Structures. The book covers Linear ADTs, Non-linear ADTs, Sorting and Searching Algorithms. This book lets the readers graphically visualize the Pseudocode, which gives a better understanding of concepts. Each chapter ends with a summary to recall the important points, and the summary is followed up by three Practice sets; Exercise, Problems(takes 2-3 hrs), and Projects(takes 6-9 hrs) to get a deep knowledge. This book is useful when one is going to start learning data structures.

13."The C Programming Language" by B W Kernighan and D M Ritchie
“The C Programming Language” Book Review: The book serves as a comprehensive guide to ANSI standard C language programming. Readers can learn to take advantage of C’s set of operators, economy of expression, improved control flow, and data structures. Syntax notation, declarations, ANSI changes, scope rules, etc. of C language are discussed in detail. Numerous examples and exercises are provided to practice implementation of difficult language constructs. This book is suitable for C programmers, ANSI compilers, and students.

14."C Programming Language" by Brian W Kerighan and Dennis M Ritchie
“C Programming Language” Book Review: This book acts as a starting point for those wanting to start writing codes. It contains an introduction chapter where a brief description of what programs are covered in the book is provided. Chapters are devoted to topics like The preprocessor, guidelines for developing C program, Linked List and how to implement them in C and many more. It is for students studying engineering and also for those starting out on software engineering jobs.


4. Objective C Programming

1."Objective-C Programming" by Aaron Hillegass
“Objective-C Programming” Book Review: The main objective of this book is to introduce programming as well as the objective-C language. The initial chapters of the book feature Xcode, Apple’s documentation, and other tools, objects, classes, methods, messages, pointers, addresses, memory management with ARC, and properties and key-value coding. Moving on to programming basics, topics like variables, loops, functions, categories, classes from the Foundation framework, blocks, delegation, target-action, notification design patterns, key-Value Observing (KVO), and runtime basics. The book will be suitable for aspiring developers and programmers.

2."Programming in Objective-C" by Stephen G Kochan
“Programming in Objective-C” Book Review: The book describes the fundamentals of Objective-C and object-oriented programming for Apple’s iOS and OS X platforms. It will be suitable for both beginners and experienced programmers of object-oriented programming languages or C language, as it covers all the basic topics and concepts before moving to advanced and complicated ones. The book is divided into three sections featuring, objective-c language, foundation framework, as well as cocoa, cocoa touch, and the iOS SDK, respectively. Many practical examples describing implementation and application of Objective-C in day-to-day lives are included in this text.

3."Objective-C Programming For Dummies" by Neal Goldstein
“Objective-C Programming For Dummies” Book Review: The book covers each and every aspect of Objective-C, hence providing readers with a strong foundation in programming. It is a well-structured and easy-to-understand piece of writing. The chapters of this book cover various topics like Xcode, debugging, and code completion. The complex and advanced topics of Objective-C are explained in a compact and precise manner. The latest standards for Objective-C and Apple programming are featured in this text. The book will be beneficial for the beginners and students pursuing their career in iPhone, iPad, and Mac OS X development.

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: The book aims at introducing the Objective-C language that is used to create Apps for the iPhone and iPad. The chapters of this book are written for helping non-programmers in understanding various concepts of programming language. The topics of this book are ascended in easy to complex fashion. The concepts featured in this book are followed by a series of instructions to build an App that shows the real-world application of Objective-C programming. The content of this book can be applied to the latest iOS technologies namely, iOS 7 and Xcode 5. The book consists of plenty of exercises along with a movie that demonstrates the solutions of exercise.

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 in featuring various processes for writing code that is easy to understand, maintain, and improve. It illustrates lesser-known Objective-C facts, pitfalls, and intricacies that have a powerful impact on code behavior and performance. The topics like modern system libraries, arrays, dictionaries, sets, cocoa and cocoa touch frameworks are thoroughly explained. The chapters of this book cover major topics related to optimizing interactions, relationships between Objective-C objects, mastering interface and API design, protocols and categories, Automatic Reference Counting (ARC), and Blocks and grand central dispatch. The differences between Objective-C protocols and multiple inheritances in various languages are featured. The book is supported with objective-C practices, tips, shortcuts, real-world examples, and realistic code examples.

6."Ry's Objective-C Tutorial" by Ryan Hodson
“Ry’s Objective-C Tutorial” Book Review: The book will be an excellent resource for the beginners in the field of programming. The chapters of this book are well-written describing each feature in understandable steps. The complex programming concepts are explained with the help of hands-on examples. Many tools for maintaining large, scalable frameworks are included in this text. The book highlights language constructs, memory-management techniques and many built-in Objective-C data types such as NSNumber, NSArray, and NSDate. The book aims at covering all the aspects of programming language.

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 reflects the use of Objective-C in constructing program logic and synthesizing it all into working apps. It begins with an introduction to the fundamentals of computer programming namely, variables, design data structures, and file systems. Moving further, the topics like classes, objects, and methods are discussed. The book enables the readers to install Xcode, write programs in Objective-C, make OS X applications, and iOS apps. The book will be suitable for every individual interested in learning programming language as well as in developing apps for the iPhone, iPad, Mac.

8."Beginning Objective C Programming" by Peter Paul
“Beginning Objective C Programming” Book Review: The book focuses on presenting all the necessary concepts of Objective C programming in a well-structured manner. The chapters begin with the description of processes of installing Xcode and feature topics like variables, If-Else Statements, object, methods, Managing Multiple Objects, and NSString Comparisons. The important features and concepts of programming language like loops and arrays are mentioned. The book helps readers in building their first iPad, iPhone, and Mac App. The featured concepts and topics are explained with the help of suitable examples. The book will be a great source of information for non-programmers and beginners.

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 starts with setting up a C environment and covers topics like syntax and idioms, compilation, files, linkers, operators, variables, data types, program control, arrays, strings, functions, pointers, structures, memory allocation, and I/O and files. Moving on, the topics like libraries, data structures, linked lists, sort, search, stacks, queues, debugging, defensive coding, automated testing, fixing stack overflows, and illegal memory access are thoroughly explained. The final section of the book features the processes of breaking and hacking one’s own C code. The content of this book is illustrated with the help of several exercises. Many practical projects are featured for explaining complex concepts and developing 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 famous scientists in the field of academics and industry and covers the basic concepts related to mathematics and computer science along with many working routines. This book is mostly known for scientific computing and has around 400 routines on numerical recipes and the book also adopts object oriented style for demonstrating scientific applications. The book contains upgraded routines as well. The book also contains chapters on Gaussian mixture models, hierarchical clustering, polygons, triangles, squares and many other statistical distributions.

11."Mastering Algorithms with C" by Kyle Loudon
Book Review: The book presents common programming techniques along with their implementations thereby presenting examples of algorithms and data structures.The book demonstrates the usage of lists, queues, stacks, heaps, graphs and priority queues. The book also provides implementation of sorting and searching algorithms, data encryption and compression, numerical analysis and computational geometry. The book also contains chapters on encryption and compression concepts along with examples wherever necessary. The other chapters covered in the book are recursion, pointers, algorithm and data structures 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”.

Kindly note that we have put a lot of effort into researching the best books on the C Programming subject and came out with a recommended list of the top 10 C books. If any more book needs to be added to the list of best books on C Programming Language, please let us know.

If any more book needs to be added to this list, please let us know.

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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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