Best Java Books and Resources

Choosing the right book or the learning resource is very much important. A good book or resource can help us in getting the best return for the time we invested in it.

Bested on my experience, these are the best available books for learning Java programming. These books will equally help everyone from beginners to competent programmers.

I do not want to confuse anyone with a long list, so I have taken 1-2 books for each area of the important topic we should know.

1. Best Books for Java Basics

1.1. Official Java Reference

Anytime you want to quickly access any java concept online, this should be your first choice. They are enough explanatory and full of knowledge. You may find some problems if you are a beginner because it is reference material and not a step-by-step guide to teach you the concepts, and to make use of this information you first know the basics, right??

1.2. Thinking in Java

This book should be read by every Java programmer. Its exercises are challenging, and tutorials on Collections and concurrency are simply superb. It has lots and lots of example codes and their explanations; which make learning a bit easy.

1.3. Effective Java

Even “James Gosling” recommends this book by saying “I sure wish I had this book ten years ago. Some might think that I don’t need any Java books, but I need this one.”

I will recommend you to go after this book, once you are comfortable in basic java and have spent 1-2 years in actual coding. It’s full of excellent advices; and to consume those advices, you better be prepared.

2. Best Books for Java Concurrency

2.1. Java Concurrency in Practice

I really admire this book and have read its many chapters multiple times. It is surprisingly a good book covering even minor details of java concurrency concepts and explaining them in detail. It also provides you example code for teaching you the correct usage of java threads and its APIs.

3. Generics

3.1. Java Generics by Angelika Langer

This is free reference material available at your disposal for getting knowledge of very important general concepts. An excellent resource. Bookmark it now !!

4. Design Patterns

4.1. Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software

In my view, the Gang of Four is the best book ever written on object-oriented design – possibly of any style of design. The book provides numerous examples where using composition rather than inheritance can improve the reusability and flexibility of code.

I will not recommend this book to you until you’re pretty comfortable with the basic principles of OO design. Even then you may put some effort to grasp correct concepts. But trust me, unlike most books, however, it amply pays that investment.

4.2. UML Distilled

This book is the definitive reference to UML 2.0 diagramming. It will give you a simple solid explanation of how UML works and how you can make most of it. A great resource.

Apart from the above books, I will suggest you browse some good java blogs/forums ( like 🙂 ); and discuss your understanding with others, and argue with others’ understanding of java. Discussion is the single most powerful tool to enhance knowledge.

Happy Learning !!

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9 thoughts on “Best Java Books and Resources”

  1. You should consider books by Cay ( and a book published in the year 2005(??) by James Gosling and other co-authors.

    It is good to start with available book (should not forget to refer official online tutorial as already mentioned by blog author). and one will find his favorite book soon.

    Thinking in Java is good but book from Cay S. Horstmann is always better choice for a novice Java and experienced.

    Though the advantages with googling and blogs cannot be ignored but there more chances of server time loss :-). unless you are landed into a good blogs like or correct google search results. A best training institute or free java introductory course from would help a novice learner.

    (*****) One important note is we need to read and JLS and / or java api documentation ( it could be a step 2 or 3 or another).

    And as every one knows a Java developer’s bookshelf is incomplete with having “Effective Java —- 2nd edition “.
    (*****)A good book is useful only with committed practice (one should write code without doing copy/paste as the blog author already said).

    • typo… “.. more chances of severe time loss with googling …); pls ignore few other typos; I did not find a way to edit it.

  2. i still confused with this question
    the question is:
    String x = new String(“xyz”);

    how many String objects have been created? pls explore this…….

  3. Hi Lokesh. Thanks for your advices. There is wrong hyperlink for the “UML Distilled” book, you’ve specified the same one as for the “Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software”.


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