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  1. #1
    InunoTaishou's Avatar
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    The Definitive C++ Book Guide and List

    This topic is based on the stackoverflow's The Definitive C++ Book Guide and List post. There is no recommended order in which to read these books, so pick whatever you would like, or whatever you're comfortable with.

    Beginner

    Introductory, no previous programming experience
    • Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++ (Bjarne Stroustrup) (updated for C++11/C++14) An introduction to programming using C++ by the creator of the language. A good read, that assumes no previous programming experience, but is not only for beginners.

    Introductory, with previous programming experience
    • C++ Primer* (Stanley Lippman, Josée Lajoie, and Barbara E. Moo) (updated for C++11) Coming at 1k pages, this is a very thorough introduction into C++ that covers just about everything in the language in a very accessible format and in great detail. The fifth edition (released August 16, 2012) covers C++11. [Review]
    • A Tour of C++ (Bjarne Stroustrup) The "tour" is a quick (about 180 pages and 14 chapters) tutorial overview of all of standard C++ (language and standard library, and using C++11) at a moderately high level for people who already know C++ or at least are experienced programmers. This book is an extended version of the material that constitutes Chapters 2-5 of The C++ Programming Language, 4th edition.
    • Accelerated C++ (Andrew Koenig and Barbara Moo) This basically covers the same ground as the C++ Primer, but does so on a fourth of its space. This is largely because it does not attempt to be an introduction to programming, but an introduction to C++ for people who've previously programmed in some other language. It has a steeper learning curve, but, for those who can cope with this, it is a very compact introduction into the language. (Historically, it broke new ground by being the first beginner's book to use a modern approach at teaching the language.) [Review]
    • Thinking in C++ (Bruce Eckel) Two volumes; is a tutorial style free set of intro level books. Downloads: vol 1, vol 2. Unfortunately they’re marred by a number of trivial errors (e.g. maintaining that temporaries are automatically const), with no official errata list. A partial 3rd party errata list is available at (https://www.computersciencelab.com/Eckel.htm), but it’s apparently not maintained.
    * Not to be confused with C++ Primer Plus (Stephen Prata), with a significantly less favorable review.

    Best practices
    • Effective C++ (Scott Meyers) This was written with the aim of being the best second book C++ programmers should read, and it succeeded. Earlier editions were aimed at programmers coming from C, the third edition changes this and targets programmers coming from languages like Java. It presents ~50 easy-to-remember rules of thumb along with their rationale in a very accessible (and enjoyable) style. For C++11 and C++14 the examples and a few issues are outdated and Effective Modern C++ should be preferred. [Review]
    • Effective Modern C++ (Scott Meyers) This is basically the new version of Effective C++, aimed at C++ programmers making the transition from C++03 to C++11 and C++14.
    • Effective STL (Scott Meyers) This aims to do the same to the part of the standard library coming from the STL what Effective C++ did to the language as a whole: It presents rules of thumb along with their rationale. [Review]



    Intermediate
    • More Effective C++ (Scott Meyers) Even more rules of thumb than Effective C++. Not as important as the ones in the first book, but still good to know.
    • Exceptional C++ (Herb Sutter) Presented as a set of puzzles, this has one of the best and thorough discussions of the proper resource management and exception safety in C++ through Resource Acquisition is Initialization (RAII) in addition to in-depth coverage of a variety of other topics including the pimpl idiom, name lookup, good class design, and the C++ memory model. [Review]
    • More Exceptional C++ (Herb Sutter) Covers additional exception safety topics not covered in Exceptional C++, in addition to discussion of effective object oriented programming in C++ and correct use of the STL. [Review]
    • Exceptional C++ Style (Herb Sutter) Discusses generic programming, optimization, and resource management; this book also has an excellent exposition of how to write modular code in C++ by using nonmember functions and the single responsibility principle. [Review]
    • C++ Coding Standards (Herb Sutter and Andrei Alexandrescu) "Coding standards" here doesn't mean "how many spaces should I indent my code?" This book contains 101 best practices, idioms, and common pitfalls that can help you to write correct, understandable, and efficient C++ code. [Review]
    • C++ Templates: The Complete Guide (David Vandevoorde and Nicolai M. Josuttis) This is the book about templates as they existed before C++11. It covers everything from the very basics to some of the most advanced template metaprogramming and explains every detail of how templates work (both conceptually and at how they are implemented) and discusses many common pitfalls. Has excellent summaries of the One Definition Rule (ODR) and overload resolution in the appendices. A second edition is scheduled for 2016. [Review]



    Advanced
    • Modern C++ Design (Andrei Alexandrescu) A groundbreaking book on advanced generic programming techniques. Introduces policy-based design, type lists, and fundamental generic programming idioms then explains how many useful design patterns (including small object allocators, functors, factories, visitors, and multimethods) can be implemented efficiently, modularly, and cleanly using generic programming. [Review]
    • C++ Concurrency In Action (Anthony Williams) A book covering C++11 concurrency support including the thread library, the atomics library, the C++ memory model, locks and mutexes, as well as issues of designing and debugging multithreaded applications.
    • Advanced C++ Metaprogramming (Davide Di Gennaro) A pre-C++11 manual of TMP techniques, focused more on practice than theory. There are a ton of snippets in this book, some of which are made obsolete by typetraits, but the techniques, are nonetheless useful to know. If you can put up with the quirky formatting/editing, it is easier to read than Alexandrescu, and arguably, more rewarding. For more experienced developers, there is a good chance that you may pick up something about a dark corner of C++ (a quirk) that usually only comes about through extensive experience.



    Reference Style - All Levels
    • The C++ Programming Language (Bjarne Stroustrup) (updated for C++11) The classic introduction to C++ by its creator. Written to parallel the classic K&R, this indeed reads very much alike it and covers just about everything from the core language to the standard library, to programming paradigms to the language's philosophy. (Thereby making the latest editions break the 1k page barrier.) [Review] The fourth edition (released on May 19, 2013) covers C++11.
    • The C++ IO Streams and Locales (Angelika Langer and Klaus Kreft) There's very little to say about this book except that, if you want to know anything about streams and locales, then this is the one place to find definitive answers. [Review]

      C++11 References:
    • The C++ Standard (INCITS/ISO/IEC 14882-2011) This, of course, is the final arbiter of all that is or isn't C++. Be aware, however, that it is intended purely as a reference for experienced users willing to devote considerable time and effort to its understanding. As usual, the first release was quite expensive ($300+ US), but it has now been released in electronic form for $60US
    • Overview of the New C++ (C++11/14) (PDF only) (Scott Meyers) (updated for C++1y/C++14) These are the presentation materials (slides and some lecture notes) of a three-day training course offered by Scott Meyers, who's a highly respected author on C++. Even though the list of items is short, the quality is high.



    Classics / Older
    Note: Some information contained within these books may not be up-to-date or no longer considered best practice.
    • The Design and Evolution of C++ (Bjarne Stroustrup) If you want to know why the language is the way it is, this book is where you find answers. This covers everything before the standardization of C++.
    • Advanced C++ Programming Styles and Idioms (James Coplien) A predecessor of the pattern movement, it describes many C++-specific "idioms". It's certainly a very good book and might still be worth a read if you can spare the time, but quite old and not up-to-date with current C++.
    • Large Scale C++ Software Design (John Lakos) Lakos explains techniques to manage very big C++ software projects. Certainly a good read, if it only was up to date. It was written long before C++98, and misses on many features (e.g. namespaces) important for large scale projects. If you need to work in a big C++ software project, you might want to read it, although you need to take more than a grain of salt with it. The first volume of a new edition is expected in 2015.
    • Inside the C++ Object Model (Stanley Lippman) If you want to know how virtual member functions are commonly implemented and how base objects are commonly laid out in memory in a multi-inheritance scenario, and how all this affects performance, this is where you will find thorough discussions of such topics.



    Win32
    Note: These were not from the original post but the two most recommended books for learning Win32 programming that I found in my google searching.


    Disclaimer: Some people may disagree with this topic and the books recommended, which is perfectly fine. I am in no way, shape or form, trying to say, "These are the best books/this is the best way to learn, everything else is irrelevant." You are free to learn however you like.
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  2. The Following 14 Users Say Thank You to InunoTaishou For This Useful Post:

    [MPGH]Disturbed (02-06-2016),eduardom19811 (07-20-2018),FlyingSixtySix (10-17-2016),georgebike96 (03-24-2016),Jack H. Richter (02-01-2022),janborrelworst (11-03-2021),John98Zakaria (07-01-2017),jonttux789 (02-13-2016),kn00x (01-13-2019),Luciano12 (02-09-2020),mineh010 (03-08-2016),Salync (03-30-2016),Sicarium (08-13-2019),Yemiez (01-28-2016)

  3. #2
    Yemiez's Avatar
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    Great thread, Stuck!

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Yemiez For This Useful Post:

    InunoTaishou (01-28-2016)

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    InunoTaishou's Avatar
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    If the topic ever needs to be edited, here is the source with all the forum tags.
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    Yemiez (01-28-2016)

  7. #4
    heavenel's Avatar
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    I agree, this post is very helpful to begginers and in the first place there is no point to continue arguing. If there is anything, this thread is beneficial.

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    InunoTaishou's Avatar
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    Of the beginner books, C++ Primer, Accelerted C++, and Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++ were the most recommended to read that I found when I was first searching for my first book. You can read whichever books you like but I figured I'd just talk about my experience with these books.

    I have read most of C++ Primer (skipped the last 2 chapters) and it is an extremely in-depth book. It covers a LOT of information and it explains things really well. It can get a bit dry, at parts, but it teaches you like you don't have any previous programming experience. Definitely would recommend this for a first timer who doesn't know anything, or even someone who only knows a little.

    I've also started reading Accelerted C++ (about 120pages into it now) and it's a lot more fast paced (considering it's 1/4 the side of C++ Primer). It does feel like it's a little easier to read but it doesn't go over as much as C++ primer for the same topics. A beginner could probably pick up this book and probably do just fine reading it but one of the biggest things I've noticed is there aren't as many exercises, or the exercises just aren't as good at C++ Primer. Which is a bad thing because exercises are a huge part of learning.

    I have skimmed over Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++, I don't think I'll read this (at least any time soon) because it's another super thick book (about 800 pages). Just going over the chapter and section names it looks like it covers a lot of the same stuff as C++ Primer but I can also see it adds some stuff that C++ Primer never mentions. It even has a whole chapter devoted to errors, error checking, linking errors, and using try/catch/throw, which is something that C++ Primer barely covers.
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    Adrenaline's Avatar
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    Useful man!

  10. #7
    Splitzo's Avatar
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    I would hate to ask this if it's already been asked before, but is there any creditable online tutorials that I can start with?

    I've only found a Website called TheNewBoston that has very condensed Video Tutorials on the subject.

    But I don't know if it's a reliable source of information; I would like to know what you guys think about it as I am unsure on the matter.

    Thanks in advance!

  11. #8
    InunoTaishou's Avatar
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    Download links for the books listed (except for a few) can be found here
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    Thank You So Much!

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    Thanks! This is a very helpful resource.

  14. #11
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    Thanks i'll try get somes in my langauge

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    Great information,thank you)

  16. #13
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    Very nice guide, thanks.

  17. #14
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    Thank you so much, do you have a list like this for c or assembly?

  18. #15
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    Thanks man, Great thread!

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