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10 Best C++ Books for Beginners & Advanced Programmers

If learning C++ is a priority, we have you covered. Included in this article is the list of the best C++ books on the market to simplify and speed up your learning.

C++ burst on the scene in 1985 as an extension of C. While C is still widely used for embedded devices, C++ is relevant due to its heavy use in the photo and video editing apps and games. Its extensive use ensures it is still the fourth most used language, even three and a half decades later. That’s pretty good in the computing world, where most devices and software become obsolete within a year or two.

C++ is an excellent first language to learn. You learn to use computer resources judiciously while building operating systems, libraries, and games. Some great books are available as the language has been around for quite some time now. We have shortlisted ten of the best C++ books. Check out the details below:

Best Books on C++

1. C++ Primer (5th Edition)

C++ Primer

Description: This book explains the core principles of C++ with detail and clarity. This is one of the best C++ for beginners books, featuring structured content and a refreshing writing style. It is a comprehensive guide to the language, covering a wide range of topics. Also, it contains C++11 features and a standard library.

It’s recommended to read the book cover to cover even if you don’t understand specific topics. Noting down the topics that are confusing and then reading about them would help. A variety of examples are given to help you to understand the concepts better.

This book is error-free. As such, if you see any exercises that do not compile, you should know that these are practice exercises. In that case, you’ll be asked why a particular program didn’t compile. All in all, an excellent book if you are starting to learn C++.

  • Originally Published- 2012
  • Authors- Stanley Lippman, Josée Lajoie , Barbara Moo

You can buy this book here.

2. Effective Modern C++

Effective Modern C++ 42 Specific Ways to Improve Your Use of C++11 and C++14

Description: Effective Modern C++ by Scott Meyers is a guide to using C++11 and C++14. It is not a beginner-friendly book as the author assumes the reader has read the previous versions of the book and is reading this book to get in-depth knowledge of the topic.

If you have written simple codes in C++ before and want to update and beef up your knowledge of the language, then this book is for you. If you’re going to learn C++ from Scott Meyers, it’s best to start with the author’s previous books. The author has a humorous teaching style, which makes the book a fun read.

This is a must-have book for any serious programmer. Plus, if you want to learn the latest about the language, this is an excellent place to start.

  • Originally Published- 2014
  • Author- Scott Meyers

You can buy this book here.

3. A Tour of C++

A Tour of C++ (C++ In-Depth Series)

Description: If you are an experienced programmer who needs to learn the latest features of C++, “A Tour of C++” is one of the best C++ books for you. As is mentioned in the preface, the book covers all the latest versions of the language and features a standard library.

The book provides an excellent overview of modern C++. It also tells readers what to expect from the upcoming versions of the language. The author introduces new concepts in the book, clearly and concisely. It also has a lot of sample codes for practice. The author also provides excellent practical advice on design, style, and performance.

With just around 250 pages in print, there’s hardly any fluff in the book. So, you are free to read it from cover to cover over the weekend.

  • Originally Published- 2018
  • Author- Bjarne Stroustrup

You can buy this book here.

4. Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++ (2nd Edition)

Programming Principles and Practice Using C++

Description: Think of it as a definitive and comprehensive guide to C++ for beginners. This is a college textbook for programming taught in some of the best colleges in the world.

The author explains everything in an easy-to-understand tone with a pace that is perfect for beginners. There are ample examples to help you to understand the concepts better.

The C++ book contains concepts that help you think like a programmer. It provides a solid foundation for programming that goes well beyond the C++ language. Also, it includes visual representations of ideas that are harder to visualize.

Although the book is written for beginners, it is recommended that you familiarise yourself with general programming concepts, as the author suggests several times. It is, without doubt, one of the best C++ books in the beginner-level category.

  • Originally Published- 2014
  • Author- Bjarne Stroustrup

You can buy this book here.

5. Learn C++ Quickly

Learn C++ Quickly A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Learning C++, Even If You’re New to Programming (Crash Course With Hands-On Project Book 3)

Description: “Learn C++ Quickly” is a crash course in the language for someone who already knows the basics. If you are looking to understand why some things are the way they are in C++, this book is not for you. Although the book says it is for complete beginners, it lacks sufficient explanations to justify that.

However, the book provides an excellent discussion of pointers, variables, and functions. There are also numerous codes and visual-based examples to work through for the readers. The book sets the reader up nicely for further reading on the subject.

  • Originally Published- 2020
  • Author- Code Quickly

You can buy this book here.

6. C++ Crash Course: A Fast-Paced Introduction

C++ Crash Course A Fast-Paced Introduction

Description: Do not be fooled by the name. This is no fast-paced crash course in C++. Instead, it’s a comprehensive beginner’s guide. It is also your best bet if you have been away from C or C++ for a while.

The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 is all about the fundamentals, whereas Part 2 elaborates on libraries and frameworks. It is more than just another theory book, being replete with examples and exercises for practice.

Also, the book’s website has all the source code for examples and exercises. The activities are not massive projects but small tasks to make learning C++ quicker and easier.

Although the book is beginner-friendly, it is not for a complete beginner to programming. Many times, it assumes that the reader is aware of specific terms (like objects).

  • Originally Published- 2019
  • Author- Josh Lospinoso

You can buy this book here.

7. The C++ Programming Language (4th Edition)

C++ Programming Language, The

Description: This is one of the best C++ books for experienced C++ programmers. Bjarne Stroustrup, the author, is also the C++ founder. He has created this book as the ultimate book on the language.

The book might be old compared to many on the list, but it gives a reason why things are the way they are in C++. The author explains everything clearly and concisely within the boundaries of the chapters. The book is suitable for experienced developers looking to get in-depth knowledge of the subject.

With over 1300 pages in print, the book is by no means a quick read, but it does set you up nicely for reading the latest on C++.

  • Originally Published- 2013
  • Author- Bjarne Stroustrup

You can buy this book here.

8. Accelerated C++: Practical Programming by Example (1st Edition)

Accelerated C++ Practical Programming by Example (C++ In-Depth Series)

Description: One of the best books to introduce yourself to C++, it discusses the subject in a way that is perfectly suitable for an experienced programmer new to C++. The book starts from the fundamentals and walks the reader through the use of examples.

The examples and exercises grow in complexity as the book progresses. The explanations are clear and concise, and you’ll learn more by working with the examples.

The only issue you can have with this book is that there’s no newer edition of it. The only edition was printed way back in 2000. This leaves a massive gap in the latest update of the language.

  • Originally Published- 2000
  • Author- Mike Hendrickson, Andrew Koenig, Barbara Moo

You can buy this book here.

9. Murach’s C++ Programming

Murach's C++ Programming

Description: In case you have read other programming books by Murach, you’ll be familiar with his easy-to-understand writing style. If you are aware of the basics, Murach’s C++ Programming is an excellent way to get an in-depth knowledge of C++.

The book’s formatting is exceptional as the left page explains the right side of the page. That provides information to the readers in small digestible bites. There are separate sections in each chapter for the terms, alongside a summary. You can download C++ projects from the author’s website. Also, the author provides installation instructions for Windows and Mac.

As mentioned earlier, the book is not for a complete newbie but rather for an intermediate programmer who wants to upgrade their knowledge of C++.

  • Originally Published- 2018
  • Authors- Joel Murach, Mary Delamater

You can buy this book here.

10. C++ Templates: The Complete Guide (2nd Edition)

C++ Templates The Complete Guide

Description: The name says it all. This book deals with every aspect of template programming. The C programming book shows how templates are the most potent aspect of C++ programming and should be given due importance.

It is a great place to beef up your knowledge of templates. The book is not for complete beginners, as you need to have basic information about the language. Through the use of templates, software architects and engineers can understand how and why to create faster and cleaner software.

  • Originally Published- 2017
  • Authors- David Vandevoorde, Nicolai Josuttis, Douglas Gregor

You can buy this book here.

Conclusion

When it comes to learning programming languages, no single book is sufficient. And, C++ is no different in that regard. The choice of your book largely depends on the purpose and your expertise level. Beginners will be more comfortable with Murach’s C++ Programming, whereas if you want to take your expertise to the next level, something like C++ Templates would be the perfect fit. We hope you enjoyed our list of the best C++ books currently available on the market. For any feedback, please hit the comment section below.

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Vijay Singh Khatri

My name is Vijay Singh Khatri, and I enjoy meeting new people and finding ways to help them have an uplifting experience. I have had a variety of customer service opportunities, through which I was able to have fewer returned products and increased repeat customers when compared with co-workers.

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