Books about Java offer a great way of learning how to program Java and at a much lower price than taking, for example, a specialist Java Course. By reading a book, you consume a huge amount of research in a relatively short amount of time, and it is one of the best ways to improve your Java knowledge and skills.

The only problem is that there are lot’s of Java Books on the market and there are much more to come. For instance, just doing a search for “Java Books” in Amazon results in more than 10,000 books only about Java, so how do you make up your mind about what to read?

You can do a google search and search for the Best Java Books but then you get hundreds of “Best of Lists” in front of you, so that doesn’t help a lot either unless you want to spend a full day going through all those lists. Well, that is exactly what we did! We searched for 50 “Best of Lists” highlighting the most recommended Books about Java by various authority sites. Then we selected and combined the 20 most valuable “Best of Lists” and earmarked and ranked what Java Books keep up appearing on most of those recently published lists. From a total of 147 Java Books compared, reviewed and ranked, here are the Top 20 of Most Recommended Java Books that appear on most of the Best Java Books lists!

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Top 20 of Best Java Books
Recommended Most Times

#1. Effective Java Programming Language Guide | by Joshua Bloch

Listed 18 out of 20 times. Joshua J. Bloch (born August 28, 1961) is a software engineer and a technology author, formerly employed at Sun Microsystems and Google. He led the design and implementation of numerous Java platform features, including the Java Collections Framework, the java math package, and the assert mechanism. He is the author of the programming guide Effective Java (2001), which won the 2001 Jolt Award, and is a co-author of two other Java books, Java Puzzlers (2005) and Java Concurrency in Practice (2006).

„Are you looking for a concise book packed with insight and wisdom not found elsewhere? Need to really understand the Java programming language; that is, really understand it? Do you want to write code that is clear, correct, robust, and reusable? Look no further! The book you are holding will provide you with this and many other benefits you may not even know you were looking for. Become a more effective programmer.“ (James Gosling, Fellow and Vice President, Sun Microsystems, Inc., and inventor of the Java™ programming language)

Recommended by:
– James Gosling, Fellow and Vice President, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
– Professor at Carnegie Mellow University
– Chief Java architect at Google

#2. Head First Java | by Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates

Listed 17 out of 20 times. Kathy Sierra has been interested in learning theory since her days as a game developer (Virgin, MGM, Amblin’). More recently, she’s been a master trainer for Sun Microsystems, teaching Sun’s Java instructors how to teach the latest technologies to customers, and a lead developer of several Sun certification exams. Along with her partner Bert Bates, Kathy created the Head First series. She’s also the original founder of the Software Development/Jolt Productivity Award-winning, the largest (and friendliest) all-volunteer Java community.

Bert Bates is a 20-year software developer, a Java instructor, and a co-developer of Sun’s upcoming EJB exam (Sun Certified Business Component Developer). His background features a long stint in artificial intelligence, with clients like the Weather Channel, A&E Network, Rockwell, and Timken.

It’s definitely time to dive in–Head First.” (Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems, Chairman, President, and CEO)

Recommended by:
– Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems, Chairman, President, and CEO
– Douglas Rowe, Columbia Java Users Group
– Software Development Magazine
– Dr. Dan Russell, Director of User Sciences and Experience Research IBM Almaden Research Center

#3. Java Concurrency in Practice | by Brian Goetz, Tim Peierls, Joshua Bloch, Joseph Bowbeer, David Holmes, Doug Lea 

Listed 11 out of 20 times. Brian Goetz is a software consultant with twenty years of industry experience, with over 75 articles on Java development. Tim Peierls is the very model of a modern multiprocessor, with, recording arts, and goings on theatrical. Joseph Bowbeer is a Java ME specialist whose fascination with concurrent programming began in his days at Apollo Computer. David Holmes is a coauthor of The Java Programming Language and works at Sun Microsystems. Joshua Bloch is a chief Java engineer at Google, author of Effective Java and coauthor of Java Puzzlers, and never codes like his brother – well, hardly ever. Doug Lea is the author of Concurrent Programming in Java and Professor of Computer Science at SUNY Oswego.

For the past thirty years, computer performance has been driven by Moore’s Law; from now on, it will be driven by Amdahl’s Law. Writing code that effectively exploits multiple processors can be very challenging. Java Concurrency in Practice provides you with the concepts and techniques needed to write safe and scalable Java programs for today’s–and tomorrow’s–systems.” (Doron Rajwan, Research Scientist, Intel Corp.)

Recommended by:
– Martin Buchholz, JDK Concurrency Czar, Sun Microsystems
– Doron Rajwan, Research Scientist, Intel Corp
– Ted Neward, Author of Effective Enterprise Java
– Kirk Pepperdine, CTO,

#4. Java: A Beginner’s Guide | by Herbert Schildt

Listed 14 out of 20 times. Best-selling author Herbert Schildt has written extensively about programming for nearly three decades and is a leading authority on the Java language is books have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into all major foreign languages. He is the author of numerous books on Java, including Java: The Complete Reference, Herb Schildt’s Java Programming Cookbook, and Swing: A Beginner’s Guide. He has also written extensively about C, C++, and C#. Although interested in all facets of computing, his primary focus is computer languages, including compilers, interpreters, and robotic control languages.

“Fully updated for Java Platform, Standard Edition 9 (Java SE 9), Java: A Beginner’s Guide, Seventh Edition, gets you started programming in Java right away. Bestselling programming author Herb Schildt begins with the basics, such as how to create, compile, and run a Java program. He then moves on to the keywords, syntax, and constructs that form the core of the Java language. The book also covers some of Java’s more advanced features, including multithreaded programming, generics, lambda expressions, Swing, and JavaFX.” (From the Back Cover)

Recommended by:
– International Developer Magazine

#5. Core Java Volume I–Fundamentals | by Cay S. Horstmann

Listed 13 out of 20 times. Cay S. Horstmann is a professor of computer science at San Jose State University and a Java Champion. He is also the author of Core Java®, Volumes I and II, Eleventh Edition (forthcoming from Pearson in 2018), Core Java SE 9 for the Impatient, Second Edition (Addison-Wesley, 2018), and Scala for the Impatient, Second Edition (Addison-Wesley, 2017). He has written more than a dozen other books for professional programmers and computer science students.

“Core Java® has long been recognized as the leading, no-nonsense tutorial and reference for experienced programmers who want to write robust Java code for real-world applications. Now, Core Java®, Volume I–Fundamentals, Tenth Edition, has been extensively updated to reflect the most eagerly awaited and innovative version of Java in years: Java SE 8. Rewritten and reorganized to illuminate new Java SE 8 features, idioms, and best practices, it contains hundreds of example programs–all carefully crafted for easy understanding and practical applicability.“ (Amazon review)

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#6. Spring in Action | by Craig Walls

Listed 5 out of 20 times. Craig Walls is a software developer at Pivotal. He’s a popular author and a frequent speaker at user groups and conferences. Craig lives in Cross Roads, Texas.

“The best book for Spring – updated and revised” (Gregor Zurowski, Sotheby’s)

#7. Head First Design Patterns: A Brain-Friendly Guide | by Eric Freeman, Elisabeth Robson, Bert Bates, and Kathy Sierra

Listed 8 out of 20 times. Eric Freeman recently ended nearly a decade as a media company executive, having held the position of CTO of Disney Online & at The Walt Disney Company. Elisabeth Robson is co-founder of Wickedly Smart, an education company devoted to helping customers gain mastery in web technologies. Bert Bates is a 20-year software developer, a Java instructor, and a co-developer of Sun’s upcoming EJB exam (Sun Certified Business Component Developer). Kathy Sierra has been a master trainer for Sun Microsystems, teaching Sun’s Java instructors how to teach the latest technologies to customers, and a lead developer of several Sun certification exams.

“Just the right tone for the geeked-out, casual-cool guru coder in all of us. The right reference for practical development strategies-gets my brain going without having to slog through a bunch of tired, stale professor-speak.” (Travis Kalanick, CEO and cofounder of Uber and member of the MIT TR1000)

#8. Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship | by Robert C. Martin

Listed 6 out of 20 times. Robert C. “Uncle Bob” Martin has been a software professional since 1970 and an international software consultant since 1990. He is founder and president of Object Mentor, Inc., a team of experienced consultants who mentor their clients worldwide in the fields of C++, Java, C#, Ruby, OO, Design Patterns, UML, Agile Methodologies, and eXtreme programming.

“How to tell the difference between good and bad code. How to write good code and how to transform bad code into good code. How to create good names, good functions, good objects, and good classes. How to format code for maximum readability. How to implement complete error handling without obscuring code logic. How to unit test and practice test-driven development. This book is a must for any developer, software engineer, project manager, team lead, or systems analyst with an interest in producing better code. (From the Back Cover)

#9. Java 8 in Action | by Raoul-Gabriel Urma, Mario Fusco and Alan Mycroft

Listed 8 out of 20 times. Raoul-Gabriel Urma is a software engineer, speaker, trainer, and PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge. Mario Fusco is an engineer at Red Hat and creator of the lambdaj library. Alan Mycroft is a professor at Cambridge and co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Every new version of Java is important, but Java 8 is a game changer. Java 8 in Action is a clearly written guide to the new features of Java 8. It begins with a practical introduction to lambdas, using real-world Java code. Next, it covers the new Streams API and shows how you can use it to make the collection-based code radically easier to understand and maintain. It also explains other major Java 8 features including default methods, Optional, Completable Future, and the new Date and Time API (From the Book)

#10. The Pragmatic Programmer, From Journeyman To Master | by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas

Listed 3 out of 20 times. Andy Hunt is an avid woodworker and musician, but, curiously, he is more in demand as a consultant. He has worked in telecommunications, banking, financial services, and utilities, as well as in more exotic fields, such as medical imaging, graphic arts, and Internet services. Andy specializes in blending tried-and-true techniques with leading-edge technologies, creating novel–but practical–solutions.

Dave Thomas likes to fly single-engine airplanes and pays for his habit by finding elegant solutions to difficult problems, consulting in areas as diverse as aerospace, banking, financial services, telecommunications, travel and transport, and the Internet. Before moving to the United States in 1994, Dave founded an ISO9001-certified English software company that delivered sophisticated, custom software projects throughout the world.

“I would like to see this issued to every new employee at my company…” (Chris Cleeland, Senior Software Engineer, Object Computing, Inc.)

#11. Test Driven: TDD and Acceptance TDD for Java Developers | by Lasse Koskela

Listed 4 out of 20 times. Lasse Koskela, a methodology specialist at Reaktor Innovations in Finland, has coached dozens of teams in agile methods and practices such as test-driven development.

“Full of hard-won lessons that take years to learn on your own.” (Laurent Bossavit, consultant, 2006 Gordon Pask award Winner)

#12. Think Java: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist | by Allen B. Downey & Chris Mayfield

Listed 4 out of 20 times. Allen B. Downey is a Professor of Computer Science at Olin College of Engineering. He has taught at Wellesley College, Colby College, and U.C. Berkeley. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from MIT.

Chris Mayfield is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at James Madison University, with a research focus on CS education and professional development. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Purdue University and Bachelor’s degrees in CS and German from the University of Utah.

“With a strong emphasis on problem solving, Think Java moves beyond just teaching coding and really delves into the underlying concepts of computer science. It is a great book to move students from beginners to thinking like computer scientists.” (Rebecca Dovi, CodeVA)

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#13. Java Performance | by Charlie Hunt, Binu John

Listed 3 out of 20 times. Charlie Hunt is the JVM performance lead engineer at Oracle. He is responsible for improving the performance of the HotSpot JVM and Java SE class libraries. He has also been involved in improving the performance of the Oracle GlassFish Server Open Source Edition and Oracle WebLogic application servers.

Binu John is a senior performance engineer at Ning, Inc., the world’s largest platform for creating social websites. In his current role, he focuses on improving the performance and scalability of the Ning platform to support millions of page views per month.

“The definitive master class in performance tuning Java applications…if you love all the gory details, this is the book for you.” (James Gosling, creator of the Java Programming Language)

#14. The Java Programming Language | by Ken Arnold, James Gosling, and David Holmes

Listed 4 out of 20 times. Ken Arnold, formerly a senior engineer at Sun Microsystems Laboratories, is a leading expert in object-oriented design and implementation. He was one of the original architects of the Jini™ technology, and the lead engineer of Sun’s JavaSpaces™ technology.

James Gosling is a Fellow and Chief Technology Officer of Sun’s Developer Products group, the creator of the Java programming language, and one of the computer industry’s most noted programmers. He is the 1996 recipient of Software Development’s “Programming Excellence Award.”

David Holmes is director of DLTeCH Pty Ltd, located in Brisbane, Australia. He specializes in synchronization and concurrency and was a member of the JSR-166 expert group that developed the new concurrency utilities.

“The authors systematically cover most classes in Java’s main packages, java.lang.*, java.util, and, presenting in-depth explanations of why these classes work as they do, with informative examples. Several new chapters and major sections have been added, and every chapter has been updated to reflect today’s best practices for building robust, efficient, and maintainable Java software.” (From the Back Cover)

#15. Java: Learn Java in One Day and Learn it Well | by Jamie Chan

Listed 6 out of 20 times. Jamie Chan is a tutor and freelance programmer by profession. He holds a Master in Computer Science and is a Microsoft Certified Application Developer. It is his passion to share the joy of programming with as many people as possible. In his books, Jamie takes special efforts to ensure that even a complete novice to programming can understand and apply the concepts covered.

“The best way to learn Java is by doing. This book includes a unique project at the end of the book that requires the application of all the concepts taught previously. Working through the project will not only give you an immense sense of achievement, it’ll also help you retain the knowledge and master the language. Are you ready to dip your toes into the exciting world of Java coding? This book is for you. Click the “Add to Cart” button and download it now” (From the Back Cover)

#16. Java: Programming Basics for Absolute Beginners | by Nathan Clark

Listed 3 out of 20 times. Nathan Clark is an expert programmer with nearly 20 years of experience in the software industry. With a master’s degree from MIT, he has worked for some of the leading software companies in the United States and built up extensive knowledge of software design and development. Nathan and his wife, Sarah, started their own development firm in 2009 to be able to take on more challenging and creative projects. Today they assist high-caliber clients from all over the world.

“Learning a programming language can seem like a daunting task. You may have looked at coding in the past, and fwlt it was too complicated and confusing. This comprehensive beginner’s guide will take you step by step through learning one of the best programming languages out there. In a matter of no time, you will be writing code like a pro.” (From the Back Cover)

#17. Java: The Complete Reference | by Herbert Schildt

Listed 8 out of 20 times. Herbert Schildt is a leading authority on the Java, C, C++, and C# languages, and is a master Windows programmer. His programming books have sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide and have been translated into all major foreign languages. He is the author of the best-selling The Art of Java, Java: A Beginner’s Guide, and Swing: A Beginner’s Guide. Among his other bestsellers are C++: The Complete Reference, C++: A Beginner’s Guide, C#: The Complete Reference, and C#: A Beginner’s Guide.

“This book is a comprehensive guide to the Java language, describing its syntax, keywords, and fundamental programming principles. Significant portions of the Java API library are also examined. The book is divided into four parts, each focusing on a different aspect of the Java programming environment.” (From the Book)

#18. Thinking in Java | by Bruce Eckel

Listed 7 out of 20 times. Bruce Eckel is president of MindView, Inc. (, which provides public and private training seminars, consulting, mentoring, and design reviews in object-oriented technology and design patterns. He is the author of several books, has written more than fifty articles, and has given lectures and seminars throughout the world for more than twenty years. Bruce has served as a voting member of the C++ Standards Committee. He holds a B.S. in applied physics and an M.S. in computer engineering.

Thinking In Java should be read cover to cover by every Java programmer, then kept close at hand for frequent reference. The exercises are challenging, and the chapter on Collections is superb! Not only did this book help me to pass the Sun Certified Java Programmer exam; it’s also the first book I turn to whenever I have a Java question.” (Jim Pleger, Loudoun County (Virginia) Government)

#19. Beginning Programming with Java For Dummies | by Barry A. Burd

Listed 7 out of 20 times. Dr. Barry Burd has an M.S. in Computer Science from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois. As a teaching assistant in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, he was elected five times to the university-wide List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students. Since 1980, Dr. Burd has been a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

“If you want to start writing computer programs, you’ve come to the right book. Here’s a straightforward approach to learning Java, the object-oriented programming language that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. Even if you’ve never written a line of code, this friendly guide will have you ordering your computer about in no time!” (From the Back Cover)

#20. Java Performance: The Definitive Guide | by Scott Oaks

Listed 7 out of 20 times. Scott Oaks is an architect at Oracle Corporation, where he works on the performance of Oracle’s middleware software. Employed by Sun Microsystems in 1987, he became Sun’s Java evangelist and in 2001 joined their java Performance group, which is now his primary focus. Scott has written O’Reilly books on Java Security, Java Threads, and Jini.

“Gain in-depth knowledge of Java application performance, using the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and the Java platform, including the language and API. With this comprehensive guide, developers and performance engineers alike will learn a variety of features, tools, and processes for improving the way Java 7 and 8 applications perform.

Best Javascript Books
to Read

These Javascript Books might also interest you as we did another research for books about Javascript in the same way as we did for Best Java Books. Here are the top 5  Javascript Books that keep up appearing on all the lists of Best Javascript Books resulting in The 20 Most Recommended Javascript Books:

  1. JavaScript: The Good Parts, by Douglas Croc
  2. Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming, by Marijn Haverbeke
  3. JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, by David Flanagan
  4. JavaScript Patterns: Build Better Applications with Coding and Design Patterns, by Stoyan Stefanov
  5. Beginning JavaScript And CSS Development with jQuery, by Richard York
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Best Web Development Blogs
for Further Learning

Blogs about Web Development are another great resource for staying up to date on the latest trends and developments in relation to all sorts of Java topics. These Web Development Blogs keep up appearing on all the “Best of Lists” resulting in the 20 Best Web Development Blogs Recommended most Times, and here are the top 5:

  1. Smashing Magazine / Twitter
  2. / Twitter
  3. CSS-Tricks / Twitter
  4. A list Apart / Twitter
  5. CoDrops / Twitter

Latest Sector News For
Web Development & IT

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How we Established the
Final Top 20 of Best Java Books

  • We made a list of 50 posts that were recently published about “Best Java Books”  to read.
  • From this list of 50 posts, we selected the top 20 that seem most valuable to our readers and users.
  • We combined the 20  lists of “Best Java Books” and earmarked all individual books that were on those lists.
  • When a book was ranked as number 1, it got 1 point, and when it was ranked 2nd, it got 2 points, etc.
  • When no particular ranking was applied to a certain list, then each listed book got the same points.
  • To be included in the final list a book should be listed for a minimal number of times.
  • More weight was assigned to books that were explicitly listed more times than other books.
  • All lists were summed up, and the Java Books with the lowest number were ranked 1, 2, 3, etc.
  • This resulted in the final “Top 20 of  Best Java  Books” that have been recommended most times by all types of Java Experts. 

Sources Used for
Best Java Books

The 20 “Best of Lists” used for researching what the Best Java Books are:

  1. Top 10 Books of All-Time for Java Programmers
  2. 10 All-Time Great Books for Java Programmers – Best of Lot, Must Read
  3. The Best Java Books for All Skill Levels
  4. Best Sellers in Java Programming
  5. Top 20 Java Programming Books From Beginner To Advanced
  6. What are the best books to learn Java?
  7. 10 Best Java Books ( 2018 Updated )
  9. Java Books
  10. What are the best books for learning Java?
  11. Top 10 Java Books you don’t want to miss
  12. Popular Java Books
  13. 14 great Java books you need to read before you die
  14. Top Java Books to Learn Java Programming
  15. What are the best books to learn Java?
  16. 79 Best Java Books of All Time
  17. Must Reads for Java Developers from Beginner to Professional
  18. Best Java Books For Programmers
  19. Recommended Reading For Java Developers
  20. Top 10 Best Java books to learn programming ( Beginner to Advanced )

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