20+ Classic Java Books for Fresher & Experienced Developers

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Summer Updated: April 01, 2021

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Books can be considered the very first mode of learning. Using them with tutorials, articles, and videos, you’ll have a great recipe to learn Java.

Because Java is among the popular programming languages, there are a large number of books written on the high-level, general-purpose programming language. Some give an overview of different Java concepts; others focus on specific Java topics.

Here, we have collected a list of 20+ must-read books to learn Java effectively. Let’s dive deeper into detail to pick your favorite book.

Table of contents

1. Head First Java

Head First Java - Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates
Head First Java - Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates

The most significant selling point of Head First Java is its simplicity and super-efficient hands-on analogies that are related to the Java programming concepts. It is also the ideal source to learn Java and to kickstart your learning journey with Java Development.

Head First Java provides nearly all OOPS concepts that are clearly explained. Although some assume that it is a dated book as it offers nothing but Java 5.0, Head First Java is still added to many Java veterans’ shelves.

The book covers several essential topics, such as distributed programming with RMI and network sockets, common OO mistakes, and threads. Besides, there are more than 42 mind-bending puzzles that will guarantee a profound understanding of Java.

2. Head First Design Patterns

Head First Design Patterns (10th Anniversary Edition) - Eric Freeman & Elisabeth Robson with Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates
Head First Design Patterns (10th Anniversary Edition) - Eric Freeman & Elisabeth Robson with Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates

Good hold on the OOP and design patterns are necessary for creating immaculate Java applications. Head First Design Patterns is one of the most fantastic books to build a deep understanding of the Java programming language.

The book brings answers to some commonly raised questions about Java, including how to modify the runtime behavior of a class without affecting the already tried and tested code or why Composition outweighs Inheritance.

The newest edition of Head First Design Patterns is updated for Java 8. Instead of relying on a text-based approach, the book also uses a visually rich format that makes learning more effective.

3. Effective Java

Effective Java - Joshua Bloch
Effective Java - Joshua Bloch

Effective Java is a hands-on book for every Java aspirant or Java programmer, making up for an incredible complementary option with other Java books or learning sources. The paperback provides 78 best practices for writing the code better.

It groups all the practices into 11 separate sections, including Generics, Methods, and Concurrency. The book is written by Joshua Bloch - the author of various important Java classes and API, including Java Collection and java.lang framework.

4. Java Concurrency in Practice

Java Concurrency in Practice (1st edition) - Brian Goetz
Java Concurrency in Practice (1st edition) - Brian Goetz

Java Concurrency in Practice is a helpful reference book, offering a wide range of concurrency APIs and mechanisms. It also covers design rules, mental models, and patterns so that you can create concurrent programs with ease.

This Java reference source contains the fundamental concepts of concurrency and thread safety, which includes techniques for forming thread-safe classes and testing concurrent programs. Moreover, the book provides numerous advanced topics, such as non-blocking algorithms, atomic variables, and the Java Memory Model.

5. Clean Code

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship - Robert Cecil Martin, a.k.a. Uncle Bob
Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship - Robert Cecil Martin, a.k.a. Uncle Bob

As its name, Clean Code is a classic Java programming book that conveys the knowledge of writing cleaner code to its audience. The book is broken down into three sections. The first section illustrates the patterns, principles, and practices of writing good code. The second one represents some case studies of increasing complexity. Both of them provide an exercise to clean up the code. The final part is a separate chapter showing a list of heuristics.

It is quite easy to learn and get started with Java. However, writing a clean Java code needs some knowledge of OOP principles. Clean Code assists you in gaining that knowledge of the Java programming language.

6. Java: The Complete Reference

Java: The Complete Reference - Herbert Schildt
Java: The Complete Reference - Herbert Schildt

Java - The Complete Reference is a stellar Java book with more than 1000 pages. It covers every aspect of Java that you need to grasp. In addition to introducing the significant sections of the Java API library, the book provides basic programming principles, keywords, and Java language syntax. Furthermore, the book is crammed with apt examples and discussions to support your Java learning process.

7. Murach’s Java Servlet and JSP

Murach's Java Servlet and JSP (3rd Edition) - Joel Murach and Michael Urban
Murach's Java Servlet and JSP (3rd Edition) - Joel Murach and Michael Urban

This is the third edition of Murach’s Java Servlet and JSP, supporting any new programmer to start with Java programming. The book teaches you how to install and utilize the NetBeans IDE and Tomcat server. In addition, it also reveals how to leverage JSPs and servlets to create secure web applications that perform the MVC pattern.

This edition contains some chapters for how to use cookies, JavaBeans, custom tags, and sessions. Besides, you can have a chance to learn how to work with JavaMail, encryption, filters, SSL connections, filters, authentication, and listeners. There’s also an introduction to JSF to enrich your knowledge of Java web programming.

8. Java: A Step-by-step Guide for Absolute Beginners

Java: A Step-by-step Guide for Absolute Beginners - Daniel Bell
Java: A Step-by-step Guide for Absolute Beginners - Daniel Bell

Java: A Step-by-step Guide for Absolute Beginners illustrates some fundamentals concepts of Java programming. It also introduces Java language, Java features, and how you install Java on your system.

The book is a great help for any beginner to absorb Java concepts fast and easily. It provides a comprehensive concept and a profound knowledge of the object-oriented philosophy behind Java.

9. Learn Java in 1 Day

Learn Java in 1 Day: Complete Beginners Guide - Krishna Rungta
Learn Java in 1 Day: Complete Beginners Guide - Krishna Rungta

Learn Java in 1 Day will show you the fundamentals of Java programming along with the basic tenants of Java and OOPS. This edition has been updated to be compatible with Java 8 and adds new options for the newest techniques and tools.

The book also offers you different Java coding concepts, such as decisions, methods, loops, variables, arrays, and lambda expressions. Plus, there is a short introduction to the book’s different frameworks, for example, Java Swing, Java Eclipse, Java SE8, Java Oracle, etc. It can be claimed that Learn Java in 1 Day is enough for you to get the hang of Java.

10. Java in 24 Hours, Sams Teach Yourself

Java in 24 Hours, Sams Teach Yourself (8th Edition) - Rogers Cadenhead
Java in 24 Hours, Sams Teach Yourself (8th Edition) - Rogers Cadenhead

This Java book helps you learn Java programming in 24 hours only with 24 lessons and a clear, step-by-step approach. You can enhance your development skills to build web services, desktop and web programs, and an Android app in Java.

Each chapter ends with a lot of quizzes and exercises, testing how much you gain from the book. In addition, there are also notes, tips, advice, and warnings.

11. Java: A Beginner’s Guide

Java: A Beginner's Guide (7th edition) - Herbert Schildt
Java: A Beginner's Guide (7th edition) - Herbert Schildt

The author Herbert Schildt teaches you the fundamentals of Java language to more advanced topics without difficult jargon. The Java: A Beginner’s Guide, Seventh Edition 7th edition includes the newly released Java 9, which is suitable for experienced programmers who want to keep updated with the latest feature of this version.

Besides experienced one, fresher programmers also find this book beneficial. It can help them have a good grasp of Java.

12. Core Java Volume I -Fundamentals

Core Java Volume I -Fundamentals (11th Edition) - Cay S. Horstmann
Core Java Volume I -Fundamentals (11th Edition) - Cay S. Horstmann

Core Java Volume I -Fundamentals is a remarkable book for both new and experienced programmers. The book describes many important topics for learning Java programming at any skill level. It follows the overall style, offers code examples, and notes about similarities and differences between Java and C++.

Although the book cannot help you with all your doubts and questions, it offers a solid ground to begin acquiring your programming experience.

13. Introduction to Programming in Java

Introduction to Programming in Java: An Interdisciplinary Approach 2nd Edition - Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne
Introduction to Programming in Java: An Interdisciplinary Approach 2nd Edition - Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne

The Introduction to Programming in Java book represents the basic elements of programming, including data types, loops, assignment statement conditionals, variables, arrays, and I/O. Additionally, it gives readers detailed information about functions, graphics and sound, libraries, modules, and so on.

This book also consists of a plethora of practice problems. Plus, after each chapter, the author sums up the topic and adds many supplementary exercises and solutions. That can help readers focus more on the book and learn Java more efficiently.

14. Mastering Java Machine Learning

Mastering Java Machine Learning: A Java developer's guide to implementing machine learning and big data architectures - Dr. Uday Kamath and Krishna Choppella
Mastering Java Machine Learning: A Java developer's guide to implementing machine learning and big data architectures - Dr. Uday Kamath and Krishna Choppella

The Mastering Java Machine Learning book is packed with various useful topics in machine learning. It gives the basic knowledge of linear algebra, statistics, and probability. Moreover, the book includes 10 real-world case studies emphasizing multiple machine learning techniques.

This Java book contains plenty of crucial topics followed by case studies. Additionally, it also provides standard issues, including clustering, text-mining, big data, classification, etc.

15. Java Deep Learning Projects

Java Deep Learning Projects: Implement 10 real-world deep learning applications using Deeplearning4j and open source APIs - Md. Rezaul Karim
Java Deep Learning Projects: Implement 10 real-world deep learning applications using Deeplearning4j and open source APIs - Md. Rezaul Karim

Java Deep Learning Projects is an excellent reference source for machine learning professionals and data scientists who desire to broaden their knowledge of Java. The book can help you build advanced deep learning models and show you how to handle complicated numerical computations. You should prepare a working knowledge of Java and a basic understanding of machine learning to read this book.

The book is filled with various vital machine learning concepts, such as object detection, neural network architectures, transfer learning, online trading, and how to utilize factorization machines for advanced movie recommendations.

16. Spring in Action

Spring in Action - Craig Walls and Ryan Breidenbach
Spring in Action - Craig Walls and Ryan Breidenbach

If you decide to learn Java, you have to learn about at least one of its frameworks. Spring is one of the widely used Java frameworks for web application development. And you can master it with this Spring in Action book.

The book doesn’t just concentrate on the Spring framework but dig deeper into concepts such as JDBC to seek the unseen shortcomings of JDK.

17. Test-driven

Test-driven - Lasse Koskela
Test-driven - Lasse Koskela

For those who want to change their field development to testing, this book is an ideal option. Test-driven offers industry-based examples to test drive Java code. Besides, it contains some topics, including the Fit framework, acceptance test-driven development, Spring Controllers, and testing Java EE components - JSPs, Servlets.

18. Java by Comparison

Java by Comparison: Become a Java Craftsman in 70 examples - Simon Harrer, Jörg Lenhard, and Linus Dietz
Java by Comparison: Become a Java Craftsman in 70 examples - Simon Harrer, Jörg Lenhard, and Linus Dietz

This is another excellent option for Java programmers who desire to improve their Java skills and become a Java craftsman. Java by Comparison is not about semantics and syntax but how to handle real-world things in an effective way. If you want to be a skillful Java developer that every company hunts for, you should not miss this book.

The book is full of clean code advice. And do you know one of the best ways to enhance your coding skill is to compare your code with an expert programmer’s code? Then let’s make use of this book. You can learn from your mistake and have new discoveries.

Java by Comparison offers practical advice to hone your coding style via understandable examples. Besides, you’ll know handy tips, tricks, and common bugs during the reading process.

19. Getting Started with Java on Raspberry Pi

Getting Started with Java on Raspberry Pi - Frank Delporte
Getting Started with Java on Raspberry Pi - Frank Delporte

The Getting Started with Java on Raspberry Pi provides a different method to learn Java by mixing it with Raspberry Pi and electronic components.

In addition to brief introductions to Java, Maven, and JavaFX, the book contains plenty of examples to use and control LEDs, buttons, sensors, LCD and LED displays, and so on. Various frameworks and programs are analyzed with proof-of-concept Java applications with the use of Spring, Mosquitto MQTT, Pi4J, Arduino, H2, etc.

If you have got started with Java, you will learn the language gradually by following the examples. If you are an experienced Java programmer, you’ll learn how to broaden your horizon and control the world surrounding you with simple and affordable components.

20. Java in a Nutshell

Java in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference (7th Edition) - Ben Evans and David Flanagan
Java in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference (7th Edition) - Ben Evans and David Flanagan

Java in a Nutshell is also a must-read book for those who want to learn Java programming. This 7th edition includes the Java language with a specific focus on the latest features released from Java 9 to Java 11. The book aims at experienced programmers, helping them capitalize on the latest developments of the Java platform.

The book is packed with examples that enable you to create modern Java code using the best current practices. The first section of the book will allow freshers to show skills with Java. The second part emphasizes the main concepts of Java and its APIs, following a practical approach so that you can apply all the examples to practice in your work.

With this reference source, you can learn about the fundamentals of object-oriented programming in Java, Generics, Java Collections API. Java 8 Lambdas and Streams. Additionally, I/O management is also discussed in the book and helpful practices for creating high-performance concurrent applications while managing memory in Java.

The final section on Java 9 and Java 11 is for Java developers who desire to update their knowledge on the new capabilities of the JDK regarding application modularization.

21.

Java 9 Modularity: Patterns and Practices for Developing Maintainable Applications - Sander Mak & Paul Bakker
Java 9 Modularity: Patterns and Practices for Developing Maintainable Applications - Sander Mak & Paul Bakker

The modularization of the JDK finally appeared in Java 9, which is vital to support the Java platform to take another step and prepare for its future. Nevertheless, this modularization discussed a certain complexity for which developers have not prepared. The Java 9 Modularity book now comes in handy, enabling developers to explore JPMS - Java Platform Modularization System deeply.

After the introduction of how JPMS works, the book focuses on showing you the most effective patterns and practices for growing strong and maintainable modular Java 9 applications. Moreover, the book is also suitable for developers from other languages who wish to expand their minds to modularization in Java.

22. Modern Java in Action

Modern Java in Action: Lambdas, streams, functional, and reactive programming - Raoul-Gabriel Urma, Mario Fusco, and Alan Mycroft
Modern Java in Action: Lambdas, streams, functional, and reactive programming - Raoul-Gabriel Urma, Mario Fusco, and Alan Mycroft

Modern Java in Action has been updated from the bestseller Java 8 in Action, showing you how to build modern applications in Java. The book includes Java 9 and Java 10, which have the JDK’s newest features, giving great support for reactive programming in Java.

This new programming mode is becoming popular thanks to its numerous advantages, so it is critical for a Java developer to understand its fundamentals. This book will bring you a chance and enable you to create powerful and maintainable applications in a brand new way.

23. Java 9 Programming By Example

Java 9 Programming by Example: Your Guide to Software Development - Peter Verhas
Java 9 Programming by Example: Your Guide to Software Development - Peter Verhas

When having learned the theory of the Java programming language, the developer faces a kind of wall. How to overcome the gap between the theoretical and practical parts with specific cases from real life? How to leverage all the latest practices and APIs in the Java realm to create quality Java applications?

To help you cross the gap, Java 9 Programming by Example will be a perfect book. Following an example-based approach, the book shows Java developers how to utilize the new features of Java 9 along with a focus on HTTP 2.0 and modularity.

Furthermore, this book also provides excellent practices to dissect the code from your applications into modules.

Wrapping up

The huge number of books related to Java web programming is an advantage but also a disadvantage when you have to make a choice. This article has shown you a selection of the 20+ interesting books to learn to program in Java, regardless of your level, because they aim at both fresher and experienced developers.

Which Java book do you like? Please share it with us via the comment box below.

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