What Is the Best Programming Book for Beginners?

I know, I know.  You’re here looking for the best programming book for beginners (if you came here from Google).  The one book to rule them all, as it were.

I wish I could give you that.  I wish anyone could.

But here’s the thing.  Programming is so involved — so complex — that anyone offering a book like that is selling you snake oil.

There are bootcamps and 4 year CS degrees dedicated to preparing you for a programming career.  No one book is going to stand in for that.  And that applies even if you’re looking for a hobby, rather than a career.

So what I’ll do in this post is make some book recommendations.  By the end, I’ll offer a lot of those.

But first, I’ll do something you won’t see in other posts about beginner programmer books.  I’ll give you a definitive sequence of books to read along with an explanation of why these books, in this order.  Then, I’ll offer the obligatory, “here’s all kinds of books you could read.”

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