10 Best C Books For Beginners to Advanced Programmers

Posted in /   /  

10 Best C Books For Beginners to Advanced Programmers

Vinay Khatri
Last updated on December 9, 2022

    To learn the C programming language, you must have a strong foundation of C, which requires some specific C books. Using them, you can practice and learn new things about the C language. Though C in itself is not a complete programming language and does not contain many important concepts such as OOPs, for beginners, learning C is worthwhile. With C, you can learn the basic concepts of data structures as well as you will be able to deal with many algorithms that are very useful to start as a beginner.

    Best C Books for Beginners

    When you go to face an interview, the interviewer mostly starts with the basics and focuses on data structures and algorithms. With C, you can easily learn data structures that can be your asset for the future and can help you land a good job. For that, you need some good books to understand what C is and how it works. There are lots of books in the market to learn C, but here we have listed some highly recommended books.

    1. The C Programming Language

    The C Programming Language

    Author : Dennis M. Ritchie and Brian W. Kernighan

    The book was first published in 1978. Although written many decades ago, it did not lose its worth yet. This C book will take you through the basics to the advanced concepts of the C programming language and make sure that you will thoroughly understand every concept of the C  programming language . It has many precise examples for every concept in C, which makes it easier to understand them.

    It doesn’t matter what level you are in programming; if you want to learn C, then this book must be your first choice. This book has more than one edition. Thus, make sure that you get the latest edition. The following are some significant C topics covered in this book:

    • Variables, arrays, functions, and symbolic constants.
    • Data types, operators, and expressions.
    • Function and program structure.
    • Pointer and arrays.
    • Structures.
    • The UNIX system interface.

    About the Author: Dennis M. Ritchie was an American computer scientist. Also, he was the creator of the C programming language and the developer of the UNIX operating system. Brian W. Kernighan is a Canadian computer scientist who worked at Bell Labs. He had also contributed to the development of the UNIX operating system, along with Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson.

    Publisher : Prentice-Hall
    Paperback Print Length: 228 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    2. Let Us C Books

    Let Us C

    Author : Yashavant Kanetkar

    Let Us C is an interesting book written by Yashavant Kanetkar. This is for beginners and those who found C complex. This book helps programmers to understand C programming in an interesting manner. It contains a lot of complex programs that are written in such an easy way so that beginners do not find any difficulty understanding the concepts.

    Due to its easy-to-understand take on C concepts, it has been added to the curriculum of many computer sciences and programming courses . This book is ideal for beginners. It begins with the simple C concepts and moves on to advanced topics. Some significant topics covered in this book are as follows:

    • Inheritance and polymorphism.
    • Language interoperability.
    • Arrays and strings.
    • Preprocessor directives.
    • Garbage collection.
    • MD5 checksums.

    About the Author: Yashavant Kanetkar is an Indian author who writes academic computer science books. He is the director of two firms, KICIT and KSET. In addition, he completed his B.E. from VJIT, Mumbai, and M.Tech from IIT Kanpur.

    Publisher : BPB Publications
    Paperback Print Length: 646 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    3. Head First C

    Head first C

    Author : Dawn Griffiths and David Griffiths

    This book contains 12 chapters, and when you finish this book, you will definitely be able to understand all the basic syntax as well as some advanced concepts of C. This book will teach you how to be a good programmer and how to write code in an efficient way. Topics such as pointers and dynamic memory allocation will help you to understand how computer memory works when the program runs.

    Memory arrangement is the most important factor of any programming language, and these topics of memory arrangement in C will help you to understand it. This book explains the following C topics:

    • Getting Started with C.
    • Memory and Pointers.
    • Strings.
    • Creating Small Tools.
    • Using Multiple Source Files.
    • Structs, Unions, and Bitfields.
    • Data Structures and Dynamic Memory.
    • Advanced Functions.
    • Static and Dynamic Libraries.
    • Processes and System Calls.
    • Interprocess Communication.
    • Sockets and Networking.
    • Threads.

    About the Author: David Griffiths started programming when he was 12. At 15, he wrote an implementation of Papert's computer language, LOGO. Currently, he is an agile coach with Exoftware in the UK. Dawn Griffiths is a mathematician who was awarded a First-Class Honours degree in Mathematics. But later, she pursued her career in software development. She has more than 15 years of experience in the IT industry.

    Publisher : O’Reilly Media
    Paperback Print Length: 632 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    4. Data Structure Through C Books

    Data Structure through C

    Author : Yashavant Kanetkar

    Yashavant Kanetkar has written many good C books for the programming industry. This is another good C book written by the author that focuses on data structures. You should know that data structure plays an important role in technical interviews. With the help of this book, you will be able to understand all the basic data structures of C and how they work. Also, Data Structures Through C contains all the important aspects of data structure and algorithms, such as arrays, strings, sorting, searching, stacks, and trees.

    This book is ideal for students and computer professionals. The author has explained every concept in an easy-to-understand language. Moreover, he has depicted several examples of complex data structure topics, helping you understand everything clearly. This book comes with a CD that visually illustrates the theory in the book.

    About the Author: Yashwant Kanetkar is an Indian author and best-selling author of many programming books. He is honored with the Best .Net Technical Award and Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award by Microsoft.

    Publisher : BPB Publications
    Paperback Print Length: 647 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    5. A Book on C (4th edition)

    A Book on C

    Author : Al Kelley and Ira Pohl

    A Book on C: Programming in C is one of the best-selling books on the C programming language. This book contains 752 pages and covers all the basic concepts of C. The main asset of this book is its examples. Numerous examples for each concept make it easy for the programmer to understand the concepts.

    The authors have explained code examples step-by-step, making it easier to understand the working of code and in-depth implementation details. Also, this book focuses on abstract data types that help you gain a strong understanding of working with objects.

    Features of the book are:

    • An impressive technique for illustrating and teaching concepts.
    • Details recursion concepts with many exercises.
    • Explains all data types in C .
    • A newly added topic of transitioning from C to Java.
    • The book contains practical implementations of each topic.

    Publisher : Addison-Wesley
    Paperback Print Length: 742 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    6. Computer Fundamentals and Programming in C

    Computer Fundamentals and Programming in C

    Author: Reema Thareja

    The author has designed this book for undergraduate students of engineering, computer science, and computer applications. You will learn all the fundamental concepts of C programming and computer science. The author has divided the C book into two parts, namely Computer Fundamentals and Programming in C.

    Part 1, Computer Fundamentals, walks you through a thorough introduction to computers, various input-output devices, primary and secondary memory devices, and processor architecture.

    Part 2, Programming in C, teaches you the basics of C programming and data structures. Also, you will find a number of case studies, well-labeled illustrations, and exercises at the end of each chapter.

    About the Author: Reema Thareja is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Shyama Prasad Mukherjee College for Women, University of Delhi.

    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Paperback Print Length: 544 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    7. Low-Level Programming: C, Assembly, and Program Execution on Intel 64 Architecture

    Author: Igor Zhirkov

    This book is a perfect guide for you to learn the Intel 64 assembly language and the latest version of C, C 11. It also helps you to understand the compilation and execution of programs down to machine instructions. You can also learn to write robots and high-performance C code. It also covers exercises and code examples, along with best practices. Moreover, you will explore various performance-gain techniques, such as SSE instructions and pre-fetching. It is ideal for intermediate- and advanced-level C programmers. This book will help you learn:

    • Writing hassle-free in assembly language.
    • The programming model of Intel 64.
    • Writing maintainable and robust C11 code.
    • Debugging errors in compiled assembly language.
    • Writing performance-critical code.
    • The impact of weak memory model in multithreading models.

    About the Author: Igor Zhirkow is the creator of the successful "System Programming Languages” course and teaches it at ITMO University in Saint Petersburg. His interests are programming language theory, type theory, and low-level programming language.

    Publisher: Apress
    Paperback Print Length: 435 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    8. C in a Nutshell: The Definitive Reference

    C in a Nutshell, 2e The Definitive Reference

    Author: Tony Crawford and Peter Prinz

    As its name suggests, C, in a Nutshell, is a definitive guide for you to gain knowledge of the 2011 standard C language. This book helps you understand the effects of unfamiliar functions in C and what standard it requires to behave. You can explore all the concepts of the C language, along with the latest and recently added features. This book covers:

    • Introduction to the current version of the C language.
    • All the concepts of C in easy-to-understand language.
    • An introduction to IDEs and multithreading.
    • Developing and debugging C code.

    About the Author: Tony Crawford is a freelance translator and a technical writer. He has translated books on network administration and ATM from German to English. Peter Prinz is a course developer who creates courses for thousands of students for Unix and Windows systems. He is the co-founder and chief developer of Authensis AG, a German company. Moreover, he has many years of experience in computer science for computer telephony.

    Publisher: O'Reilly
    Paperback Print Length: 824 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    9. Hands-On Network Programming with C

    Hands-On Network Programming with C Learn socket programming in C and write secure and optimized network code

    Author: Lewis Van Winkle

    Hands-on Network Programming with C is a definitive guide for those who wish to learn to program with network sockets, implement internet protocols, and design IoT devices with C. It helps you get started with network programming in C. Moreover, it provides you with an understanding of using the relevant operating systems APIs. After reading this book, you will learn:

    You will also gain hands-on experience working with client-server applications. Also, you will learn to implement new network programs in C by the end of this book.

    About the Author: Lewis Van Winkle is an entrepreneur, software consultant, and founder of a successful company. He published his first successful software product at the age of 12. Moreover, he has more than 15 years of hands-on experience with C and many other operating systems. He specializes in networking, machine learning , financial systems, and interoperation between different programming languages.

    Publisher: Packt Publishing Limited
    Paperback Print Length: 478 pages

    You can buy this book from here .

    10. Data Structures Using C

    Data Structures Using C

    Author: Reema Thareja

    Data Structures Using C is a comprehensive guide that provides you with an in-depth understanding of data structures and implementation of these data structures in the C language. This book starts with the basic C concepts and moves forward to introducing the fundamentals of data structures.

    The C book covers various data structures, such as arrays, linked lists, stacks, queues, strings, heaps, and graphs. After providing an in-depth introduction of each data structure , this book covers various algorithms related to the operations that can be performed on that data structure. Moreover, the author has provided you with various exercises and MCQs at the end of every chapter.

    About the Author: Reema Thareja is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Shyama Prasad Mukherjee College for Women, University of Delhi. She specializes in programming languages, web technologies, DBMS , multimedia, microprocessors, and operating systems .

    Publisher: Oxford
    Paperback Print Length: 530 pages

    You can buy this book from here .


    C is not a new language, albeit a very old programming language. In fact, it has been the inspiration for so many popular programming languages. Learning C only for gaining a good job is not a good idea. However, learning C to understand the concepts of programming better is a very good idea. Moreover, after learning C, it becomes easier to pick up other programming languages.

    People are also reading:


    There is no need to know anything before learning C; it is for absolute beginners. Many individuals start their programming journey by learning C as their first language. Also, many universities introduce C as the first programming language to fresher candidates.

    For beginners, it is obvious that they may find learning C challenging in the beginning. But, a book can help them as there are a galore of comprehensive C books available to provide them with a better grasp of the concepts. When you start learning any programming language, it is highly recommended to refer to books, along with online tutorials and articles.

    Yes, C is an ideal language for beginners as it provides you with knowledge of various programming concepts that help you in learning other languages.

    The C books from Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, and Graham Glass are easy to understand and ideal for beginners as they explain everything in a simple and elegant manner.

    Leave a Comment on this Post