Top 5 C++ books to get you started with the language

I won’t lie to you, C++ is a complex language and is considered by many to be hard. However, if you learn it, the reward is huge.

There are many video games and applications in general which are written in C++ such as Adobe Systems, Microsoft Office Suite, WinRAR, MySQL etc.

Here’s a top with 5 C++ books that you can read if you want to get started with the language or programming in general. I have added a variety of books from which you can choose, so take your pick.

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

This book written by the father of C++, Bjarne Stroustrup, is the best book that you can start with as a beginner programmer.

It covers all the highlights from versions of the language and standard libraries from C++11 up until C++17(C++11, C++14, and C++17).

The downside in this case is that it doesn’t cover C++20 which is the latest released standard and C++23 is also right around the corner.

It has ~1200 pages.

A Tour of C++ (C++ In-Depth Series) 2nd Edition

Another book written by mr. Stroustrup.

This time, it is a short book that you can read, but in my opinion, this is better if you already have some programming experience with other programming language like C, C#, Java etc.

It has ~240 pages.

C++ Primer (5th Edition)

A book written by Stanley Lippman, Josée Lajoie and Barbara Moo that covers a lot of the basic C++ concepts with examples.

Prior programming/C++ programming experience is a plus and should help you a lot when using this book but I don’t think is a must.

You should maybe also use some form of online tutorials in parallel with this one.

It has good usability even after reading since you can keep it as a reference.

There are ~880 pages in this one.

Effective Modern C++: 42 Specific Ways to Improve Your Use of C++11 and C++14 1st Edition

Of course there is a book by Scott Meyers. He is(was) one of the best “teachers” of C++ out there.

However, some of the parts from the book are a bit outdated and Scott Meyers is retired so you can read this with a grain of salt.

There are still a whole lot of very useful and good information in there but it’s not the best start for a total programming beginner. Read this when you have some experience with the language.

It is a “book” solely based on examples with ~330 pages and it covers C++11 and C++14(hence my statement about being a little bit outdated).

Nonetheless, it is a good book and you should check it out, even more so, taking into consideration the fact that many companies do not adopt newer standards until very late. There are many projects still using C++14 or even C++11.

Beginning C++20: From Novice to Professional 6th Edition

And something a little bit more up to date.

This book is written by Ivor Horton and Peter Van Weert and is covering C++20(which is the latest standard, with C++23 on it’s way).

It is a very good book for complete beginners and covers all the important aspects of modern C++(C++11, C++14, C++17, C++20).

You should definitely check this out.

It has around ~810 pages and has in depth explanations and examples.

That’s it

These are the top 5 books that I recommend for C++ beginners. I know that not all of these have fully up to date information but you can still find very useful things.

I tried to add a variety here so that you can choose.

Don’t forget to let me and others know if any of these helped you and how, in the comments below.

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