The Best Computer Science Books

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If you have ever looked for computer science books on your local bookstore or online, you will know what we mean when we say it’s akin to finding a needle into a haystack. Nowadays, since we are already in the modern era where technology made life-changing impacts on all of us, a vast population of books tackling technology is available.

In every bookstore, there are some fantastic technology and computer science books; gems hidden in plain that provide gold nuggets of information. Computer science is a prevalent book genre, and you can see that in any of the books on this list.

Equipped with the latest haystack-separation technology, we have been able to bring together the best computer science books available today to help you in your research for the best books for your profession or studies.

If you prefer to listen instead of reading, we also have compiled the best computer science audiobooks for your pleasure.

What are the best Computer Science books?

So, let us start with the first one!

Title: Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

Author: Nick Bostrom

What We Like

Did you know Superintelligence is one of Elon Musk’s favorite books of all time?

Written by a best-selling book author, Nick Bostrom tells the foundation that can lead us to a better understanding of intelligent life and humanity’s future. This book tackles the possibilities when artificial intelligence happens to exceed the capabilities of a human mind.

Bolstrom tries to relay the advantages and disadvantages of having a society that can be possibly ruled by artificial intelligence years from now. Superintelligence also seeks to impose that artificial intelligence can be too powerful for a human to control. Additionally, the book answers the questions: What can happen if artificial intelligence surpassed the human mind? Can it bring disadvantages to our living?

What We Like Less

The only thing that we don’t like about this book is that it has an exaggerated tone. It does not seem to inform the readers anymore, but instead, it brings fear. These are the fear of being ruled by artificial intelligence, harms in health, security, and economy, as well as the creation of robots, terminators, transformers, and other else.

Why You Are Going to Like it

But above all, you will like this book, especially if you are fond of technology and computer science.

Title: Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution

Author: Steven Levy

What We Like

Another highly-recommended book is the Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. Steven Levy wrote this book, and it tells the stories of exploits that started the computer revolution. It discusses the eccentric and brilliant nerds from the 1950s to the 1980s and what they did to push the world in a new radical direction.

The book may seem old but if you find the most recent editions, it has updated material, which includes the insights of modern hackers such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.

What We Like Less​

Sometimes the book becomes too wordy and long as it explores the backgrounds of various early computer science pioneers not widely known. It also becomes overrated when it comes to describing the famous hackers of all time.

Why You Are Going to Like it

All in all, this book is indeed great, and you will like it for it has insights from the considered modern hackers nowadays like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, and Richard Stillman.

Title: Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

Author: Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

What We Like

If you are fond of algorithms in computer science, this book will do well with you. Brian Christian and cognitive scientist Tom Griffiths describe how algorithms like those used by computers can aid our decision making in life.

You will learn astonishing things, for example, how to deal with overwhelming choices or when to leave something to chance, even for simple things in life.

What We Like Less​

The book may be found boring by other readers. Also if you do not have a strong foundation of understanding about computer algorithms, it might be hard to pick the lessons being relayed by the book.

Why You Are Going to Like it

But all in all, this book is outstanding and worth reading, as it has quite a lot of thought-provoking information about how algorithms can apply to real-world scenarios.

Title: The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition

Author: Don Norman

What We Like

We also recommend this book for it has a lot of benefits and new approaches to provide. This book explains the design of anything that we mostly use in our daily life. It tells the systems and features of anything such as aircraft, nuclear bombs, and even your doorknobs. A lot of readers regarded this book as a helpful and effective one. Also, this book explains why other people hate the things they use.

Through this book, they can gain a deeper understanding of a thing.

What We Like Less​

However, due to this book is so informative, some topics might be too advanced for young readers. There are unfamiliar things that can bother their mind, yet it is still great to make lots of new discoveries, isn’t it?

Why You Are Going to Like it

“The Design of Everyday Things” is an exceptional read on how simple stuff around us were designed.

Title: The Soul of a New Machine​

Author: Tracy Kidder

What We Like

Here is another book on computer science that can help you deal with your studies. This book mainly focuses on the revolution of the machine back in the 20th century. It is like a history book that traces the origin of the machine and its production.

This is a great book to rely on if you are looking forward to strengthening your understanding of the machine history and how it moved forward to what it is now. Also, it can widen your perspective on certain possibilities that you can apply to your studies and work in the field of computer science and technology.

What We Like Less​

It is not for everyone. If you have any interest in the nostalgic and classic history of the computer revolution, then “The Soul of a New Machine” would be an awesome book for computer science!

Why You Are Going to Like it

If you want to read about the wonders of the computer revolution that brought lots of global changes and improvements, it is totally recommended.

Title: Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software

Author: Charles Petzold

What We Like

Just like anybody else, I like to discover new stuff that can bring ease in my thinking or belief about a particular situation. Good thing, this book reaches my expectations regarding an informative and fun to read a book about codes and languages of computer software and hardware. “Code” brings a lot of new ideas that I use in my practice and studies.

One of the well-discussed topics in this book is the Morse code, which has been used through the years for computer software and hardware development.

What We Like Less​

However, this book features in-depth topics that can be too hard for some readers.

Why You Are Going to Like it

Overall, this book is really worth your money, time, and effort.

Title: Alan Turing: The Enigma

Author: Andrew Hodges

What We Like

If you already have a book about algorithms, adding the Introduction to Algorithms is an excellent choice. This book has a lot of mathematical foundations in the analysis of algorithms, as well as mathematical rigors. It is published most especially for those professionals and students in the field of engineering and computer science.

Introduction to Algorithms is also filled with graphs, data structures, computational geometry, FFTs or the Fast Fourier Transforms, and a lot more.

What We Like Less​

There is nothing that we dislike about this book, for it guarantees quality and reliability that can be applied to the field of engineering and computer science effectively.

Why You Are Going to Like it

We highly recommend this book on computer science for it is a complete package for you to deepen your foundation and understanding algorithms.

Title: Introduction to the Theory of Computation

Author: Michael Sipser

What We Like

Another computer science book to read that we highly recommend is the Introduction to the Theory of Computation. If you are looking for a reliable source to validate your claims and ideas regarding the theory of computation, this book is the best to use. It was written by Michael Sipser, who has a strong philosophy in writing: make the subject relevant and interesting so that the readers will learn.

In this book, he gave emphasis on how the process of computation was made and its application not only in mathematical subjects but to life as well. This can greatly help a lot of students to strengthen their knowledge about the topic.

What We Like Less​

However, there are topics in this book that can be too confusing and hard to understand, especially to beginners.

Why You Are Going to Like it

Introduction to the Theory of Computation is written well and a great read.

Title: The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software EngineeringAuthor: Frederick P. Brooks Jr.

What We Like

If you are looking for a source-based on personal experience, Fred Brooks: The Mythical Man-Month will do well to help you. This book is a compilation of essays which was written by the author as his experiences while he was working as a project manager in a software company.

This is great to use for it can be both motivational and informative. It provides a lot of ideas and techniques on how to deal with any matter concerning computer science and technology.

What We Like Less​

However, this book also has flaws. One of that is its content is being more like about project planning rather than software development.

Here, the main topic is missing and being changed into a new topic.

Why You Are Going to Like it

Although it is still relevant yet the writer became too personal in writing the book. But above all, this book is a great find and I consider it among the best books on computer science.

Title: Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction

Author: Steve McConnell

What We Like

Written by Steve McConnell, this book is filled with code complete guidelines and tips. This book helped a lot of developers to write high-quality software for several decades now. It is a classic book that is fully revised and updated for better quality and reliability when used by the readers. It also includes hundreds of code samples, an illustration of science and art of software construction, as well as leading-edge computer programming practices.

No matter your level of knowledge and status, such as a professional or student, this book can greatly help and improve working with code.

What We Like Less​

However, since it is a classic book, its second edition has been antiquated. Some topics are not well-discussed, and there are some that seem not in sync to the kind of technology we have right now.

Why You Are Going to Like it

Overall, a great book for those looking to improve their coding styles and practices. If you are new to coding then it is definitively recommenced.

Title: Algorithms​

Author: Kevin Wayne and Robert Sedgewick

What We Like

Another book that is highly recommended to deepen your understanding of computer science and technology is Algorithms. This book can help you strengthen your knowledge about the algorithm and its connected topics.

Also, it was written by well-known writers: Kevin Wayne and Robert Sedgewick.

What We Like Less​

However, some figures are rendered poorly. This can hinder the readers from understanding and effectively reading the content.

Why You Are Going to Like it

Above all, this book is still a must-have.

Title: Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs – (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)

Author: Harold Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman

What We Like

This is another highly-recommended book that you can consider. This book is the long-awaited revision of its first edition, which has the same title. It contains a lot of revisions and improvements in terms of explaining computer science and technology.

Some of the primary focuses of this revision include computational models, concurrent programming, objects with state, lazy evaluation, and functional programming.

What We Like Less​

This book is excellent that it does not even have any flaws at all.

Why You Are Going to Like it

The book contains a lot of new ideas that you can apply in your study or practice of computer science and technology.

Title: Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Author: Donella H. Meadows

What We Like

Written by Donella Meadows, this book is considered as one of the best books tackling technology ever published. Due to the unexpected passing of Meadows eight years after completing the draft of Thinking In Systems, the book was never completed. Nevertheless, the book is a crucial and concise one that offers different insights about solving the problems we face. Also, this book addresses the contribution of systems in the continuous development of society.

It tries to relay the tangible connection of computer systems and society to help and provide the people with the best life.

What We Like Less​

However, some topics presented by Meadows’s  worldview and are proven wrong.

Why You Are Going to Like it

Despite the above fact, there is much that you can learn about systems.

Title: Turing’s Vision: The Birth of Computer Science (The MIT Press)

Author: Chris Bernhardt

What We Like

Turing’s Vision is also one of the highly-recommended books to buy, especially if you are still starting your journey towards a better understanding of computer science. This book, as seen obviously in its title, is all about the birth and origin of computer science.

It lays the basic and fore foundation of computer science that led it to what it is now.

What We Like Less​

However, this book is a mathematical context. That is why patience and hard work are needed to understand every topic.

Why You Are Going to Like it

If you are technically inclined the book is a must.

Title: Cracking the Coding Interview: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions

Author: Gayle Laakmann McDowell

What We Like

Cracking the Coding Interview is another book that you can consider. This book contains 189 questions and solutions for coding and programming.

These insights will be a great help also if you are having an interview about code-cracking.

What We Like Less​

The book’s print quality is not good, and for some may seem a list of questions that cover many things (which it is).

Why You Are Going to Like it

Also, this book is a must-have for it has effective and quality topics that can help you a lot in your journey. It is a must-have and must-read!

Title: Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software

Author: Erich Gamma

What We Like

This book is all about design patterns that aim to teach the readers how to be more creative when it comes to the application of design to software programs. It also highlights the elements of reusable object-oriented software that you can always consider.

What We Like Less​

However, this book can be too old, and some contents are hard to understand.

Why You Are Going to Like it

Design Patterns has been through a lot, and it proudly sent lots of professionals in the field of computer science and technology.

Title: Computer Science Distilled: Learn the Art of Solving Computational Problems

Author: Wladston Ferreira Filho

What We Like

This book is easy to read and fast to understand, one that aims to teach the readers some basics about computer science. It also teaches readers how to practice the art of solving computational problems.

What We Like Less​

The approach of this book seems to be an overview of computer science but be warned, do not expect a light read.

Why You Are Going to Like it

The book is a good summary for Computer Science topics.

Title: The Self-Taught Programmer: The Definitive Guide to Programming Professionally

Author: Cory Althoff

What We Like

The Self-Taught Programmer is inspired by the author’s personal experiences and knowledge. It is an insightful book where the author shared his experiences and some facts that he learned through studying and practicing computer science.

What We Like Less​

The only problem in this book is that it lacks details and limited depth only.

Why You Are Going to Like it

If you are looking for a book that is both informative and motivating, this is the perfect one to use.

Even if you start your computer engineering career today or you are already an achieved professional, those tecnology and computer science books are a must-read! They contain information that is timeless that we may forget from time to time.

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