Looking for the best C# books to get you up to speed or hone your skills?
This list was first published in 2011, and has been updated yearly since.
C# (pronounced see sharp) is a multi-paradigm programming language encompassing strong typing, imperative, declarative, functional, procedural, generic, object-oriented (class-based), and component-oriented programming disciplines. C# is intended to be a simple, modern, general-purpose, object-oriented programming language. It is often used side-by-side with other web languages to develop powerful online and in-house web applications, and C# books are in high demand due to its growing popularity and strength across multiple fields.
If you are only looking for one or two C# books, especially if you are new to programming and want to master the C# language, I definitely recommend one of the introductory ones listed ones here. They are popular, well-written, well-received and easy to follow for even those completely new to programming in general.
C# 5.0 in a Nutshell: The Definitive Reference
C# 5.0 in a Nutshell is a clean and straight-forward approach to covering the language. Packed with plenty of clear diagrams and with an excellent writing style, this books is quite visual and easy to read. It is cleverly organised around concepts and cases, with the diagrams helping paint a picture of each topic. Subjects covered include in-depth coverage of C# 5.0′s new asynchronous functions, as well as concurrency, threading, parallel and dynamic programming, networking, security and LINQ/XML technologies. Read more..
CLR via C#
CLR via C# is another highly detailed book that gives a lot of information with each chapter, and so is not a beginner’s book for learning the language from scratch. It is for experienced programmers interested in a deeper understanding of C# programming, architecture and the .NET platform. It also covers the runtime environment, asynchronous programming while providing extensive Visual C# 2012 code samples and authoritative and pragmatic guidance on development concepts such as generics and threading. Read more..
Pro C# 5.0 and the .NET 4.5 Framework
Pro C# 5.0 and the .NET 4.5 Framework is written for more experienced developers, experienced software professionals or graduate students of computer science who want to use a heavier book as a reference or guide. If you have had experience however with C# or another object-oriented programming language then this book would be no trouble. It’s got good examples that deal specifically with each concept when it is introduced. It covers topics such as .NET APIs for Windows 8 apps, the asynchronous task-based model for async operations, HTML5 support wrapping in C# web applications, programming interfaces for HTTP applications, and WPF, WCF and WF libraries improving C# power. Read more..
Introduction to C# Joes 2 Pros
Introduction to C# Joes 2 Pros takes a very lightweight approach to teaching C# to beginners, and is perfect for the classroom or individual study for those who haven’t programmed before. It’s full of examples, illustrations and easy to follow explanations, as well as sample code to learn from, and the writing style makes sense and is very easy to follow. The book does a great job of introducing the basics of C# and using the console window, however does not teach the .NET framework. Read more..
C# 5.0 Pocket Reference: Instant Help for C# 5.0 Programmers
This C# pocket reference assumes some familiarity already with C# and higher-level programming. If you’re already knee-deep in programming and just want the essential rundown on how C# then this is the reference book for you. It focuses on the specifics and what an experienced user really needs to know, with a solid index and tightly-focused rundown on the essentials. It contains a full list of identifiers and keywords, operators in order of precedence, constrains, commonly used exception types, composing sequences, a table of query operations, pre-processor directives and plenty more presented in a straight-forward fashion. Read more..
C# in Depth, Second Edition
C# in Depth isn’t a beginner’s book for learning C# or how to start programming, but it is an amazing follow-up book to solidify your understanding of the language. If you want to master your understanding of how C# works and are already an experienced C# programming then this is a highly recommended book. It clearly explains each major language feature of C# in a detailed and well-written manner, obviously taking time to comprehensively cover every detail. Because of its immense detail this book makes a great reference point, with an analysis of each language feature, when and how it was introduced and exactly how it works. Read more..
Head First C#, 2E: A Learner’s Guide to Real-World Programming with Visual C# and .NET
Head First C# is part of a signature very beginner oriented book series that clearly covers the language for those who have never programmed before. It teaches the language at an easy to follow and understand pace and uses plenty of examples, exercises, illustrations and repetition. If you have any concerns with learning a new language or that you don’t have enough understanding of the fundamentals you can rest assured this series will have you nicely covered. It covers the basics including variables, if statements, loops and program structure, namespace, classes, methods, and statements. Definitely one of the best books to get started learning C# for those who don’t have a programming background Read more..