I bet that many of you have some favorite books-of-the-trade. Books that made you curious about development, or book that helped you to learn how to code.
Some of my favorites are:

Algorithms and Data Structures” by Julian M. Bucknall. Although focussed on Delphi, this book delivers so much know-how on several topics like algorithm performance, searching, linked lists, hashing, hash tables, arrays. A very good read.

Database systems: design, implementation and management” by Peter Rob and Carlos Coronel. This (academic) book explains everything there is to know about databases and design. Tough but valuable.

Think like a programmer: a solution to creative problem solving” by V. Anton Spraul. This funny book shows how to deal with problems that need to be solved programmatically. Paradigms like recursion, iterations, arrays, where to use them and how to use them. Examples are written in C++ but that should not stop you from reading it.

Besides these, I bought some of the available books on Real Basic/Real Studio (before the Xojo era):

Beginning Real basic: From Novice to Professional” by Jerry Lee Ford. Basic, but still usable, and still available!

Real Basic, the definite guide” by Matt Neuburg. Very good, very informative, excellent examples. Still available. Surprised me, because I thought it was out of print.

Realbasic. Cross Platform Application Development” by Mark. S. Choate. I wasn’t able to do much with this book. It is written around a very specific application that gets build.

Not about development but about cryptography:
The Code Book” by Simon Singh. I you want something to read about this topic, buy this book. Very informative and very well written. Compelling.

What are your favorites?

Interesting topic, there are too many books now to have a favourite but some stand out from the past.

Aged 14 years old I started with Illustrating BASIC purchased by my father from a shop in Hastings UK. I began to code in my head before I had a computer thinking about how many pots of paint needed to paint a water tank etc. I had to wait until 1981before I could have my own computer a ZX81 and then moved on to Mastering Machine Code on Your ZX81. I must have been a strange child :-). [Still have the books to remind me of where I began]

I moved on to C with The C Programming Language [Lost somewhere]

For Windows programming I started with the Petzold book Programming Windows [Lost somewhere]

I moved on to C++ with The C++ Programming Language so that I could use MFC to program Windows. [Still have]

Looking at the prices for some of those books I wish that I had kept all of them!

Nowadays I read most of my books on SafariBooks it is easy to justify the monthly subscription based on buying one or two paper books per month. Topics include .Net language and frameworks, development process and practice, Ruby (I love Ruby but never seem to justify any commercial use), HTML/Web, SOA, DSLs, UML, Enterprise Architecture, etc.

ZX81! I still have this book! Good old sir Sinclair. I remember the keys were tokenized. You needed 6 fingers to key in a specific token. Sheer magic! I was (after days of fiddling) able to move a sprite over the TV screen. My friends were baffled…

Books that inspired me include…

Compilers: Principles, Techniques and Tools by Alfred V. Ago, Ravi Sethi, Jeffrey D. Ullman (1986). Even if you never plan to write compilers, this book gives a new meaning to string manipulation. An old book but still very relevant.

And my personal favorite… Artificial Intelligence: A new synthesis by Nils J. Nilsson (1998). This book is a bit of a heavy read, and I only fully appreciated it with the second read. The way Nilsson looks at algorithms is invaluable.

Then of course the new Xojo manuals and Introduction to Xojo Programming. These books helped me a lot to increase my Xojo skills.

I can’t believe someone else still has this!
Most of I learned from was “Programming of the 6502” which taught me real bit maths and machine language in 1983. Well…

It was the old Compute! magazines for me. I seriously started on TRS-80 computers. My best books for learning after the magazines of the 80’s:

Petzold’s Programing Windows

McConnell’s Code Complete

Sisk’s Pick/BASIC: A Programmer’s Guide

[quote=14359:@Bob Coleman]

Sisk’s Pick/BASIC: A Programmer’s Guide[/quote]

oh my god…Bob…I use to use Pick/Basic back in 1986 to 1992. I was using the Pick OS with some minicomputer. Remember the SQL language is Access Basic… i think.

Actually Access would be a query language like SQL in the way that Xojo is like Java.

I’ve been programming Pick based systems since 1989, and currently use jBASE in my day job with a few other languages mixed in.

I found Head First Design Patterns to be a great introduction to Design Patterns. It’s written for Java but easy-peasy to to understand and rewrite into Xojo.

[quote=14419:@Bob Coleman]Actually Access would be a query language like SQL in the way that Xojo is like Java.

I’ve been programming Pick based systems since 1989, and currently use jBASE in my day job with a few other languages mixed in.[/quote]

After i leave my job doing Pick OS, I start using MS Access to develop application. So i sort of move from Pick Access to Ms Access. One being a SQL and the other a development tool. I only move to RB/RS/Xojo in 2005. So i used MS Access from 1992-2005.

I like “Ramblings on REALbasic” by Aaron Ballman a lot. He takes you to lower levels of the language than many of us would never discover on our on. For SQLite, I like, “The SQL Guide to SQLite” by Rick F. van der Lans. Much more hands on than the more popular, “Using SQLite”, which is a good book, but that book delves more into the inner workings of SQLite database engine, and not as accessible for real world examples as the previous book I mentioned.

Thanks for the tip on, “Think Like a Programmer” looks like an entertaining read (and probably why my wife thinks I am a little on the geeky side).

Agreed - good read.

On the SQL subject “SQL Antipatterns” is a good guide to potential pitfalls as you are learning SQL.