Book club edition

You can tell a lot about a programmer by checking out the books on their bookshelf, I would think. And also by looking at their t-shirt, but we'll save that for another time.

This post I wanted to mention three books that I'm currently enjoying, and which you might also find interesting.



Windows 8.1 Apps with XAML and C# is one of the better Windows programming books I've read in a while. It's full of very practical explanations on writing Windows apps (and plenty of it will apply to Windows Phone too) and does it in a very clear, school-textbook kind of way. It's visual appealing and pragmatic in its approach: two things I like in a book. Sure, reading a 14 page chapter on interprocess communication is nice and all, but sometimes I just want to learn how to do something and get on with writing my app.

Windows 8.1 Apps with XAML and C# by Adam Nathan, ISBN 978-0-672-33708-6


iOS Game Development Cookbook. Yeah, iOS so sue me, but this is a great book. iOS developers know they have some cool frameworks to play with, and this is a collection of recipes for messing with SpriteKit, 3G graphics, AI, networking and a lot more. I like the cookbook format, as you can grasp exactly how something is going to work in a short 15 line code snippet and implement it straightaway. Here's hoping someone will write a Windows / Windows Phone 8.1 version someday.

iOS Game Development Cookbook by Jonathon Manning and Paris Buffield-Addison, ISBN 978-1-449-36876-0


Essential Algorithms is one of those books that you might have read in computer science class, but if you're old like me, this could be the first time you've seen computing's key algorithms all explained in a beautifully clear way, with plenty of examples (and solutions) to work through. If you are a self-learner, this is a great book and I can't recommend it enough. It's a joy when something elegant just clicks in your mind. If you are interviewing and the company you're interviewing with insists on testing your programming skills with linked lists and binary search trees you will also find it helpful (it didn't help me, for you know, reasons) but you might have more luck. But it's also just a good book and I'm not blaming it for my personal failures ;-)

Essential Algorithms by Rod Stephens, ISBN 978-1-118-61210-1


Got a favourite book? Let me know.