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A selection of recommended C programming books and software.



Students of the Open University course T223 Microprocessor-Based Computers who wish to buy a programming book should obtain one on 'C' rather than 'C++'. Note that some of the books C books introduce C++.

After the course if they want to continue with 'C' programming they may wish to progress to 'C++' which is more Object-Oriented. And shortley I will be adding some good C++ books.

In order that this site can give you, a better deal I now have affiliated with 2 of the top booksellers in the UK. You will be able to obtain additional information and/or buy from either or

Introductory C  

Introductory C++  

Microsoft Visual C++  

Object Oriented C++  

Programming Graphics

Algorithms with C and C++  

General C, C++, and other aimilar.  

This link has current prices of Compilers


Dan Gookin

Amazon Price Guide £29.59

C for Dummies Vol I and II

Paperback - 800 pages (3 July, 1997). ISBN 1568849397
Hungry Minds Inc

  • Purchasing volumes one and two of this excellent text is highly recommended.
  • Dan Gookin writes superbly and the text is interspersed with some light humour, and as you might expect from the Dummies series, a gradual introduction.
  • The book avoids a 'shotgun' approach to terminology, preparing you with the essences of the language and then building on what you know.
  • Volume Two is equally encouraging and moves on to some of the more difficult aspects of C like pointers and C++.
  • Personally I favour learning C and then C++ rather than jumping straight into the OOP of C++.
  • A good precursory read before moving on to a text like Kernighan and Ritchie.

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H.M. Deitel,
P.J. Deitel

Amazon Price Guide £49.03

C How to Program

Textbook Binding - 926 pages. A big book. ISBN 0132261197

From the reviews I would say that this book is more for somebody with some C knowledge rather than a complete beginner in C. Good to use as an exellent reference and guidebook packed with information. It covers the Language very well. John

  • An excellent book.
  • Makes a great textbook for college-level use.
  • Definitely not for the lazy programmer! If you want a quick tutorial in C or C++, read a "..For Dummies" book.
  • The first 15 or so chapters are C-oriented, while chapters 16-21 delve into C++.
  • Contains a large set of appendices that contain quick reference guides to keywords, syntax formats, and names of common header files with a list of functions each header file contains.
  • Uses ANSI C throughout

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H.M. Deitel, P.J. Deitel

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Practical C programming
Steve Oualline

Amazon Price Guide £19.96

Practical C Programming

ISBN 1565923065

I have the first edition, not the current third, of this book, and found it to be easier reading than many other C books, making it suitable for the beginner. John

  • A no-nonsense, practical approach that has made Nutshell Handbooks(R) famous. C programming is more than just getting the syntax right. Style and debugging also play a tremendous part in creating programs that run well and are easy to maintain.
  • Teaches you not only the mechanics of programming, but also describes how to create programs that are easy to read, debug, and update.
  • Practical rules are stressed. For example, there are fifteen precedence rules in C (&& comes before comes before ?:). The practical programmer reduces these to two: Multiplication and division come before addition and subtraction. Put parentheses around everything else.
  • Shows you how to avoid the all-too-common obfuscated uses of C (and also to recognize these uses when you encounter them in existing programs) and thereby to leave code that the programmer responsible for maintenance does not have to struggle with.
  • Electronic Archaeology, the art of going through someone else's code, is described.
  • This third edition introduces popular Integrated Development Environments on Windows systems, as well as UNIX programming utilities, and features a large statistics-generating program to pull together the concepts and features in the language.

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Peter Aitken

Amazon Price Guide £14.99

Sams Teach Yourself C in 21 days

Complete Compiler Edition, Version 2.0. ISBN 0672324482

  • The perfect starter kit for new C programmers.
  • The Teach Yourself book is one of the most popular tutorials for learning the C language.
  • Each of the 21 lessons consist of a full-days activities as you learn the essentials of C.
  • This updated book includes the basic coverage of C including variables, constants, conditional statements, loops, pointers, data structures, disk input/output, and functions, as well as C on Linux.
  • 33% more material on object-oriented programming, including C, C++, and Java.

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4 Dan Gookin £15.19 1878058789
Sams Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days 4 Jesse Liberty £12.75 067232072X
Sams Teach Yourself C in 21 Days 4 Peter Aitken, Bradley L. Jones £17.59 0672317664


Brian W. Kernighan
Dennis M. Ritchie

The co-inventors of C

Amazon Price Guide £25.04

The C Programming Language

Paperback - 414 pages Reissued 2nd Ed (April 1988). 0131103628

From reading reviews an excellent book, but may be a little heavy for a programming beginner. John

An indisputably classic computing text, is the standard reference for learning and using ANSI C. , this concise tutorial has a well-deserved reputation for clarity and precision as it defines one of the most successful programming languages of all time. It's an essential reference, which will be useful for beginners and experienced programmers alike.
This masterful tour of C features concentrates on essential programming constructs, from the basics--such as data types, variables, operators and flow control--to more advanced topics. Short, effective programming samples are the rule here. (Many samples work with strings and text files). Along the way, the authors don't shy away from the thornier C topics. For example, when discussing pointers, they look at pointers to pointers and even pointers to functions. Later in the book, they offer useful code for a flexible memory allocation scheme and a binary tree. The text concludes with the formal specification for C and a compact listing of the functions in the C standard header files.

Topics covered: overview of ANSI C, introductory language tutoria,l data types, variables ,arrays, operators and operator precedence, flow control, functions, header files, recursion, macros and the C pre-processor, pointers and arrays, advanced pointer types (pointers to pointers, pointers to functions), multidimensional arrays, structures and unions, dynamic memory allocation, console and file I/O,

Reviewer: from Bristol, UK
I had to learn C for a university course, and despite reading a variety of books, this one is the only one that I return to. Our text book was 'C by dissection' which is good for the basics but when you have reached a certain level K&R is perfect for delving into for specific information. At the start it may be a little heavy for learning but with some supplemental reading it should allow you to reach a high level quickly. It is very concise but with a book on C algorithms most code can be understood

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