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C++ Programming
This page lists my recommended C++ programming books. If you have a book to recommend, please email me. With one exception, I've limited myself to books published during the last few years, even though there were several good books published prior to that time. The problem is that the C++ standard was not finalized until late 1997, so older books are likely to be out of date. For the ultimate C++ reference, you'll need to get a copy of the C++ standard itself (available from the ANSI Electronic Standards Store).

Cover of C++ FAQs

C++ FAQs, Second Edition
M. Cline, G. Lomow, and M. Girou
Addison-Wesley, 1998

Derived from the FAQ list for the comp.lang.c++ newsgroup, this book will answer many of your questions about C++.

Cover of Accelerated C++

Accelerated C++: Practical Programming by Example
A. Koenig and B. E. Moo
Addison-Wesley, 2000

Takes a new approach to teaching C++, covering relatively sophisticated language constructs (such as templates) early, so that the reader can tackle realistic programs sooner. Like Lippman's Essential C++ (see below), this book is fast-paced and aimed for readers who are already skilled in another language. For that audience, though, I recommend it highly.

Cover of Essential C++

Essential C++
S. B. Lippman
Addison-Wesley, 2000

If the length of C++ Primer (see below) seems too intimidating, try this brief introduction to C++. It's highly condensed (only seven chapters, totaling 204 pages, plus appendices), so don't expect lengthy explanations or lots of examples. Recommended only for experienced programmers.

Cover of C++ Primer

C++ Primer, Third Edition
S. B. Lippman and J. Lajoie
Addison-Wesley, 1998

Probably the best bet for learning Standard C++. Lajoie chaired the core language working group of the C++ standards committee, so she knows her stuff. The book's organization is a bit eccentric, and it's long (1237 pages), but this is the book I turn to the most when I have a C++ question.

 Cover of Effective C++

Effective C++: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Designs, Second Edition
S. Meyers
Addison-Wesley, 1998

Once you've learned the basics of C++, Meyers will help you improve your code. The book's organization into fifty separate lessons makes it perfect bathroom reading!

Cover of The C++ Programming Language

The C++ Programming Language, Special Edition
B. Stroustrup
Addison-Wesley, 2000

Stroustrup is the designer of C++, so this book is a must-have for any serious C++ programmer. There's no better way to gain an understanding of how C++ was designed to be used. The book isn't perfect, however. In particular, the design and index are poor, and it's hard to use as a reference.

 Cover of The Design and Evolution of C++

The Design and Evolution of C++
B. Stroustrup
Addison-Wesley, 1994

If you're curious about the often quirky features of C++ and how they came to be that way, you'll enjoy reading Stroustrup's account of the language's evolution. Along the way, you'll arrive at a better understanding of the problems that those features are designed to solve.

Cover of Exceptional C++

Exceptional C++: 47 Engineering Puzzles, Programming Problems, and Solutions
H. Sutter
Addison-Wesley, 2000

Reading this book is a good way to see if you really understand C++. Structured in the form of 47 "items" (questions to the reader, often in the form of "what's wrong with the following code?"), the book delves into the subtleties of C++ with gusto. Even if you have no idea how to answer the questions that are posed, you'll learn a lot by reading the answers.

Cover of More Exceptional C++

More Exceptional C++: 40 New Engineering Puzzles, Programming Problems, and Solutions
H. Sutter
Addison-Wesley, 2002

The sequel to Sutter's popular Exceptional C++, this book is written with the same care and insight as the original.

Click on the cover art or title to see each book's description at To see lists of best-selling C and C++ books at, click on the Amazon logo below.

Copyright © 1999-2004 K. N. King. All rights reserved.