What makes Java Books so popular?

From beginners to professionals, Java Books are needed by every developer from point to point. Those who know programming can learn and practice Java with the help of the top Java books. Some may wonder who refers to the books these days when there is so much available on the internet. Sometimes referring to a relevant book may save a lot of time as we get valid information without agglomeration.

Top 20 Java Books

The good thing about having the Java books is that:

  • The books are written by experts, which ensures all the information is authenticated.
  • Top authors write the books using their real-life experiences in programming.
  • The codes and examples mentioned are tried and tested time and over again.
  • The advice comes from experienced people who know the techniques.

Java as compared to other programming languages

The name Java was introduced by Sun Microsystems in the year 1995 and the language was developed by James Gosling. Java is named after a type of coffee in Indonesia. It is an object-oriented programming language used for software development. Though there are many programming languages available for software development; Java particularly has become the most popular among all others.

Interesting Java Facts: Java is named after a type of coffee in Indonesia.

The main advantage of Java over others is that it is independent of the type of operating system. Java makes use of compiler and interpreter both, however other languages use either one of the two. As an example, we can state that C and C++ use a compiler and Python uses an interpreter. The program written in Java can run on any machine without the need to modify the code, while for other languages you cannot run the same code for two different types of machines. The top 20 Java books enlisted in this blog will take you through many similar interesting facts about Java.

What made these books become Top 20 Java Books?

Let’s first decode this blog for you. It is said that top books come from top writers. Hence, the books listed in our top 20 Java books are written by experts in Java and published by renowned publishers. The average customer ratings have been taken as a minimum of 4stars and above.  

Based on customer reviews, these books may help you learn basic and advanced Java. They also serve as a ready reference for any real-life problems and your go-to solution whenever you get stuck somewhere. There are kindle editions of all these Java books available so you have an access to the digital copies of the books for ready reference.

We took the time and patience to research the top Java books and would like to mention that there are lots of good-to-have books as well which will be mentioned at the end of this blog. So here is our listing which, according to our resources, are the top 20 Java books in the market.

1.     Head First Java

Head First Java

Written by: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates, Trisha Gee

Edition: Third Edition

Publisher: O’Reilly

Paperback Cost: INR 1625


Ranked no.1 on the list is Head First Java which is also popular as the bible of Java for beginners. This Java book covers everything you need, to begin coding in the Java programming language. We are talking about the third edition of this book, which upgrades the content for Java 8 to 17. Learning through this Java book will enable you to understand the code-level changes and implementation. As per reviews, the content of this book is presented interestingly in a brain-friendly manner using enough visuals, puzzles, and interviews, yet the book does not lose focus on object-oriented programming. The book comes first on the recommendation from many searchable listings available online.

About the Authors:

Kathy Sierra is a programming instructor and a game developer. She is the founder of JavaRanch.com (which is now CodeRanch.com) and a Java trainer at Sun Microsystems.

Bert Bates is an author and software developer. He has co-authored many books in Java. He also trains other authors and editors on how to create good books for teaching.

Trisha Gee is an author and a champion in high-performance Java systems. Trisha loves to teach the latest tips and tricks to the developers. She is also a leader of the Sevilla Java User Group.

2.     The Complete Reference Java

The Complete Reference Java

Written by: Herbert Schildt

Edition: Eleventh Edition

Publisher: McGraw Hill

Paperback Cost: INR 934


The Complete Reference Java comes at the second position in our list of Top 20 Java books. It covers almost every topic related to the language. There are some very good reviews about the book and the author of a well-written book. This Java book applies to beginners as well as professionals to learn object-oriented programming from basic to advanced levels. The concepts of Java language have been taught in a good way to understand JVM architecture, data types, and syntax. The book is updated for the current version of Java up to Java SE 11 and promises readers to be able to use Java in the real world with techniques and best practices.

About the author:

Herbert Schildt is an author, programmer, and musician mentioned as a rockstar programmer in the book “Secrets of the Rockstar Programmers” by Ed Burns. He has written many bestselling books on Java, C, C++, and C# which are available in multiple languages with more than three million copies sold worldwide.

3.     Core Java: An Integrated Approach

Core Java: An Integrated Approach

Written by: Nageshwar Rao and DT Editorial Services

Publisher: Dreamtech Press

Paperback Cost: INR 447


Known for its simple and easy-to-understand language, Core Java comes third on our list of Top 20 Java Books. This book is also used as a course book for Java in colleges. It includes all versions of Java up to Java 8 with detailed information on Java programming and its applications. Along with the core concepts of Java, one can also find lots of programming examples and interview questions on the subject in this book.

About the author:

Dr. R. Nageswara Rao lovingly called “RNR Sir” by his students is an expert in teaching Java, Python, Django, Data Science, and Machine Learning. He has more than 28 years of experience in teaching and is also a founder director of Nageswarao Datatechs, which is located in Hyderabad, India.

4.     Thinking in Java

Thinking in Java

Written by: Bruce Eckel

Edition: 4th Edition

Publisher: Pearson

Paperback Cost: INR 5002


Especially recommended for those who have some experience in Java, Thinking in Java is on the fourth spot in our list of Top 20 Java books. This book will give you an interesting reading experience with fun and deep thinking. It is highly recommended for the content and good collection of exercises. Almost all the reviews about this book state that it demonstrates a very engaging way of teaching which makes you think and helps you apply the knowledge in a real-life scenario.

About the Author:

Bruce Eckel is an author, a consultant, and a computer programmer. He is  President of MindView, Inc. and also a founder member of the ANSI/ISO C++ Standard Committee. He has written many bestselling books and articles on object-oriented programming and design.

5.     Effective Java

Effective Java

Written by: Joshua Bloch

Edition: Third Edition

Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional

Paperback Cost: INR 1899


Effective Java secures the fifth spot in the top 20 Java books and is highly recommended for those who have some professional experience working on Java projects or Java developers. This book is loved for the way it teaches readers to write easy-to-read and interesting code in Java. The book covers best practices for the Java platform and is updated for Java 7, 8, and 9. The new inclusions in this book are functional interfaces, lambda expressions, streams, and convenience factory methods.

About the Author:

Joshua Bloch is a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, a Software Engineer, and an author. He has previously worked with Google, Sun Microsystems, and Transarc. He was listed in the “Top 40 Software People in the World” by Java Developers Journal in 2004.

6.     Intro to Java Programming

Intro to Java Programming

Written by: Y. Daniel Liang

Edition: Tenth Edition

Publisher: Pearson

Paperback Cost: INR 990


Intro to Java Programming (Comprehensive Version) is number sixth on our list of Top 20 Java Books. This book covers the fundamentals of Java programming explained using simple language with a lot of examples. It starts from basic concepts and then takes you deep into object-oriented programming and problem-solving, which makes this book a must-have for those planning to begin a career in Java.

About the Author:

Y. Daniel Liang is a Ph. D. in Computer Science from the University of Oklahoma. He has received Excellence in Research award from the school of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science. Currently teaching at Georgia Southern University, he has written more than thirty books published worldwide.

7.     Clean Code

Clean Code

Written by:  Martin Robert C

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Pearson

Paperback Cost: INR 1060


Ranked number seven on our list, Clean Code is one of the top 20 Java books that provides guidelines on following agile practices for a clean code. The writer believes that any developer should not lose their job for a bad code. The book challenges the readers to assess the codes and think critically about the codes. The book reviews recommend this Java book for developers, project managers, team leaders, and analysts who have an interest in writing better codes.

About the Author:

Martin Robert C. is a software professional and an internationally recognized software consultant. He is also the founder of Object Mentor, Inc. He is famous as “Uncle Bob” among the readers and has written many bestselling books and articles on various programming languages.

8.     Learning Java 5/ED

Learning Java 5 ED

Written by: Marc Loy, Patrick Niemeyer, Dan Leuck

Edition: Fifth Edition

Publisher: Shroff/O’Reilly

Paperback Cost: INR 1825


Learning Java fifth edition comes number eighth on our list of top 20 Java books.  It is one of the bestseller Java books with good reviews about the authors and the content of the book. The content of this book covers the Java language features, APIs, and realistic examples for class libraries, coding techniques, and syntax to write real-world codes. It gives an insight into the compiler, interpreter, and other tools as well.   

About the Authors:

Marc Loy has worked with Sun Microsystems and has authored multiple Java books and training courses in association with worldwide companies. He is currently a software developer and trainer with a specialization in user experience designing and the latest mobile applications.

Patrick Niemeyer is a consultant and author of various books on networking and distributed applications. He is also the author of BeanShell – a Java scripting language. He is currently working on developing Enterprise Architecture for A.G. Edwards.

Dan Leuck is CEO of Ikayzo, a software development firm. He has managed large teams with more than 150 developers and served on various advisory boards for companies like Macromedia and Sun Microsystems.

9.     Java in a Nutshell

Java in a Nutshell

Written by: Benjamin J. Evans, David Flanagan

Edition: Seventh Edition

Publisher: O’Reilly Media

Paperback Cost: INR 1200


Java in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference is ranked number nine on our top 20 Java books list. The seventh edition of this book is updated with Java versions from 9 to 11. The book demonstrates modern Java interfaces and best practices for developing, and understanding Java concurrencies. There are pocket guides also available for this book which serve as a quick reference for developers. This Java book enables readers to handle common data formats and execute JavaScript on virtual machines.

About the Author:

Ben Evans is a renowned author, consultant, and educator. He is co-founder of jClarity, which is a JVM performance company. He is the author of five bestselling books on Java.

David Flanagan is a software engineer and has more than 20 years of experience in writing content for books on programming languages.

10.  Java 9 Modularity

Java 9 Modularity

Written by: Paul Bakker, Sander Mak

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Shroff/O’Reilly

Paperback Cost: INR 750      


Java 9 Modularity stands at number ten position among the top 20 java books. This book promises an understanding of module system concepts, patterns, and practices for modular applications, modifying the existing codes, and tools for migration. The topics covered in this book make it the most preferred java book for creating reliable Java applications.

About the Author:

Paul Bakker is a trainer and speaker for Java technology. He is a software architect and a member of OSGi. 

Sander Mak is a blogger, developer, and speaker with expertise in JVM and JavaScript development.

11.  Think Java

Think Java

Written by:  Allen B. Downey, Chris Mayfield

Edition: Second Edition

Publisher: O’Reilly Media

Paperback Cost: INR 3025


Number eleven on the list is Think Java: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist. This book is widely used in colleges for introduction to computer science. This Java book covers basic to advanced concepts like recursion and object-oriented programming. The reason this book is one of the top 20 Java books is that one can learn to code in java from scratch with the help of games, puzzles, playing cards, etc. The content covers polymorphism and data processing and is updated for up to Java 12.

About the Author:

Allen B. Downey is a Ph. D. in Computer Science who has written a series of books. His popular books are Think Java, Think Python, Think Complexity, Think DSP, and Think Bayes.

Chris Mayfield is a Ph. D. in Computer Science who is a Professor and Researcher in computer science.

12.  OCA Java SE 8

OCA Java SE 8

Written by: Chris Mayfield

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Manning

Paperback Cost: INR 3921


OCA Java SE 8 is a certification guide that helps you prepare for the 1Z0-808 exam. The book comes with a free eBook, kindle edition, and ePub in a package. Though the name suggests that the book is specific to the exam, its content is worth reading for all Java developers as well as candidates who want to take the certification exam. Hence, The book claims the twelfth spot in the top 20 Java books. It covers questions and exercises related to the exam along with a good representation of content using diagrams. This Java book also gives information about the common mistakes in exams and learn techniques on how to overcome these mistakes with the help of good examples.

About the Author:

Mala Gupta holds multiple certificates in Java Programming and is a trainer for various Java certification courses.  

13.  Java Puzzlers: Traps, Pitfalls, and Corner Cases

Java Puzzlers

Written by: Joshua J. Bloch

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Pearson Education India

Paperback Cost: INR 433


Java Puzzler is one of the top Java books for good practice on Java puzzles. The book includes brainteasers, challenges, traps, pitfalls, and corner cases in the Java platform for programmers. This book is recommended in the top 20 Java books as it helps the developers increase their performance and practice problem-solving. The puzzles are created by the authors uniquely for the book and are not found anywhere else.

About the Author:

Joshua J. Bloch is a software engineer and an author with previous experience working with Sun Microsystems and Google. He has designed many Java features including Java Collections Framework, Java.Math, and Assert mechanism to name a few. He has written the bestseller book Effective Java and co-authored two other books “Java Puzzlers” and “Java Concurrency in Practice”.

14.  Core Java (Oracle Press Java)

Core Java Oracle 12th Edition

Written by: Cay S. Horstmann

Edition: Twelfth Edition

Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional

Paperback Cost: INR 3815


Core Java, Volume I: Fundamentals: 1 (Oracle Press Java) is the number one guide for programmers and is thoroughly updated till Java 17. This Java book is a must-have for referring to the latest upgradation in Java and is one of the top 20 Java books available today. The book covers deep and practical information about the Java language and APIs. The experience readers would like to keep this book for ready reference for detailed features of Java 17 and relevant examples for the Java platform.

About the Author:

Cay S. Horstmann is a Professor of Computer Science who has authored five more bestselling books on Java. As the names suggest, the writer has a deep understanding of the real-life problems of the Java platform and how important it is for programmers to write code that works.

15.  Java: A Beginner’s Guide

Java A Beginner's Guide

Written by: Herbert Schildt 

Edition: Ninth Edition

Publisher: McGraw Hill

Paperback Cost: INR 2588


Java: A Beginner’s Guide is another masterpiece from Herbert Schildt, the author of this book and The Complete Reference Java. This book is also included in the top 20 Java books for the features and content that are completely updated with Java 17. It provides theoretical as well as practical knowledge on basic to advance programming in Java 17. The author has compiled all new features, tests, exercises, and code samples in the book.

About the Author:

Herbert Schildt is an author, programmer, and musician mentioned as a rockstar programmer in the book “Secrets of the Rockstar Programmers”. He has written many bestselling books on Java, C, C++, and C# which are available in multiple languages with more than three million copies sold worldwide.

16.  Java Coding Problems

Java Coding Problems

Written by: Anghel Leonard

Publisher: Packt Publishing Limited 

Paperback Cost: INR 2889


Java Coding Problems is recommended for those developers who are interested to solve real-world coding problems by improving their coding skills. It is one of the top 20 Java books that is rated highly by the readers for good coverage of concepts of Java from versions 8 to 12. It focuses on problem-solving by demonstrating the best practices through 300+ applications and 1000+ examples mentioned in the book.

About the Author:

Anghel Leonard has more than 20 years of experience in Java, which has authored multiple books, videos, and articles related to the Java platform.

17.  Java Performance

Java Performance

Written by: Scott Oaks

Edition: Second Edition

Publisher: O′Reilly

Paperback Cost: INR 3582


The full name of this book states Java Performance 2e: In-depth Advice for Tuning and Programming Java 8, 11, and Beyond. This Java book is shortlisted as part of the top 20 Java books based on the readers’ reviews and ratings. It has in-depth content on code behavior in Java Virtual Machine and how to improve the code based on new releases of versions. The book helps developers handle performance issues and better the results.

About the Author:

Scott Oaks is a software architect and a famous author of various books on Java with experience working with Sun Microsystems and Oracle. His other books are Java Security, Java Threads, JXTA in a Nutshell, and Jini in a Nutshell.

18. Java Concurrency in Practice

Java Concurrency in Practice

Written by: Brian Goetz

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Pearson

Paperback Cost: INR 498


Java Concurrency in Practice is worth reading for the combination of concepts, best practices, and useful examples mentioned in the book along with the new tools. In writing this Java book there has been a contribution from other expert authors Josh Bloch, David Holmes, and Doug Lea which makes it one of the top 20 Java books available today. The book covers version J2SE 5.0 concurrency features.

About the Author:

Brian Goetz has written more than 75 articles on Java programming apart from the book “Java Concurrency in Practice”. He is a leading Language Architect with rich experience in programming.

19. Optimizing Java

Optimizing Java

Written by: Benjamin J EvansJames GoughChris Newland

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: O’Reilly Media

Paperback Cost: INR 1550


Optimizing Java is among the top 20 Java books available today for the practical expertise it provides to achieve a better application performance. Post learning the basic and advanced concepts of Java programming, it is also important to learn how to optimize the code. This java book enables the developers to utilize the hardware and operating systems efficiently. The author introduces performance testing, micro benchmarking drawbacks, JVM garbage collection, language techniques, and Java concurrency.

About the Author:

Ben Evans is an author and a champion in Java. He is co-founder of jClarity and also works with Java Community Process Executive Committee in London, to define Java standards.

 James (Jim) Gough is a member of the Java Community in London for many years and works on the design and testing. He is an author, developer, and teacher of Java and C++.

Chris Newland is a senior developer expert in using Java to process data in the stock market. He is the one who invented JITWatch which is a visualizer for Just-In-Time compilation decisions by HotSpot JVM.

20. Java By Comparison

Java by Comparison

Written by: Simon Harrer, Jörg Lenhard, Linus Dietz

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf

Paperback Cost: INR 2500


Java by Comparision focuses on teaching the way to write clean and readable code. The author proves through the content that the readers will become experts in writing improved solutions after reading this book. It is among the top Java books today as it includes many tips and tricks for programming, advice for better coding style, comparison between a defective code and improved code, as well as debugging. The testing is explained using Junit5 testing framework. This Java book is best used when studied with hands-on practice on Java 8 compiler and a text editor.

About the Author:

Simon Harrer is an expert in new technologies, frameworks, and ideas. He’s also a consultant and a software developer.

Dr. Jörg Lenhard is a developer, a teacher, and a researcher with more than 10 years of experience in Java programming and open-source software.

Linus Dietz works with the Technical University of Munich as a researcher and has experience in developing sophisticated algorithms and advanced open-source software.

Other Java books that are good to possess

Based on our research, there are some more interesting Java Books useful for reference and learning purposes. Hence, we have listed the Java books below, that could be good to have in your library of resources.

Online Java Courses

Henry Harvin provides the JAVA Foundation with DS & Algo Combo Certification Course recognized as the top certification course for Java by BestCourseNews.com. This course acclaims you as a Certified Java Developer and offers hands-on training with 350+ coding problems and 50+ Java tools and is trusted by more than 160 leading corporates. Learn more about this course from Henry Harvin‘s website now.


1. What is the average starting package for a java developer?

A fresher with no prior experience can expect a minimum of 2.5 lakhs per annum in India.

2. Is it required to have a minimum qualification to become a Java Developer?

To become a java developer it is needed to have a graduation degree in either of these from B.E./B. Tech./BCA/B.Sc. in Computer Science.

3. Are there any online courses available to become a Java Developer?

There are various instructor-led online Java Courses available for freshers as well as software developers. They are also useful after your graduation to become a specialist in Java programming.

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