What computer books would you recommend reading?

Updated: 03/10/2024 by Computer Hope
Computer books

There are thousands of computer books available today that cover every subject imaginable. Depending on what interests you or what you want to learn more about decides what we would recommend. If you're unsure what interests you or want to see the best-sellers, see Amazon's best-selling computer books.

General computer knowledge

How Computers Work by Ron White is a great overview of how everything in your computer works. The book has illustrations and is not as overwhelming as other computer books.

Upgrading and Repairing PCs by Scott Mueller is one of our favorite books that is an in-depth overview of computers and computer hardware. This book goes into details and is a long, but an interesting read. Several editions of this book are available, but for most, we recommend getting the latest edition. We also highly recommend the Kindle edition if you have an eBook reader or tablet since it's so big and heavy.

The Elements of Computing Systems: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles by Noam Nisan and Shimon Schocken gives an in-depth overview of how computers work and how they're built.

A+ Certification

A+ certification logo

A+ Certification books are a great way to brush up on everything asked on the A+ Certification test and is a great way to learn more about computers. Below is a listing of a few of our favorite A+ Certification books.

CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam by Michael Meyers is a book covering everything asked in the A+ Certification test. It does a great job of giving an overview of computers and troubleshooting information.

Troubleshooting, Maintaining & Repairing PCs by Stephen Bigelow is another excellent computer book and is another great book to help with studying for the A+ Certification. The book covers all the major aspects, including many of the important troubleshooting techniques.

Other Certifications

There are multiple other computer certifications and hundreds of other computer certification books. If you are looking to studying for a certification, we recommend looking at the Best Seller list of certification books.

Hacking and computer security

Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick is a book covering one of the best-known hackers in history. The book covers Kevin's thrilling true story of illegally accessing computers and networks.

Hacking: The Art of Exploration by Jon Erickson is a book about hacking is the art of problem-solving and also gives examples of hacking techniques.

Hacking Exposed is a great series of books covering all types of computer security-related topics.

The Codebreakers by David Kahn is the book for those interested in the history of codes, ciphers, and encryption.

Computer programming

There are dozens of computer programming languages and hundreds of computer programming books. If you have decided on what programming language you want to learn, we suggest one of the programming books from O'Reilly for your language of choice. Below are other good general computer programming books.

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master by David Thomas that teaches all of the great techniques used by master programmers.

Design Patterns book

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software by the Gang of Four is a great source of information on object-oriented design theory.

Introduction to Algorithms by Thomas Cormen is a more advanced programming book. It contains an encyclopedic listing of vEB trees, multithreaded algorithms, dynamic programming, edge-based flow, and other algorithms you are likely to encounter while programming.

Web design

HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites by Jon Duckett is a well-designed book covering the basics of HTML (hypertext markup language) and CSS (cascading style sheets) used for web design.

Don't Make Me Think! by Steve Krug is a book covering the usability and design for anyone working on websites.


Getting Started in Electronics by Forrest M. Mims III is a beginner's electronics book containing hand-drawn diagrams of each of the circuits and topics being discussed.

Computer history

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy is a great book profiling all the great people in the history of computers who found ways to solve computer problems.

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet by Katie Hafner and Mathew Lyon is the story of the origins of the Internet.


iWoz by Steve Wozniak is a great overview of how Steve invented the personal computer and became a geek cult icon.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, is a biography on Steve Jobs that was based on forty interviews with Jobs over two years.

Historical computer books

Over the history of computer books, there were classics, top sellers, and books that are still considered great, even though some are out of print.

DOS for Dummies by Dan Gookin was an instant classic that was published in 1991 and what helped create the Dummies series of books. In DOS for Dummies, Dan Gookin goes over the basics of MS-DOS in an easy and fun style of writing.

C Programming Language bookThe C Programming Language by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie, aka K&R, was published in 1978. It is one of the greatest programming language books ever written, by two icons in the computer industry. Dennis Ritchie authored the C programming language, which is used in every major field of computing.

The Soul of A New Machine by Tracy Kidder was published in 1981 and won a Pulitzer Prize. This great book covers computer development in the late 1970s.

The Road Ahead by Bill Gates is a great book published in 1995, providing a look into what Bill Gates predicted for computers and the Internet.

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering by Frederick Brooks is a great book published in 1995 about software project management and software engineering.