My Useless Books Page

Books and what I think of them:

Books I like:

The C Programming Language
The canonical book. There are errors, but the book itself does a masterful job of describing and teaching C, and providing good, solid exercises. Short, but sweet. Also stunningly complete, considering that most books on C are at least twice its size, with half the content.
C Traps and Pitfalls
Written by Andrew Koenig, this is a very solid book. I have never found an unintentional error in it. As a testimony to the real danger of the pitfalls, when someone posted a bit of the code, asking what was wrong with it, to comp.lang.c, I saw no fewer than 20 responses, of which at least one was correct. Koenig, of course, explains them all correctly. (Actually, he admits to an error that I'm not entirely sure I comprehend in an example involving trying to jump to address 0, but I honestly don't comprehend the syntax well enough to see the error.)
Expert C Programming
Written by Peter van der Linden of Sun. This book is unique in that the earlier version I have (a first printing, I believe) is chock-full of errors, but I reccommend it strongly. The errors are, with a few exceptions, mostly typos. None of them will produce more than a moment's confusion in an experienced programmer. However, the discussion on other topics is excellent, if a bit Unix-centric. (Which is hardly a flaw, IMHO.) A further note: I got a second copy, much more up to date, and I am unable to find a single error. Very good book!
Programming on Purpose
Selected essays written by P. J. Plauger. All of them are excellent. There are actually three volumes of this; volume I is on software design, volume II is on software people, and volume III is on software technology. No manager or engineer should be without at least a few of these essays.
The Mythical Man Month
A very insightful book on how and why programming projects run over budget, and how to control this. The 25th anniversary edition corrects what the author now feels is a mistaken belief that he had 25 years ago; even if you have the old version, it's worth it just to see how graciously he can admit to the error, and to see his discussion on what's changed since the first edition.

Books I dislike:

C: The Complete Reference
One word: tripe.
The Annotated ANSI C Standard
It's plausible that someone could manage to go through a two hundred page technical document without once clarifying its meaning. It's amazing that one can contradict that document so frequently.

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