Top 10 Books Java Developers Must Read

Hello guys, If you are a Java developer and wondering what to read, then you have come to the right place. In this article, I will share 10 books on Java, Spring, and related technology a Java developer can read. I have included books for both experienced Java developer who is more inclined to learn about architecture stuff,  developing for Cloud, Microservice, Java 9 to Java 21 features, and Spring 6 features and thinking of learning Kotlin to improve their productivity. Still, I have not forgotten junior and less experienced Java developers or some thinking of starting their journey into the Java world

I have also included books you can read to learn recent Java versions. Some books like Core Java SE 9 for the Impatient and Java: A Beginner's Guide have been updated to cover the Java SE 9 release.

This means if you have just started learning Java or thinking of learning, those are ideal books to start. There is no point in starting with old books unless we are talking about Head First Java.

I really hoped that the 3rd edition of Head First Java is long due, and the author and publisher should take notice to update the book to include changes in Java 8 and Java 9. However, it is still a good book for people just starting to learn to program with Java without any prior experience in the programming world.

One of my recent addition to this list is Cloud Native Java, which I found today only. The book looks fantastic as it covers the much-needed topic of developing a Java application for Cloud using Spring Boot, Spring Cloud, and Cloud Foundry. I haven't read it thoroughly yet, but so far, it looks incredible.

10 Must-Read Java Books for Programmers

There are many good books you can read to improve your Java knowledge and skill, but it's practically impossible to read them all. Still, at the same time, there are individual books that you don't want to miss, like Effective Java 3rd Edition, and that's why I have included it in the first position on my list.

This list contains books on Java 9 and 10 features, Spring 5, Kotlin, Software Architecture, Microservices, Cloud, and to learn essential elements of Java 8 release.

Even though the list is not very long, the books included in this list are fantastic, and you can easily read them during your commute to work.

1.  Cloud-Native Java

Hello guys, If you have read till here, you have earned a bonus, and that's why I am sharing one of the most useful Java books, Cloud Native Java.

Today's software development is all about the cloud, microservice, distributed architecture, etc. This practical guide Josh Long and Kenny Bastani shows Java/JVM developers how to build better and faster Java applications using Spring BootSpring Cloud, and Cloud Foundry.

This is one of the must-read books for experienced Java programmers. Even though it handles an advanced topic, I strongly recommend this book to every Java developer. 

If you want, you can also combine this book with the Master Microservices with Spring Boot and Spring Cloud by Ranga Karnam, a fellow blogger and Udemy best seller.  It's a great course if you are looking for some practical knowledge.

best java book for cloud native spring development

I haven't read the full book yet; I just ordered after reading the preview as I am excited about the topic. I'll probably write a detailed review once I read it, but it's definitely worth reading at least once.

2. Effective Java 3rd Edition

This has to be your first book to read if you haven't learned it already. The 3rd edition was long due, and it was released about time. The new edition also covers JDK 7, 8, and 9 features.

This was actually the best New Year gift for Java developers from Joshua Bloch, and I received it in the first week of January.

It took me just a week or so to read this book, but I have found myself looking for new Items, particularly on Java SE 8 and Java 9, every now and then.

I learned about Java Modularity by reading this book itself, and it also helped me sort out a couple of misconceptions I had about Java 8 features.

10 Books Java Developers Should Read

3.  Modern Java Recipes

If you like recipe books, then this one is a good read. As the title says, it contains simple solutions to severe problems in Java 8 and 9.

You will learn how to write code using Java 8 idioms using lambda expressions, method reference, and Stream API.

If you want to learn Java 8 and Java 9 by following somehow to do tutorials and examples, this is the perfect book to read.

best Java books for experienced programmers

4. Java 9 Modularity

One of the Java 9 release highlights was Java Modularity or Java Module, and this book provides the most comprehensive coverage of that topic.

When it comes to Java 9 Module, the Author Sanders Mak is an authority; I have attended some of his Java 9 courses like Java 9 Modules and What's New in Java 9 on Pluralsight, I can safely say that you won't be disappointed after investing your time and money on this book.

best book to learn Java 9 modules

5.  Core Java SE 9 for the Impatient (2nd Edition) 

If you are in a hurry to learn Java, I recommend this book to you. I am a big fan of Cay S. Horstmann's writing and the amount of detail he covers.

Having read his other books on Java 8, Scala, and Core Java, I can say that you will also become his fan after reading this book.

It has been recently updated to cover Java SE 9 features, and if you want to learn Java 9, this is the first book you should read. Btw, we're currently on Java 13 and so still a bit outdated, but it's challenging for any book to keep up with Java's six-month release cycle.

Hence, the best way to learn Java is to combine this book with a more up-to-date course like The Complete Java Masterclass by Tim Buchalka on Udemy, which gives you some active and guided learning and helps you to learn Java quickly.

best book to learn core java

5. Beginning Java 8 Language Features

Even though it's been almost 4 years since Java SE 8 was first released, many Java developers have yet to start with Java 8.

If you are one of them or someone who struggles to understand lambda expressions, Stream API, Optional, and other Java 8 enhancements, then you must read this book.

It's a collection of 3 books and straightforwardly explains your Java 8 fundamentals.

The other two books from this author cover the advanced topic from Java 8 perspective like JDBC, Swing, Java FX, and Java Networking APIs.

best Java 8  books for beginners

6. Spring Microservices in Action

The software development world is increasingly moving towards Microservice architecture as it offers several benefits in terms of development, support, deployment, scalability, and reliability.

Thankfully Spring framework provides tools like Spring Boot and Spring Cloud, which can be used to write microservices in Java.

If you are keen on microservice development with the Spring framework, then this book is for you.

best spring microservice book for Java developers

7. Clean Architecture

This is one of the books I read last year, and I enjoyed it a lot. I am a big fan of Robert C. Martin or Include Bob, having read his Clean Code and Clean Coder book, and I must say that this book completes the trilogy of the clean codebook.

This book will tell how to create a software architecture that can stand the test of time and remove misconceptions about design patterns and software architecture.

If you are an experienced Java developer and thinking of becoming a solution architect, this is the one book you should read.

best Java book for solution architect

8. Spring 5 Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach

Spring 5 is the latest version of the popular Java application development framework, which introduced reactive programming features in Spring.

Since Spring is, without a doubt, the most popular framework for Java development, it's worth learning what's new in Spring 5 and keeping yourself up-to-date.

I like Recipe books because of their task-based approach, which is why I chose this book among other Spring 5 books for learning.

It not just covers new features of Spring 5 but also all other enhancements done on earlier releases. In short, it teaches you how to code in Spring 5.

best book to learn Spring 5

9. Kotlin in Action

It's common for Java developers to learn other JVM languages like Scala, Groovy, and Closure to become PolyGlot programmers, and Kotlin is undoubtedly leading the pack at this moment.

In 2017, Google announced Kotlin as the official language for Android development in Google IO, and from then onwards, there is a lot of interest in learning Kotlin.

Though, more importantly, it offers productivity benefits, and it's 100% Java. So, if you want to learn a JVM language, I would say, just learn Kotlin, and if you need a course to combine with this book for better learning, you can join The Complete Android Kotlin Developer Course on Udemy, one of the most in-depth and hands-on course to learn Kotlin.

best book to learn Kotlin for Java developers

10. Java: A Beginner's Guide, Seventh Edition

This is another classic book to learn core Java from scratch. The 7th Edition of this book is out now, which is updated to cover Java SE 9.

If you want to start your programming career with Java, you can read this book to learn the latest version of Java.

This is more comprehensive than the second book on this list, which also covers Java 9.

best Java book for beginners

That's all about some of the interesting and useful books Java developers can read. To be honest, there is a lot to learn, even to keep yourself up-to-date with what happening in the Java world like Java 9 to Java 16, Spring 5, Microservices, Kotlin, etc. These books will not only provide you up-to-date knowledge but also improve your understanding of new features.

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Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like these Java books, then please share them with your friends and colleagues. If you have any suggestions or any book you think Java developers should read, please drop a note.

P. S. - If you are looking for some advanced courses to become a better Java developer, I suggest you check out the Web Application and Software Architecture 101 course on Educative, one of the better courses to learn Modern Software Architecture.


  1. These books should also be in the list
    - 97 things Java developer should read
    - Reactive Spring

    1. I mean you can also read these books, I have also shared few more title on Medium, 21 books Java developers should read


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