Nick Mudge Ignition Software Consulting & Development

I'm looking for the best books in the world on the subjects listed below. They can be beginning books, intermediate or advanced. If you know of other good books on these subjects, that you think maybe should be on this list, please let me know.


Discrete Math

Computer Theory



Programming Language Theory and Design


Operating Systems


Network Programming

Better Programming


11 May 2008

I'd add "Topoi: the categorial analysis of logic", by Robert Goldblatt, to this list. It ties together and explains mathematical concepts (from naive set theory to ZF and NGB to arrows, category theory, heyting calculus and algebras, kripke semantics, and logical geometry) in an amazingly lucid manner. It's truly an underappreciated gem.

It's in print, and also freely available online at;cc=math;rgn=main;view=text;idno=gold010
(it can be found by going to , and then browsing by author, if the above link doesn't work).

11 May 2008

ACM recently released several classic books for free on the web

So maybe just add the whole list :) or a few highlights, like
Smalltalk-80: the language and its implementation
Essays in computing science, Hoare
Dijkstra's stuff

Also, I think you are severly lacking in programming languages. Sure you have C and scheme, but a book about ML or Haskell or Prolog or Erlang or Smalltalk or ....

You should defiantly have
Purely Functional Data Structures by Chris Okasaki
amazing little book.

Also, maybe some books about ML or Haskell
maybe Haskell School of Expression

Lastly, I think a book on complexity theory, but maybe some of those theory books you listed contain some complexity theory.
Kenn Knowles
11 May 2008

I concur with John about "Purely Functional Data Structures" by Okasaki

And all of the following should fall into "Must-Read/Classic" in my opinion, but could be temporarily assigned other topics :-)

Better Programming:
"Algebra of Programming" by Bird and DeMoor

Type Systems:
Types and Programming Languages by Pierce
Proofs and Types by Girard
Nick Mudge
11 May 2008

Thanks! I'm adding some of these. Keep them coming!
12 May 2008

The Design of the Unix operating System - Maurice Bach. Amazing book.
12 May 2008

Better Programming:
"The Practice of Programming" by Kernighan and Pike
Dan Andersson
12 May 2008

Concepts, Techniques, and Models of Computer Programming' by Peter Van Roy and Seif Haridi was published in 2004. Too early to be a classic maybe?
Sengan Baring-Gould
13 May 2008

The implementation of Functional Programimng Languages (by Simon Peyton Jones).
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