The Top 5 Books I Read in 2008

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The Top 5 Books I Read in 2008

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I read several books in 2008, 90% of them were technical. I also read a number of books related to software development rather than a specific framework or technology. Listed below are the top 5 books I read in 2008 in no particular order.

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship written by Robert C. Martin is one of the best books I read in 2008. This is the book for developers looking to produce better code. To be honest, any developer, software engineer, project manager, team lead or system analyst who develops an application or just reads code, should probably have a copy of this book on their bookshelf. Even though the examples in the book are written in Java, the book provides relevant information for developers using any language.


 Effective Java, Second Edition by Joshua Bloch with all the great advice and  updated to cover Java SE 5 and Java SE 6 features, was a perfect reference book. Generics, Enums, Annotations, and Exception Handling are very clearly explained, and with excellent code samples this came in handy when I was doing several code reviews.

Some of the other chapters which I reread were on General Programming, Serialization, and Classes and Interfaces.


The ThoughtWorks Anthology by ThoughtWorks well justifies its addition to the top 5 in 2008. The book is aimed at several different audiences. The book's coverage of its subject matter is exhaustive and obviously expert. This book is a collection of essays which covers a broad range of problems facing the IT industry and developers in particular throughout the software development life cycle. You'll find tons of pragmatic advice to improve the efficiency of your development efforts.

You'll find essays on varied topics like refactoring build files, testing for enterprise applications, single click software release and many more. The essays don’t focus on any specific language. This book and the varied essay’s are useful if you are using Java or .NET or any other language.


 Java Power Tools written by John F. Smart is enjoyable, extremely well organized and covers a wide range of open source tools needed for any successful software development life cycle. I would recommend Java Power Tools to anyone writing Java.

Java Power Tools can be used as an introduction to various technologies and also as a complete and easy-to-use reference work. After having read and reviewed numerous books over the past 5 years, I think it is safe to say that I have not read another book that combines the two aspects as thorougly as Java Power Tools does.


Groovy Recipes: Greasing the Wheels of Java written by Scott Davis shows that one way of thinking of Groovy is to say Groovy is Java. I was able to successfully use Groovy in several projects, and this was the book I referred every time I needed to find any groovier code.

The material in this book is very well organized for random access. Each and every chapter, and every section in each chapter is organized in such a way that it solves a specific problem or explains with excellent working examples some specific Groovy language feature.

These are the top 5 books in my library for 2008. What are the top 5 books in your library for 2008? Do you have any specific books on your wish list for 2009? 

As always share your thoughts with us.


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