Top 10 books every .NET/C# developer should read


Reading blog posts accounts for a great deal of my reading and learning about technology. Combined with videos from conferences, I feel like I'm up to date on new things being launched. But when I need to dig deep into a subject, I never get around reading books. In this recent post in our Learn about .NET series, I'll present you with a list of books that I've read or got recommended from developer friends.

Let me start by making something clear: I suck at reading books. Some of my friends read one book after another, while I only read technical literature when I need to go deep on something. If you are like me, this is a distilled list of some of the most recommended books. If you just love reading about technology, I hope that you will find something of value too. The list is not prioritized so feel free to pick only subjects or authors you like.

C# in Depth

This is probably the one most people have suggested me to read. Written by Jon Skeet himself, it should be on everyone's radar. I know that we are on C# version 8 now, but there is plenty to look at in this book.

C# 7.0 in a Nutshell

While C# in Depth is easier to read from start to end, C# 7.0 in a Nutshell is, as the name suggests, the definite resource. You can look up almost everything about C# in this book.

Entity Framework Core in Action

I'm not of an Entity Framework guy. Not because I have anything against, but not using relational databases these days. But, if I were to dive deep into Entity Framework Core, this would probably be the book I would start with. I've seen it recommended over and over again on Reddit.

CLR via C#

Ok, this may seem a bit out-dated. But it sure helped me a lot learning about the common language runtime in .NET. Most of the code is still valid in .NET Core and I believe this is an easier read than some of the other C# books.

Dependency Injection Principles, Practices, and Patterns

I'm a bit of a sucker for dependency injection and anything Mark Seemann does really. I mean, this is the guy who got me hooked on TDD years ago. For this reason, I'm planning to read this book.

The Art of Unit Testing

Roy Osherove's book The Art of Unit Testing has been my go-to guide for writing good unit tests for years. With examples in C#, it's a great companion for us .NET developers.

Illustrated C# 7

I didn't read this myself, but I've heard people talking about this book as a good place to start. With its more than 800 pages and lots of good reviews, it looks like a cool book to check out for sure.

Microservices in .NET Core

Every time Christian Horsdal says something, I listen. I've attended a couple of talks by Christian from time to time and always feel like I learn something. That is the case with his book about Microservices as well. Look out for the second edition with examples in ASP.NET Core instead of Nancy.

ASP.NET Core in Action

Every time I google something about ASP.NET Core, I end up on Andrew Lock's blog. I learned ASP.NET Core the hard way and really would have wished for a book like this when I started looking into ASP.NET Core.

.NET Gurus Can Cook!

Let's end this list with a fun one. I didn't read this one but got it recommended by my friend, Rasmus. I love both .NET and cooking. This is a recipe collection from well-known .NET gurus like Scott Guthrie and Julie Lerman. Bon appétit.

When looking through the list, I admit that the list is a bit dominated by Manning. While it would be obvious to believe that I receive a cut, I don't. To be honest, Manning is just producing some awesome books for .NET developers. Do you believe we've missed something? Let me know through the support widget in the lower right corner.