Books worth reading

I haven't counted, but I would bet that 8 out of 10 questions on this forum begin with some variation of "I'm totally new to electronics and programming ...". Being quite new to this world myself, I have been looking around for sources of knowledge and I thought I'd share two books that I have found to be very useful, even if they don't deal with the Arduino specifically.

The first one is Making Things Move, DIY Mechanisms for Inverntors, Hobbyists and Artists by Dustyn Roberts. It's a great book that is very hands on and easy to grasp, while still providing you with enough depth to understand the underlying principles. It provided me with mental tools and courage to go on and try my own ideas. A great and easy read!

The second one is Practical Electronics For Inventors (2nd edition), by Paul Scherz. Among other things, this book demystified all those capacitors that "inexplicably" show up in more or less every circuit you will find. I bought it as a backup option when ordering the classic The Art Of Electronics, by Horowitz and Hill. This is indeed a thorough book, but I found Practical Electronics For Inventors to be much more useful for me. Having both doesn't hurt though.

What do you read?


Horowitz Hill "The Art of Electronics" and Steve McConnel "Code Complete". Both are not really beginner's level though. For beginners there exist some really great German FAQs though. Especially has great tutorials.

K&R C.

I really liked Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but I admit it probably doesn't do much for Arduino development.

justjed: K&R C.

I really liked Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but I admit it probably doesn't do much for Arduino development.


K&R is certainly a classic. Regarding the other book, one should not underestimate the influence of litterature and culture as a source of inspiration. I still remember stumbling upon Count Zero and Neuromancer (W. Gibson) way back in 1987. Count Zero was just out then. I was into the C64 demo scene and dreaming about a Amiga 500. In a way, those books contributed to my later career choice! They were just so cool! :-)

I would go with 'The Art of Electronics' too.

Every so often I pick it up, read some of it, marvel at the cleverness of the author and wish I had a better brain.

C/C++ books by Herbert Schildt are usually good. If you're an adult, his logic appeals to you even better.

Looking at my desk, I have:

The C programming Language by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie C : The Complete Reference by Herbert Schildt The Art of Electronics by Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill The Circuit Designers Companion by Tim Williams

I have, Building Wireless Sensor Networks by Rob Faludi Some of the engineer notebooks by Forrest Mims and Making Things Talk by Tom Igoe

Making Things Talk was a great book. I did the project where your cat sends you an email by sitting in his or her basket with a pressure sensor under it. I learned about PHP pages and how to send emails.