- Best Books for Data Structures and Algorithms
- 1. Introduction to Algorithms
- 2. Data Structures and Algorithms Made Easy
- 3. Algorithms
- 4. Grokking Algorithms
- 5. The Algorithm Design Manual
- 6. Algorithms in a Nutshell
- 7. Introduction to Algorithms: A Creative Approach
- 8. Data Structures and Algorithms in Java
- 9. Problem-Solving with Algorithms and Data Structures using Python
- 10. Data Structures and Algorithms in C++
Data structures and algorithms are the fundamentals of software development. The study of data structures and algorithms involves a lot of thinking ability and exercise of the brain. From many big tech giants like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, etc to the new emerging startups like Zomato, Swiggy, etc, all have interview rounds based on data structures and algorithms. Since Data structures and Algorithms are so important, not just for the hiring processes but also for the development of Problem Solving Skills of a developer, it is very important to know about the best resources to study them. This discussion focuses on some of the best books on Data structures and Algorithms.
Best Books for Data Structures and Algorithms
Here we have a list of some of the best books that you can use to study data structures and algorithms and go in-depth of the concepts and feel them yourself. The books are not arranged in any particular order (from best to lowest or vice versa). Think of it as 10 equal level good books, just for different needs.
1. Introduction to Algorithms
Writers: Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest and Clifford Stein.
About the book: This book is often said to be the bible for Algorithms. The book has a lot of famous algorithms ranging from a variety of topics like Dynamic Programming, Greedy methods, to various advanced Graph Algorithms and even Multithreaded Algorithms, algorithms related to Number Theory and what not.
The book is famous by the name of CLRS Book on Algorithms.
However, this book is not that beginner-friendly. So, if you are a complete beginner to the world of data structures and algorithms, this book might not be the right one for you but it is a really good book for your future read. The book is highly recommended even in Colleges and Universities. This is surely one of the best books for Algorithms.
Recommendation: This book should be read after one has a good hold over basic data structures like Arrays, Strings, Linked Lists, Stacks, and Queues and when one has a fair idea (beginner level only) about algorithms.
2. Data Structures and Algorithms Made Easy
Writer: Narsimha Karumanchi
The book: Data structures and Algorithms Made Easy, by Narsimha Karumanchi is a very famous book on Data structures and Algorithms. This book is a very beginner-friendly book. If anyone wants to learn data structures and Algorithms from the basic level to a decent level in the simplest way and language, this is the book for you. This book covers various beginner-level topics like introduction to Data structures and various data structures like Linked Lists, Stacks, and Queues along with some advanced and in-depth topics like Graph Algorithms, Dynamic Programming Algorithms, Greedy algorithms, and many more. The programs in this book are given in C Programming Language.
Recommendation: This book is highly recommended to anyone who is at a beginner-level or an intermediate level of knowing the programming concepts as it will build your understanding of the topic starting from scratch of the topic to the very deep and advanced concepts of it.
Writers: Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne.
The Book: This book is one of the top recommendations for Java Programmers. It covers the basics of Data structures and algorithms in Java and goes up to a decent level. The book covers various topics like fundamentals and introduction to data structures and algorithms using Java to some advanced Graph Algorithms, String Matching Algorithms, Network Flow, Reductions, etc. It is one of the highest-rated books especially for Java programmers as there are limited high-quality books that provide in-depth knowledge of data structures and Algorithms and use Java for it.
Recommendation: It is recommended to use this book as a resource for studying the concepts in-depth but it is not sufficient for practice. Java programmers should definitely use this book as it is a good resource for learning DSA in Java.
4. Grokking Algorithms
Writer: Aditya Bhargava
The book: If you are a Python programmer and were worried that why isn’t there any book that teaches Data structures and Algorithms in Python, do not worry now. This book teaches the fundamentals of Data structures and Algorithms using Python Programming Language. This book covers the basics of the topics like Greedy Algorithms, Dynamic Programming, etc. The differentiating factor of this book that makes it a lot interesting are the diagrams and the interactive approach of the book towards all the topics. The diagrams look like handmade cartoon drawings which interact with each other and explain the entire concept easily.
Recommendation: This is not a complete coursebook. This means that the topics that are covered are covered fully with interactive explanations but the number of topics that are covered is less. This cannot be used as a complete guided path like CLRS book but it can be used as a reference book. It is highly recommended to use this book and study in a very unique and interactive way in which the book teaches.
5. The Algorithm Design Manual
Writer: Steven S. Skiena
The Book: You might have seen various algorithm design courses on different online platforms. This book serves as the reference to almost all those courses. This book also covers a wide variety of topics from basic Data Structures to advanced topics like Interactable problems, Hard graph problems, problems based on Combinatorics, etc. There are pseudo-codes for most of the problems similar to C Programming Language. The book covers a wide variety of topics and is not a very basic level (beginner-friendly) book.
Recommendation: This book is not a very beginner-friendly or basic book. It covers advanced topics and the way they are put up is not that simple to understand for a beginner. However, it is a very good resource for any intermediate-level programmer and can even be used as your coursebook. A lot of high-level concepts are covered in the book with separate chapters for mathematically advanced topics like Computational Geometry. Hence, this is an advanced level book for the programmers who are interested to go deep into the concepts and learning a few advanced problem-solving techniques too.
6. Algorithms in a Nutshell
Writers: George T. Heineman, Gary Pollice and Stanley Selkow.
The Book: This is one of the best books to learn Data Structures and Algorithms for Java, C, C++, and Python Programmers. The book has implementation tips (only tips not the entire code) for all of the above-stated programming languages. Mainly, the programs are in the C programming language. The explanations are very good with proper dry-run of the algorithms using diagrams, UML diagrams are also used in many places to explain the concepts clearly. This book can be studied by both beginners and by intermediate programmers. The book is divided into 4 parts which cover very basic topics like searching and sorting basic algorithms to advanced topics like Network flow algorithms, Computational Geometry, etc.
Recommendation: This book is recommended to beginners as well as intermediate programmers who have a good hold over programming. The concepts are explained in a crystal-clear way with a lot of dry runs of the algorithms with the help of neat and organized diagrams. Overall, a good experience for the programmers who refer to this book.
7. Introduction to Algorithms: A Creative Approach
Writer: Udi Manber
The Book: This is an advanced level book for the programmers who already know Data structures and Algorithms and want a deep dive into the mathematical aspect of algorithm design.
Recommendation: The book is quite advanced in its level.It is recommended that beginners or intermediate programmers should not refer to this book as it contains a lot of mathematical aspect around and about the algorithms. The fact that this book is quite advanced can be stated by a simple example that there is only 1 chapter in which all the data structures have been covered. It is highly recommended based on the user interest. If someone wants to have a deep mathematical analysis of how the algorithms are designed, this book is for you. However, this book is not recommended if you are preparing for just a coding interview.
Now, let us see some books that are specific to each Java, C++, and Python programming language.
8. Data Structures and Algorithms in Java
Writer: Robert Lafore
The Book: This is a book for studying Data Structures in Java. Yes, the name says Data structures and Algorithms but the book focuses primarily on Data Structures only. It covers a wide variety of topics from basic Arrays, Strings, and even topics like Java for C++ Programmers, to some advanced data structures like Graphs, Hash-Tables, Red-Black Trees, 2-3-4 Trees, etc.
Recommendation: This is a highly recommended book for beginners who are just starting with data structures and Algorithms after learning the Java Programming Language basics. The book will guide you through a lot of data structures and their implementation in Java along with how they are internally implemented in Java.
Note: This book will also contain a lot of codes for a graphical representation (GUI )of data structures using Applet Programming in Java. This applet programming is outdated and the readers must ignore all the programs and concepts related to it.
9. Problem-Solving with Algorithms and Data Structures using Python
Writers: Bradley N. Miller and David L. Ranum
The book: The book “Problem-Solving with Algorithms and Data structures in Python” is a very basic level book, for beginners in Data structures and algorithms. The range of topics covered in this book is not very vast, yet they give the python programmers a good introduction to DSA and problem-solving. Topics like recursion, trees and their algorithms, and basic data structures like Linked Lists, Stacks, and queues are covered in this book.
Recommendation: This is not a book to master data structures and algorithms, It focuses more on Python programming and data structures in Python to be precise. It can be used by beginners who are currently learning Python programming to build their foundation strong by already learning some of the basic data structures in Python apart from the Language.
10. Data Structures and Algorithms in C++
Writer: Adam Drozdek.
The book: This is a book focused on Data Structures and even Algorithms to some extent in C++ programming Language. It starts off with the concepts of Standard Template Library (STL) in C++ and explains a lot of basic Data structures like Linked Lists, Stacks & Queues, Trees, etc along with some advanced Data structures like Multiway Tree (M-way Trees), Graphs, etc. The book also covers some basic data compression algorithms to some advanced String Matching Algorithms.
Recommendation: This book can be used by both beginners and intermediate programmers in C++. It is a good resource to learn the Standard Template Library (STL) concepts too. Again, it does not cover everything (in view of the Algorithms) like Dynamic Programming, Divide and Conquer, Greedy Strategy, etc. Hence, this book is a good resource and reference book but it is recommended not to rely on it completely as a coursebook.
So, these were some of the top-rated and suggested books on Data Structures and Algorithms. Again, which book to go for? This completely depends on your current level and knowledge of programming and your further interests.
Check out Best DSA Courses to take up.
One thing that we can suggest is that stick to one book at a time and don’t waste your money and time in purchasing and reading a lot of books as it just increases confusion and chaos.