A Comp-Sci Bookshelf


I was browsing an Academic Bookstore the other day looking for the Computer Science section but this turned out to be in a different store on another campus (duh!). No problem, I thought, I can create my own private bookstore and stock it with the very best of Computer Science textbooks! One new Amazon wishlist later, here are my picks for the classic, essential Comp-Sci texts.

You will find the list here – https://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/388BNDIVCTIZZ

In no particular order, the titles are:

  • “Structured Computer Organisation”, Tanenbaum & Austin
  • “Modern Operating Systems”, Tanenbaum & Bos
  • “Software Engineering”, Sommerville
  • “Computer Networks: A Systems Approach”, Petersen & Davie
  • “Compilers: Principles, Techniques and Tools”, Aho, Lam & Sethi
  • “Computer Architecture: A Qauntative Approach”, Patterson
  • “Computer Organization and Design”, Patterson and Hennessey

I have used most of these books “in anger”, either as a student, or inflicted on my own students so can vouch for the quality and usefulness. Anyone investing some considerable time to work through all 5,000+ pages here can certainly consider themselves a well-read Computer Scientist, and hopefully a better person!

If I had to pick a single favourite it would undoubtedly be “Computer Organisation and Design”. Not only is it informative but it tells a really good story and is a genuinly enjoyable read. It is was written by people who had a clear task and shows the thought processes around the compromises inherent in any kind of true engineering endeavour. Well worth reading even if you not a comp-sci student but just want to get a feel for how real-world digital engineering actually works.

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