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Jolt Awards: The Best Books

, October 01, 2013 Five notable books every serious programmer should read.
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Jolt Awards: The Best Books

As we do every year, Dr. Dobb's recognizes the best books of the last 12 months via the Jolt Awards — our cycle of awards given out every two months in one of six categories. Traditionally, no category gets more entrants than books, and this year was no exception with more than 40 nominees submitted by publishers, vendors, and readers. The award covers all books published during the twelve months ending June 30th of this year.

Due to the large number of candidates, the Jolt judges did an initial triage pass that cut the field to a readable number of entrants. Then followed a second pass in which the top five picks were selected and ranked — after long deliberation and considerable discussion. As always, the book of the year receives the Jolt Award; the two runner-ups each receive a Jolt Productivity Award, and the remaining two books are known as Jolt Finalists. Reviews of these five volumes are included in this article.

The judges for this category included Andrew Binstock, Robert del Rossi, Gary K. Evans, Roberto Galoppini, Larry O'Brien, Gary Pollice, Roland Racko, Mike Riley, Rick Wayne, and Alan Zeichick. Given the large number of judges, you can have high confidence that the award winners represent the very best of the available books for the 12-month contest period.

We thank the Jolt sponsors, Rackspace, for providing virtual machines for the judges' use and Safari Books Online for enabling us to read most of these titles online in a format that presents technical information far better than do eBook readers.

And now, to the winners, starting with the finalists…

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