5 Best Java 8 and Functional Programming Books in 2023 [UPDATED]

If you follow Java updates, you may know that Java 13 was released, and Java 14 is on the way, but I often receive emails and queries asking about some good books to learn Java 8. Since Java 8 is very different from any other JDK release, in terms of language and API enhancement, you really need an excellent book to learn fundamentals. In short, based upon my 2 years of learning and reading Java 8 books, I can say that Java SE 8 for Really Impatient is hands down the best book to learn Java 8. It covers all the essential things released in JDK 8, not just lambda expression and streams but also new Date and Time API and several other minor enhancement yet crucial features, which often go unnoticed.

It doesn't scare you with complete detail as well and tell you what you need to know as an application developer. It's not going to teach you the fundamentals of functional programming, but it will show you how to use the map and flatMap operations.

Well, that was the short answer, the long answer is you cannot learn everything about Java SE 8 by just reading one book. You have to read a couple of books to master the new Java 8 features like lambda expression and streams.

There is much more to learn about these features than just writing a couple of lines of code. In fact, realizing all the places where you can use the functional style of Java itself takes time, but getting the opinion of multiple authors really helps there.

In this article, I am going to share 2 to 3 such books to learn and master Java 8, btw, if you like online courses, The Complete Java MasterClass is the course I recommend to learn Java. It's the most up-to-date course and covers not only Java 8 but other changes on Java 9, 10, 11, 12, and Java 13.

5 Best Java 8 Books for Beginners and Experienced

It's been more than 5 years since Java SE 8 GA happened, the 18th March 2014, and now in 2023, I can see Java SE 8 is growing in usages. Many companies are migrating to Java 8 runtime, others have already instructed developers to code in Java SE 8 way, I mean by using lambdas, stream, and method references.

If you are a senior Java developer with 4 to 5 years of experience in Java, then it's high time you learn and embrace Java 8. I am sure, in the coming days, Java interviews will expect a candidate with good knowledge of Java 8 features.

Anyway, here is my list of some of the best Java 8 books for both beginner and experienced programmers.

1. Modern Java in Action

This is another excellent book to learn Java, particularly the lambda expression and stream API. It is more detailed and comprehensive than Java SE 8 for the Really impatient book. Raoul-Gabriel Urma and the team have done a fantastic job to explains the motivation behind these new language features and how to use them effectively in Java 8.

 Like the previous book, it also covers other Java 8 enhancements features, like Date and Time API and concurrency enhancements, like CompletableFuture, etc. Its old version was even named as Java 8 in Action, and the new version was named Modern Java in action to incorporate changes from newer Java releases like Java 9, Java 10, etc

The bonus part of this book is that it goes extra steps to teach functional programming techniques to Java programmers, which is essential to use the lambda expression in Java 8. Though, if you want to learn Stream API in-depth, I suggest you take a look at the Java Stream API Developer Guide course by Nelson Djalo on Udemy.

best books to learn functional programming in Java

2. Java SE 8 for the Really Impatient

As I said, this is the best book to learn Java 8. It is also my general-purpose Java 8 book. If you have less time and you want to learn all the important things about Java 8, this is the book to refer to. I don't have to remind you about Cay. S. Horstmann's writing skill, one of the best authors in Java and right up there with Joshua Bloch.

I have found both of them highly readable. You won't feel bored, which usually programmers do when they read technical books. It explains lambda expression, streams, functional interface, method references, new Java Date and Time API, and several other small enhancements, like joining Strings, repeatable annotations, etc.

In short, the best book to learn Java hands down. If you want, you can make it even better by joining a course like What's New in Java 8 from Pluralsight, which complements this book by providing some actual learning experience.

best book to learn Java 9 features
Btw, you would need a Pluralsight membership to access this course, which costs around $29 per month or $299 per year. Though it provides access to more than 5000+ high-quality online courses on the latest technology with quizzes, assessments, and projects.

Since, as a programmer, we need to continually learn, I strongly suggest you join a learning portal like Pluralsight. They also have a 10-day free trial period which allows you to watch for 200 minutes of any courses, that way you can get this course for free.

3. Mastering Lambdas: Java Programming in a Multicore World

This is the expert book on lambda expression and Stream API. It doesn't cover all the Java 8 features, e.g., date and time API is not included in this book, but if you really want to understand the motivation behind lambdas and stream, this is the book to read.

I like Maurice Naftalin when I first read his Java Generics and Collection, another expert book on generics and collections. He is also one of the pioneers in Java 8 with his lambda faq website. In short, if you want to understand lambda a stream in detail, this is the book to refer to.

best book to learn Java 8

That's all about the best books to learn about Java 8. I think these three books are more than enough to have a decent understanding of Java 8 and all the new language features which come along. Everybody has a different approach, though, I like to read just one book from start to end and refer to another book only when they read.

So, when I started learning Java, I started with Java SE 8 for really impatient and then see the other two books on a topic basis. This way, I get the best of all three books without spending too much time.

Let me know what your feedback is on these Java 8 books and feel free to suggest any other book which you find truly great to read.

By the way, if you are preparing for Java SE 8 certifications then you can also use these Java 8 certifications books and courses, they are also a great source of information on Java 8 features but written according to the syllabus of OCAJP8, or 1Z0-808 exams.

Other Java 8 Tutorials you may like
  • Top 5 Courses to learn New Java Features from JDK 8 to JDK 13 (courses)
  • 10 Example of Joining String in Java 8 (see here)
  • These are the free courses to learn Java 8 and Java 9 (courses)
  • 10 Example of converting a List to Map in Java 8 (tutorial)
  • Top 5 courses to learn Java 8 Programming (courses)
  • 10 Example of forEach() method in Java 8 (example)
  • My favorite free courses to learn Java in-depth (courses)
  • 20 Example of LocalDate and LocalTime in Java 8 (see here)
  • 10 Example of Stream API in Java 8 (see here)
  • 5 Books to Learn Java 8 and Functional Programming (list)
  • How to use Stream.map() in Java 8 (example)
  • How to use Stream.flatMap in Java 8(example)
  • Difference between map() and flatMap() in Java 8 (answer)
  • How to use filter() in Collections with predicate and streams (tutorial)
  • How to convert java.util.Date to java.time.LocalDate in Java 8? (tutorial)
Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like this article, then please share it with your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions doubts or feedback, then please drop a comment, and I'll try to answer your question.

P. S. - If you are looking for an online course to learn only Java 8 features like lambda expression and Stream API, then you can also take a look at the Java 8 Functional Programming: Lambda Expressions Quickly course on Udemy. It's completely free, all you need to do is create a Udemy account and join this course.

1 comment :

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