What is an algorithm?
An algorithm is a step-by-step method for solving programming problems.
Actually, it’s kind of like a recipe: a combination of ingredients to come up with a delicious finished product. 🥧
And having the best resources is the key to success.
💡 Google makes changes to its algorithm 500 to 600 times per year.
Today we’re showing you 11 of the best algorithms books for 2021.
In addition, we’re pairing some of them with killer courses for the ultimate algorithm prep combo.
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.
TLDR: 11 Best Algorithms Books in 2021
[Learn Computer Algorithms]
These are our top picks for the best algorithm books in 2021:
💸 Best Value 💸
Algorithms (4th Edition)
🔥 Best Algorithms Book for Newbies 🔥
Algorithms in a Nutshell
Best Algorithms Books in 2021
Data Structures & Algorithms in Python is a comprehensive introduction to algorithms presented in the programming language Python.
Here you’ll learn about the design, analysis and implementation of algorithms.
First off, you’ll start with a Python primer:
Then, you’ll learn about:
- object-oriented programming
- algorithm analysis
- sorting and selection
- graph algorithms
- array-based sequences
And much more.
You must be familiar with C, C++, Python or Java before reading this book.
🍷 PAIRING SUGGESTION We recommend pairing this book with the Educative.io course Data Structures and Algorithms in Python. This is an intermediate interactive course. Also, it’s jam-packed with illustrations, code snippets and code playgrounds.
In addition, you’ll learn some of the most common algorithms in use today. With hands-on coding exercises, you’ll learn how to implement algorithms to solve most problems.
🔥 Pick up Data Structures & Algorithms in Python 🔥
As the name suggests, The Algorithms Design Manual stresses design over analysis.
The first part of this textbook covers methods to design and analyze computer algorithms.
Then the second part is a reference guide for algorithmic resources and implementations.
In addition, it’s jam-packed with color illustrations and code.
You’ll learn the best algorithmic implementations in C, C++, and Java.
Ready to start preparing for your interview? We recommend checking out The Algorithms and Data Structures Interview Crash Course on Educative.io.
This book is amazing. It is rigorous yet approachable for anyone who likes a challenge. Definitely a keeper.J. Noor
Introduction to Algorithms is an in-depth look at different algorithm types. However, explanations are elementary.
Therefore, the material is still accessible for beginner and intermediate learners.
In addition, each chapter is self-contained so there’s no bleed-through of information.
Algorithms are presented in pseudocode for widespread readability.
This updated version of Introduction to Algorithms includes new material such as multithreaded algorithms and dynamic programming.
This textbook has been used in universities worldwide.
🔥 Pick up Introduction to Algorithms, 3rd Edition 🔥
Algorithms is another textbook used in universities worldwide.
It includes 50 of the most commonly used and up-to-date algorithms.
Algorithm types include:
- graph processing
- string processing
Algorithms and solutions are written in Java.
You’ll work on things like sequential search in an unordered linked list:
With the online courses, you’ll:
- work on exercises
- look at lecture slides
- work on programming assignments
🔥 Pick up Algorithms, 4th Edition 🔥
🔥 Geena’s Hot Take:
Algorithms (4th Edition) is my favorite book in this list. Not only because of its massive amount of content. But because of its companion courses on Coursera.
You get all the benefits of learning at your own pace by reading. Then you get the benefits of an online video course.
Finally you get the whole shebang by working on programming assignments and submitting them to the teacher… The same teachers who are also the authors of the book, Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne.
Mastering Machine Learning Algorithms is geared towards data science professionals.
In addition to learning the characteristics of machine learning algorithms, you’ll learn:
- implement algorithms for supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning
- discover how artificial neuron networks work
- create, model and train probabilistic models
- learn how regression works
And much, much more.
Solutions are presented in Python 3.8, so you must be familiar with Python.
🍷 PAIRING SUGGESTION: If you’re looking to work on even more complex algorithms, we recommend the AlgoExpert platform by Clément Mihailescu.
Then, you can work on over 150 problems ranging from Easy to Extremely Hard. AlgoExpert is geared towards preparing for FAANG interviews, but can also be used just to keep your algorithmic skills sharp.
🔥 Pick up Mastering Machine Learning Algorithms 🔥
Simply on of the best books on algorithms you will ever find. Period.C. L. Beard
Algorithms in a Nutshell takes a hands-on approach to applying algorithms with minimal use of math.
In addition, each algorithm contains an explanation for where, why and how it should be implemented.
You’ll also learn how to:
- use design decisions to impact different algorithms
- locate algorithms for the problems you want to solve
- anticipate the performance of an algorithm
- improve the efficiency of algorithms with data structures
Code solutions are presented in C, C++, Java and Python.
🔥 Pick up Algorithms in a Nutshell 🔥
A Common Sense Guide to Data Structures takes a real-world, practical approach to teaching algorithms.
For example, you’ll use big-O notation to measures the efficiency of your code.
Also, from there you can modify your algorithm to make it faster.
In addition, you’ll use recursion to create algorithms to run faster.
Finally you’ll work on advanced data structures to scale specialized applications.
Grokking Algorithms is a user-friendly book geared towards self-taught programmers.
In addition, the easy-to-read format contains over 400 illustrations.
Binary search is one of the first things you will learn:
After a brief introduction, you’ll learn nine of the most important and frequently-used algorithms:
- Selection sort
- Hash tables
- Breadth-first search
- Dijkstra’s algorithm
- Greedy algorithms
- Dynamic programming
- K-nearest neighbors
These are all algorithms related to search, sort and graph.
Code samples are given in Python. 🐍
At the conclusion of Grokking Algorithms, you’ll know when and where to use common algorithms.
🍷 PAIRING SUGGESTION: This book pairs well with Andrei Neagoie’s video course Master the Coding Interview: Data Structures + Algorithms. Both are great for beginners.
In addition to 19 hours of videos, Master the Coding Interview will teach you how to learn, implement and use different data structures and algorithms.
In addition, you’ll learn how to prepare for FAANG-level interviews.
🔥 Pick up Grokking Algorithms 🔥
Like the titles says, you’ll learn how to implement data structures and algorithms using Python.
Specifically, you’ll learn some of the most common algorithms to build manageable applications.
You’ll also use algorithms to understand data structures.
In addition, you’ll be learn how to gain insights into Python implementation of algorithms.
And much more.
As a result, you’ll be able to write efficient code in Python 3.
You should be familiar with Python before reading this book.
🍷 PAIRING SUGGESTION: If you need to learn Python, Codecademy offers an excellent Python beginners course Learn Python 3. Then dive into this book.
40 Algorithms Every Programmer Should Know is geared towards both beginner and experienced programmers.
If you’re hoping to land a FAANG-level job, this book needs to be on your bookshelf.
You’ll learn fundamental algorithms such as sorting and searching. In addition, you’ll learn algorithms commonly used in machine learning and cryptography.
Using Python, you’ll learn how to:
- implement graph algorithms for fraud detection
- use machine learning algorithms to process Twitter data
- use supervised learning algorithms to predict weather
And much more.
In addition, you’ll learn techniques to design algorithms which solve complex problems.
Also, you’ll become familiar with neural networks and deep learning.
🔥 Pick up 40 Algorithms Every Programmer Should Know 🔥
And finally, #11 in our Best Algorithms Books List:
Algorithms Illuminated is a 4-part series. Part 1 deals with algorithm basics.
Here you’ll learn a programming language-agnostic approach to algorithms.
In other words, the code examples aren’t presented in a specific programming language.
Rather, you’ll learn the skills you need to create algorithms in various languages.
One of the first concepts you’ll learn about is integer multiplication:
Also, Algorithms Illuminated includes quizzes, problems and solutions.
Author Tim Roughgarden presents concepts with accompanying YouTube videos.
Then, Algorithms Illuminated: Part 1 will cover things like divide-and-conquer algorithms, randomized algorithms, and widely-known sorting and selection algorithms.
And much more.
🔥 Pick up Algorithms Illuminated: Part 1: The Basics 🔥
Be sure to check out the other books in this series.
Best Algorithms Books Bonus: The Cambridge Handbook of the Law of Algorithms
The Cambridge Handbook of the Law of Algorithms examines our legal and ethical responsibility to use algorithms.
Then, it examines challenges algorithms pose to law.
For example, algorithms are often used to determine things like prison sentences.
In addition, it looks at how algorithms are replacing people as decision makers.
But with that, it analyzes how human biases are built into algorithmic decision making. Some instances include housing, credit approval and more.
Finally, it takes a look at algorithms in relation to free speech, intellectual property and human rights.
🔥 Pick up The Cambridge Handbook of the Law of Algorithms 🔥
Best Algorithms Books: Conclusion
Today we showed you 11 of the best algorithms books available:
1. Data Structures & Algorithms in Python
2. The Algorithm Design Manual
3. Introduction to Algorithms, 3rd Edition (The MIT Press)
4. Algorithms (4th Edition)
5. Mastering Machine Learning Algorithms
6. Algorithms in a Nutshell
7. A Common-Sense Guide to Data Structures and Algorithms, Second Edition
8. Grokking Algorithms
9. Hands-On Data Structures and Algorithms with Python
10. 40 Algorithms Every Programmer Should Know
11. Algorithms Illuminated: Part 1: The Basics
In addition, we included the bonus book The Cambridge Handbook of the Law of Algorithms.
Finally, we included some courses to complement some of the books.
- What are some of the best algorithms books?
We found some of the best algorithms books available. Some of them include: 40 Algorithms Every Programmer Should Know, Algorithms (4th Edition), Data Structures & Algorithms in Python, Algorithms in a Nutshell, and The Algorithm Design Manual.
- Where can I learn computer algorithms?
Books and online courses are some of the best places you can learn computer algorithms. For example, AlgoExpert is a course with over 150 algorithms ranging from Easy to Extremely Hard. The Algorithm Design Manual is a book with over 100 algorithm problems.
- What is a computer algorithm?
An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure used to solve a problem. This can be done logiccally or mathematically. A non-technical example of an algorithm is a recipe. When you follow the recipe, you'll get a certain output. Different variables in recipes provide different results.