What are the best Kotlin books in 2021?
Read on to find out.
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Best Kotlin Books: What is Kotlin?
Kotlin is a relatively new (2010) open-source, cross-platform programming language.
It’s both an object-oriented and a functional programming language.
Kotlin is 100% interoperable with Java. So you can call Kotlin code from Java and vice versa.
When compared to Java, there’s approximately a 40% reduction in the number of lines of code.
Kotlin is primarily used in Android development.
💡 Did you know that Kotlin can be used for server-side development?
Now let’s get into the best Kotlin books for 2021…
Hands-On Design Patterns with Kotlin is for programmers with prior experience with Java or Kotlin.
This book is for readers who want to understand classical design patterns.
First you’ll learn about Kotlin principles.
Then you’ll explore functional programming using Kotlin.
In addition, you’ll learn how to solve problems using reactive and concurrent design patterns.
With 11 chapters, you’ll learn about:
- working with creative patterns
- understanding structural patterns
- getting familiar with behavioral patterns
- pattern implementation using functional programming
- exploring streams
And much more.
By the end of Design Patterns with Kotlin, you’ll be able to develop applications and work on scalable and maintainable projects.
🔥 Pick up Hands-On Design Patterns with Kotlin 🔥
Kotlin Programming is a companion guide to The Big Nerd Ranch’s Kotlin Essentials course. It’s geared towards newbies and experienced developers.
You’ll start with core principles like data types, conditionals and collections.
Then you’ll get into object-oriented programming in Kotlin.
With 23 chapters, you’ll learn about:
- null safety and exceptions
- strings and numbers
- standard functions
- lists and sets
- defining classes
And much more.
For the duration of the book, you’ll build a text adventure project.
This book was incredible. Easy to follow examples and clear explanations. If you are an Android developer this is a MUST.– Ian Schoenrock, Amazon customer
🔥 Pick up Kotlin Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide 🔥
Android Studio is for developers with some programming experience who are interested in Android development using Kotlin.
Coming in at a massive 96 chapters, this isn’t for casual learners. Rather, it’s for readers serious about Android development.
First you’ll learn how to set up an Android development and testing environment.
Then, you’ll become familiar with Android Architecture Components such as view models and app navigation.
Finally, Android Studio covers a variety of advanced topics:
- touch screen handling
- gesture recognition
- audio playback
- cloud-based file storage
- foldable device support
And much more.
🔥 Pick up Development Essentials – Kotlin Edition 🔥
Head First Kotlin is for developers with no prior Kotlin programming experience. But you should have some background in a scripting language.
This book takes a hands-on approach to learning Kotlin and teaches you how to think like a Kotlin developer.
It covers everything from Kotlin fundamentals to higher-order functions.
You’ll also learn object-oriented and functional programming.
The Head First series is known for its effective teaching methods. Instead of heavy text, you’ll be visually stimulated with tons of images and unique fonts.
That’s why we picked this as one of the best Kotlin books for 2021.
Every time I need to look back to basics I pick up this book do a quick refresh and I’m set.Atilio Repretto, Amazon customer
I enjoyed it, went through it in 3 days when switching from Java to Kotlin.
🔥 Pick up Head First Kotlin: A Brain-Friendly Guide 🔥
Kotlin in Action is for experienced Java developers. However, you do not need any prior Kotlin programming experience.
This book was written by 2 Kotlin developers. So be prepared to dive deep into Kotlin concepts.
Using ample examples, you’ll start by learning the fundamentals of Kotlin.
Then you’ll learn about functional programming on the JVM.
In addition, you’ll learn how to combine Kotlin and Java.
With 11 sections in this book, you’ll also learn about:
- defining and calling functions
- classes, objects and interfaces
- programming with Lambdas
- the Kotlin type system
- operator overloading
- higher-order functions
- domain-specific languages (DSL) construction
Because this was written by 2 Kotlin developers, we think this is one of the best Kotlin books for 2021.
🔥 Pick up Kotlin in Action 🔥
Programming Kotlin is unique in that it’s pretty hands-on.
For example, you’ll be practicing hundreds of examples in your integrated developer environment (IDE).
In addition, you’ll learn how to:
- build standalone programs to run as scripts
- create type-safe code
- create object-oriented and functional code
Then you’ll use metaprogramming to create internal DSLs.
Finally, you’ll delve into coroutines, program asynchrony and automated testing.
By the end of this book, you’ll feel confident in combining Kotlin and Java in your applications.
🔥 Pick up Programming Kotlin 🔥
Clocking in at over 400 pages, Mastering Kotlin is aimed at developers already familiar with Kotlin programming.
With 17 chapters, you’ll learn about more complex concepts such as:
- understanding programming paradigms in Kotlin
- working across Java and Kotlin
- practical concurrency
- domain-specific languages (DSLs)
- Kotlin with Android and web development
- practical design patterns
- multiplatform Kotlin
In addition you’ll learn about using interfaces, classes and data classes.
Then you’ll learn about challenges within Kotlin’s interoperability with Java.
Excellent book. Covered all aspects of Kotlin in a very easy to enjoyable approach. One of my favourite software development books.– C. A. Jefferies, Amazon customer
🔥 Pick up Mastering Kotlin 🔥
Android Programming with Kotlin for Beginners is for developers who are new to Kotlin and Android.
With this book, you’ll learn how to develop interactive Android apps.
So first you’ll come to understand how Kotlin and Android work together.
Then you’ll learn how to add sound and animation to your apps. Also, you’ll discover how to implement dialog boxes.
Finally, you’ll build a database app that sorts and stores user data.
With 28 chapters, you’ll learn key concepts such as:
- layouts and material design
- Kotlin variables, operators and expressions
- the Android lifecycle
- object-oriented programming
- Android dialog windows
- data persistence and sharing
- drawing graphics
- design patterns
And much more.
🔥 Pick up Programming with Kotlin for Beginners 🔥
Kotlin Cookbook is for both newbies and experienced programmers.
Instead of teaching basic syntax, you’ll learn Kotlin by personal use cases. For example, you’ll learn how to apply Kotlin to your own projects.
So in this book, you’ll learn how to:
- apply functional programming concepts
- use delegates, late initialization and scope functions
- add extension functions
- use JUnit 5 and other libraries
In addition, you’ll spend a lot of time on learning about Java interoperability with Kotlin.
Finally, Kotlin Cookbook will offer advice for working within frameworks like Spring.
🔥 Pick up Kotlin Cookbook 🔥
10. Best Kotlin Books: Kotlin for Android Developers
Google supports Kotlin for Android development. That’s a pretty strong endorsement.
So now is the perfect time to pick up Kotlin for Android Developers and learn Kotlin. Especially since it’s been recommended by Google and JetBrains.
This is a fun book because you’ll be creating an Android app using Kotlin as the primary programming language.
So instead of just reading about concepts, you’ll be actively applying them.
In addition, this means that Kotlin for Android Developers is not a reference book. Rather it’s a tool.
While creating new projects, you’ll learn about:
- classes and functions
- variables and properties
- retrieving data from an API
- parsing data
- Kotlin Android extensions
- interfaces and delegation
- Java interoperability
And much, much more.
🔥 Pick up Kotlin for Android Developers 🔥
11. Best Kotlin Books: The Joy of Kotlin
The Joy of Kotlin is for intermediate Java or Kotlin developers.
It teaches concepts using ample examples.
First, you’ll learn about programming with functions.
Then, the book touches on dealing with optional data, safe handling of errors, and handling state mutation.
With 14 chapters, you’ll learn about:
- recursion and memoization
- data handling
- working with laziness
- solving problems with advanced trees
- sharing mutable states with actors
- solving common problems functionally
🔥 Pick up The Joy of Kotlin 🔥
Learn Kotlin for Android Development is geared towards developers with little or no Kotlin programming experience.
Here you’ll learn the core concepts of Kotlin programming.
First, you’ll learn useful techniques to create your own Android apps.
Then you’ll learn about clean code principles.
Also, it touches on object-oriented and functional programming when developing Android apps.
Some key takeaways include:
- working with Android classes and objects
- using constructs, loops
- carrying out data operations
- handling exceptions
- using scopes and decisions
In addition, you’ll build your first Kotlin app.
By the end of this book, you’ll know how to write efficient Kotlin apps for Android.
🔥 Pick up Learn Kotlin for Android Development 🔥
13. Best Kotlin Books: Kotlin In-Depth [Vol-I]
Kotlin In-Depth is a two volume series. Here we’re examining Volume 1.
First, you’ll learn about Kotlin programming fundamentals.
Then you’ll learn how to use object-oriented and functional programming with Kotlin.
In addition, you’ll become familiar with the Kotlin standard library.
From there, you can compose domain-specific languages.
Finally, you’ll learn the basics of writing test code in Kotlin.
By the end of the book, you’ll know how to create flexible and reusable Kotlin code.
🔥 Pick up Kotlin In-Depth [Vol-1] 🔥
And our final pick for best Kotlin books in 2021:
Kotlin In-Depth Volume 2 picks up where Volume 1 left off.
So after reading this book, you’ll have a deeper understanding of most basic Kotlin programming concepts.
In addition, you’ll be able to write reusable, flexible code using object-oriented and functional programming.
Also, you’ll become more comfortable utilizing the Kotlin standard library.
Finally, you’ll learn the fundamentals of using Kotlin for writing test code, web applications and Android development.
🔥 Pick up Kotlin In-Depth [Vol. II] 🔥
14 Best Kotlin Books for 2021: Conclusion
So what are the best Kotlin books for 2021?
We came up with 3:
Best for Newbies
Head First Kotlin: A Brain-Friendly Guide
The Joy of Kotlin
Some more Kotlin & other course/book reviews you may like:
- Best Kotlin Course for 2021 [6 Kotlin Courses for Beginners]
- 5 Best Flutter Courses for 2021 + Bonus [Learn Flutter for Beginners]
- Top 10 Best Object-Oriented Programming Books for 2021 [Learn OOP]
- 8 Best Design Patterns Books for 2021 [Plus Design Patterns Interview Course]
- Top 10 Best Object-Oriented Programming Courses in 2021 [Learn OOP]
- What are the best Kotlin books to read?
While we chose 14 of the best Kotlin books out there, three really stood out. For best value, we recommend Mastering Kotlin. For newbies, we recommend Head First Kotlin: A Brain-Friendly Guide. And for intermediate developers, we recommend The Joy of Kotlin.
- Should I learn Kotlin?
We think it's worth learning Kotlin if you're interested in pursuing Android development. Google has recognized Kotlin as one of the official programming languages for Android. It's popularity is only growing.