I just noticed that Safari Books has put up a rough cut of the 2nd Edition of Bill Wagner’s Effective C#. My Safari license only allows me to preview but I can already see from the table of contents that he is including new chapters on working with C# 4. This is pretty exciting. If you recall, the 1st Edition only covered C# 1 and after a largish gap Bill Wagner published a completely different book, More Effective C#, to cover the C# 2 and C# 3 features.
I have long recommended both of Bill’s books to anyone who wants to get a deeper understanding of the C# language. I’ve only recently started seriously reading through John Skeet’s C# In Depth, however. I was originally put off with how much time he puts into explaining C# 1 and C# 2. Now that I am into the second half of the book, I am very excited about his coverage of lambdas in C# 3. His passion about this interesting language feature is both palpable and infectious. He also does a good job of clearing up the fud around the stack and the heap.
Having these three books on the bookshelf will make anyone a more effective C# developer – well, that’s an idiom of course. To be clear, having these three books and also reading them will in fact make anyone a more effective C# developer. Well – just to be extremely clear – I should have said “reading and re-reading them”. I’ve read through both of Bill Wagner’s books twice and actually had to read his introduction to generics about 6 times before I finally understood most of what he is saying. The fault however is due not with the exposition and only partly due to the limited faculties of this non-ideal reader – C# programming can be extremely complicated stuff and we are all fortunate to have both Bill Wagner and John Skeet doing the heavy lifting involved in explaining it to the rest of us.