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Top 20 Node.JS books that you should read

Diving into back-end development is obviously tough. But it can be way easier if the back-end language of your choice is already familiar to you. For those who come from Javascript background, Node.js should be a good option and not only because of Javascript knowledge. In this article, I want to introduce you to the best Node.js books that can help you fastly delve into the subject. But first, let’s take a quick look at what Node.js is.

A few words about Node.js

Node.js is an open source run-time environment for executing Javascript code on the server side. The main advantage of Node.js is that it allows for performing highly memory efficient asynchronous programming by means of websockets (real-time two-way conversation between client and server). Comparing to the traditional execution of server side code, where for each request should be created a separate thread, Node.js handles thousands of requests using just one thread. Apparently, it saves RAM, yet comes with certain pitfalls, which you will also get to know and learn how to handle them in the list of best Node.js books.

Comparison between traditional way of handling requests and the way Node.js handles them. (Source: Toptal blog)

List of the best Node.js books

NodeJS books

There’s no learning without books – it’s an idea that we all were brought up with. Although, learning programming differs from most of subjects, picking the right books is still a must. I prepared a list of the best Node.js books for you that not only teach you the main concepts of programming with Node.js but also motivate you each time to learn more.

1. Beginning Node.js

This book by Basarat Ali Syed covers the core concepts of work with Node.js, including packages, streams, handling callbacks. It introduces readers to Express framework and data maintenance. Also, you can learn about SPA (SIngle Page Application) concept and the necessary basics of testing, debugging, and deploying web applications.

2. Node.js in action, Second edition

The first edition of “Node.js in action” became a bestseller (which is automatically added at no cost when you purchase the second edition). It is based on examples and guides you from setting-up a Node development environment to building a full-fledged Node application. In the second edition, authors have focused on the non-blocking I/O, state management, and event-driven programming.

3. The Node Beginner Book

Some of the best Node.js books are available as free guides, and this book is one of them. Although it doesn’t require much knowledge of Javascript, some knowledge of other programming language(s) would be helpful. Starting with “Hello world”, in a step-by-step fashion, it shows how to build the application stack, perform routing, work with the request handlers, and deal with other aspects of Node.js. You can read first three chapters for free.

4. Felix’s Node.js Guide

This is the Node.js guide, written by Felix Geisendörfer, an early Node.js core contributor. The content includes four parts: Beginner Guide, Style Guide, Community Guide, and Convincing The Boss Guide. All of them are available for free and help to quick start programming in Node.js.

5. Art of Node

Just as the previous one, “Art of Node” is a free guide for Node.js beginners. It’s published on Github and shows basics for delving into Node.js as a new programming language. Still, some knowledge of Javascript and git will be helpful.

6. Node.js design patterns

Every mature developer knows how important for application development is the knowledge of design patterns. This is one of the best Node.js books about that can help you to “design and implement a series of server-side Javascript patterns” and gain a sufficient knowledge for applying them in your work.

7. What You Need To Know About Node.js

This is a pdf e-book that is focused on teaching the main aspects of Node.js in a minimal amount of time. First, you will get oriented in the language syntax, then learn how frameworks work, and explore Node.js ecosystem with all important references.

8. Mastering Node.js

The newly released second edition covers the latest features of Node 9 and ES6 providing examples and demos for the profound exploration of  Promises, functional programming, microservices, and other cutting-edge technologies.

9. Beginning Web Application Development with Node

In this book, you will learn how to build cross-platform end to end web applications using MEAN (MongoDB, Express, AngularJs and Node). If you have an experience of development in Visual Studio and want to carry on working there with Node.js, you will find this book helpful.

10. Getting MEAN with Mongo, Express, Angular, and Node (MEAN)

Nowadays, MEAN is a highly-competitive stack of technologies that allows you to develop both front- and back- end parts. I suppose it’s one of the best Node.js books to get into full-stack development. With this book, you get everything you need to get started with MEAN and thus boost your web developer expertise.

11. Professional Node.js: Building Javascript Based Scalable Software

This book would perfectly suit those who already have an experience of working with Javascript. It’s an in-depth guide that walks you through creating and loading modules; reading and writing data streams; using Connect, Express, and Socket.IO; and connecting to MySQL, CouchDB, and MongoDB.

12. Practical Node.js: Building Real-World Scalable Web Apps

“Practical Node.js” helps you start with the installation of all necessary modules, leverage Express.js and Hapi frameworks, make use of MongoDB database, Jade and Handlebars template engines, the Socket.IO and Derby libraries. It’s one of the best books to learn Node.js by practicing. The perfect scenario is if you are already familiar with the basics of Node.js before touching this book.

13. Smashing Node.js: JavaScript Everywhere

This book demonstrates how to make event-driven server-side apps with the help of Node.js.  It teaches event-driven programming, shows how to implement Shocket.IO and HTML5 Websockets and leverage Node’s data storages tools. Moreover, it contains numerous examples, which makes it extremely useful for those who want to start developing right away.

14. Learning Node: Moving to the Server-Side

In this book, you will learn about frameworks and functionality for full-stack Node development; explore Node’s support for networks, security, and sockets; and see how to use Node in microcontrollers, microcomputers, and the Internet of Things.

15. Web Development with Node and Express: Leveraging the JavaScript Stack

If you were looking for the ways to leverage the Javascript stack, here is a one of the best books to learn Node.js and Express framework. You will get to know the fundamentals of the framework by creating an application that exposes a public website and a RESTful API. You will also learn best web architecture practices that will help to enrich your developer skills.

16. Node.js the Right Way: Practical, Server-Side JavaScript That Scales

“Node.js the Right Way” is popular among beginners and is recognized as one of the best Node.js books. In a compact way it covers the main aspects of development with Node.js – “from its architecture and core, to its ecosystem of third-party modules”. Allen Wirfs-Brock, the project editor of ECMAScript Language Specification said about it:

Node.js the Right Way”” really is the right way to get a fast start with modern server side JavaScript programming. It goes far beyond the basic mechanics of JavaScript and Node and shows you what really goes into making a quality server-side application.

17. RESTful Web API Design with Node.JS

Working with the RESTful services has become a must for web developers. This book will help you to start working with RESTful services in a right way by creating a fully featured RESTful API solution from scratch and learning how to use Node.JS, Express, MongoDB and NoSQL.

18. The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

This book isn’t focused on a certain language or a stack of technologies. However, it’s a must-read for every programmer. The content of the book covers a wide range of topics including responsibility issues, career development, architectural techniques, code flexible, best practices of making code easy to adapt and reuse.

19. Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction, Second Edition

“Code complete” is one of worldwide recognized handbooks for developers. It shows the most effective techniques and practices of development that are applicable regardless the specifications of programming language or framework.

20. The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering

“The Mythical Man-Month” has been popular for more than 20 years. There’s not so many books that have appeared so influential in project management field as this one. It covers thoughts and advice on software engineering that are timeless. Some of the chapters were updated or added since the first published version.

Bonus resources

For those who always need something more and want to accompany learning from the best Node.js books with other sources of knowledge, I have a bonus. Here are some tutorials and articles that may help you make your learning experience more diverse:

1. The Complete Node.js Developer Course on Udemy

This course covers fundamentals of Node.js gently guiding you through both theoretical and practical (you are going to make four projects during the course) sides. Everything you need to know before delving into Express, Mongoose, and MongoDB.

2. Server-side Development with NodeJS, Express, and MongoDB on Coursera

This course goes further than the previous one. It explains how to deal with databases and build RESTful API, and closely examines BaaS (Backend as a service) concept. You may need to have an intermediate knowledge of Javascript so you can quickly pick up new things from the course.

3. Node.js tutorials on w3schools

W3schools is rather an encyclopedia than just tutorials series. It’s well-organized and allows you to practice every bit of theory by running examples and trying things by yourself. Apart from Node.js basics, you can also learn there how to use Node.js to work with MySql, MongoDB, and even Raspberry Pi.

4. Building Apps with Node.js Jump Start on Microsoft Virtual Academy platform

Visual Studio Academy often comes up with courses that help programmers do more with Microsoft tools. This training shows how to work with Node.js in Microsoft Visual Studio. Moreover, there you can learn how to use Express. During the course, you will build Backend, create UI, and combine them in one application.

5. Node.js and Express.js on freecodecamp

Freecodecamp is a powerful platform for learning web development. There you learn by coding, completing one exercise after another from the simplest concepts of front-end to proficient back-end challenges. It’s one of the best places to start your way in full-stack development.


Stating that above-mentioned resources are best Node.js books/tutorials is quite pretentious. And I encourage you to not measure yourself by any of such kind of lists. What fits one person may not fit another person. Some of us comfort themselves in learning with books, some need visuals. But we all obviously need to practice. So keep searching and finding the best way you learn things.

Top 20 Node.JS books that you should read
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Top 20 Node.JS books that you should read
There’s no learning without books - it’s an idea that we all were brought up with. I prepared a list of the best Node.js books for you that not only teach you the main concepts of programming with Node.js but also motivate you each time to learn more.
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