I like reading books, especially relating to topics I love. Thankfully the Macintosh community have some of the best library of books to read. This post is going to summarise some of my favourite and well received books relating to the Mac community. This is by no means a complete list and I encourage you to post your favourite Mac books using the comment section below. If we are ready lets begin.
The first book on the list is Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual. The missing manual series is one of my favourite. They are comprehensive and usually well written. I’m going to start the list with a “Switching to” book as I think they are one of the best books to use when you first have a Mac. I bought one a long time ago and it helped me immensely when I first started out. If you are new to the Mac platform, or you know someone who has just got there first Mac, I wholehearted recommend Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual.
The next book is another missing manual, Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual to be specific, the first being the switching to. This book, I think, is a more general book. Unlike the switching to series this book does away with the comparisons to Windows and focuses on how to get the most out of your Mac. It is a great general introduction to the Mac platform and introduces new and existing users on how to use there Mac. If you want a general reference guide this is the way to go.
Moving on from the basic guides we get to something more technical. The Mac OS X Unix Toolbox. It is a well written book introducing and showing you how to use Terminal and it commands. If you have looked through MacTricksAndTips for a couple of minutes you will notice the tricks and tip relating to Terminal. This book takes a view on introducing you to Terminal and some of the more general commands and gets you up to speed on how to use Terminal and the Unix background effectively. If you want to go further with your Mac, this is the book for it.
Continuing on the technical route, the next book you should read is Automator for Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide. Automator is one of the best tools included with your Mac and it is worth learning how to use it. Every week I end up building an Automator routine to run and learning some tricks of the trade (so to speak) is well worth the time and effort. Even a basic knowledge of how Automator works is a great way to speed up your day.
Automator and Applescript go hand in hand. Applescript is the more technical and code orientated version of Automator. Therefore if you want to take your Automator routines to the next level and do some really cool stuff Applescript is the ay to go. AppleScript: The Definitive Guide shows you the definitive (clues in the title) way to learn and use AppleScript. In the end you should be able to to do some really cool stuff to impress your friends.
As we continue on our route on learning more about our Mac I feel it is time to introduce Beginning Xcode (Programmer to Programmer). Its a beginners guide on how to use XCode to build your own applications. Although the book isn’t for everyone, if you want to make your own apps this guide is the perfect place to start. It is a bit technical however you will learn a lot and its just a stepping stone for you in making the next big Mac app. I have, in the past, reviewed Learn Mac Programming with Cocoa which is similar to Beginning Xcode.
On a similar vein to number six, iPhone and iPad Apps for Absolute Beginners is dedicated to showing your the basics on how to write your own apps for the iPhone of iPad. Although everyone may not read this book, if you want to mess around with writing your own app, this book is the perfect place to start.
Everyone needs a reference book of some sort to refer to when they are stuck. Instead of searching Google for hours, Mac OS X Snow Leopard Bible is a far better alternative. It goes from the basics all the way up to complicated topics such as OpenGL and Grand Dispatch.
Number nine is not a specific book per se, but a series of books. The Portable Genius Series is a great selection of small books to refer to when you get stuck or need a little helping hand. Previously I have reviewed Switching To A Mac and I found it really useful and well written. There is plenty of books in the series at good prices so find the topic you are interested in and check it out.
The last book takes the basic introductions of the “Switching to” and Missing Manual series and goes that little extra step. The Mac OS X Leopard: Beyond the Manual book is more technical a bit more advance and goes into topics a little bit more.
Honourable Mention: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs
This last book, to complete the list, is The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. Its not really a Mac book at all. However, I came across it while compiling this post and it is really good and useful. Most of us will do presentations at some point and a good presentation is always fun to listen to. I have plenty of presentations to do at University and a fantastic presentation is always well received. So if you do want to give a presentation that edge check out this book.
Hopefully you enjoyed this list and I have brought to your attention a couple of interesting and new books for you to read. You don’t have to read them all however I would certainly recommend you try out at least one to broaden your knowledge of your Mac.
If you have any books your would like to see mentioned please leave a comment below.