Top 4 Kotlin Books for Beginners in 2023

Kotlin is a language for Android phones.

Kotlin is a language for Android phones.

Kotlin is a modern, cross-platform, open-source, statically typed programming language. This versatile language was developed by JetBrains for modern multi-platform applications. 

Nowadays, Kotlin is widely used for Android development because it is safe, concise, and fun to read and write. This blog will guide beginners to get started with Kotlin.

In this article, we’re talking about the books that give the most valuable to people learning their first programming language.


Why Learn Kotlin

Here are a few reasons why programmers and developers should learn Kotlin:

  • Easy to learn: Kotlin is very easy to learn and its syntax is very much similar to Java so you can remember it very easily. 

  • Performance: Kotlin gives better performance and has a small runtime.

  • Popular: Kotlin has become very popular due to Google’s influence. 

  • Concise: Kotlin keeps things brief and concise. It is more concise than Java and reduces codebase significantly when compared to the same code written in Java

  • Interoperable: Kaitlin is interoperable and we can use existing JVM libs and frameworks.

  • Safe: Kaitlin is safe and is impossible to get a NullPointerException


What Makes Best Kotlin Books?

When looking for the best books to learn Kotlin programming, one question to ask is this: what makes the best Kotlin books? 

Here are our criteria to select Kotlin books for beginners:

  • It must have a structured, clear, and logical progression of topics.

  • The book is concise and easy to understand.

  • Contain exercises, examples, and practice problems for hands-on experience.

  • Engaging and able to hold the attention of readers.

  • The book should have a clear layout and must be friendly toward self-taught programmers. 


Best Kotlin Books for Beginners 

When it comes to learning Kotlin language, books have become the best source for learning this language. Enjoy our list of five best Kotlin programming books for beginners.


1. Best Book for Visual Learners: Head First Kotlin: A Brain-Friendly Guide

Head First Kotlin by David Griffiths is a complete introduction to coding in Kotlin. It’s no secret that I love Head First books, This hands-on book helps you learn the Kotlin language with a unique method that goes beyond syntax and how-to manuals and teaches you how to think like a great Kotlin developer. Everything has been explained very clearly and in detail using clear diagrams and pictures.

In this book, you will learn about language fundamentals to collections, generics, lambdas, and even higher-order functions. The book is divided into twelve chapters:

  • Chapter 1 gives a Quick Dip and guides you on getting started

  • Chapter 2 covers basic types and variables

  • Chapter 3 covers functions

  • Chapter 4 covers classes and objects

  • Chapter 5 covers subclasses and superclasses and Inheritance

  • Chapter 6 covers Serious Polymorphism, abstract classes, and interfaces

  • Chapter 7 talks about data classes

  • Chapter 8 talks about nulls and exceptions

  • Chapter 9 covers collections

  • Chapter 10 covers generics

  • Chapter 11 covers lambdas and higher-order functions

  • Chapter 12 covers built-in higher-order functions

If you want to really understand Kotlin the easy way, this is the book for you.


2. Best Book for Serious Learners: Kotlin in Action

The book, Kotlin in Action is written by Dmitry Jemerov and Svetlana Isakova. It guides you from the language basics of Kotlin through developing apps to run on the JVM and Android devices. This book also dives deep into interesting topics like building DSLs with natural language syntax.

This book is divided into two different parts. Part 1 teaches how to get started using Kotlin together with existing libraries and APIs. Part 2 explains how to create your APIs and abstractions in Kotlin. It also covers some of the language’s most essential features. The book includes eleven chapters.

  • Chapter 1 introduced Kotlin

  • Chapter 2 covers Kotlin basics

  • Chapter 3 talks about Defining and calling functions

  • Chapter 4 covers Classes, objects, and interfaces

  • Chapter 5 talks about Programming with lambdas

  • Chapter 6 covers the Kotlin type system

  • Chapter 7 covers the Operator overloading and other conventions

  • Chapter 8 covers the Higher-order functions: lambdas as parameters and return values

  • Chapter 9 covers the Generics

  • Chapter 10 talks about Annotations and reflection

  • Chapter 11 covers DSL construction

This book is for someone who is new to Kotlin but is experienced in Java.


3. Best Book for Total Beginners: Learn Kotlin Quickly: coding for beginners - Kotlin Programming Language, A Quick Start

Learn Kotlin Quickly by JJ Tam is specifically written for beginners. The book takes you step-by-step through writing your very first program while explaining each portion of code as you go along.

The book includes practical examples and hands-on projects for beginners in easy steps. The contents covered in the book are:

  • Introduction to Kotlin

  • Install Kotlin

  • Installing Kotlin in command-line mode

  • Kotlin: Hello World program

  • Define variables in Kotlin

  • Data types in Kotlin

  • Kotlin: nullable types

  • Kotlin: Numbers

  • Kotlin: Characters

  • Kotlin: Convert character to Int

  • Kotlin: Booleans

  • Kotlin: Strings

  • Kotlin: String template expressions

  • Kotlin: Arrays

  • Kotlin: Define an array of nulls

  • Kotlin: Define array using a factory function

  • Kotlin: Print array elements

  • Kotlin: Bitwise operators

  • Kotlin: Logical Operators

  • Kotlin: Control flow statements

  • Kotlin: if statement

  • Kotlin: if-else statement

  • Kotlin: if-else if-else

  • Kotlin: when expression

  • Kotlin: Using when as if-else if ladder

  • Kotlin: Use When as expression

  • Kotlin: for loop

  • Kotlin: while, do-while loops

  • Kotlin: break statement

  • Kotlin: continue statement

  • Kotlin: classes and objects

  • Kotlin: Declaring properties

  • Kotlin: getters & setters to properties

  • Kotlin: Define member functions of class

  • Kotlin: const: Compile time constants

  • Kotlin: const vs val

  • Kotlin: lateinit: Late initialized properties

  • Kotlin: Constructors

  • Kotlin: Secondary Constructors

  • Kotlin: Passing default values to the primary constructor

  • Kotlin: Define a private primary constructor

  • Kotlin: How to create Object

  • Kotlin: Inheritance

  • Kotlin: Overriding methods

  • Kotlin: Overriding properties

  • Kotlin: Calling superclass methods

  • Kotlin: Nested classes

  • Kotlin: Inner classes

  • Kotlin: Interfaces

  • Kotlin: Overriding conflict while implementing interfaces

  • Kotlin: Object Expressions

  • Kotlin: Define singleton objects

  • Kotlin: Companion Objects

  • Kotlin: Anonymous Inner class

  • Kotlin: Abstract classes

  • Kotlin: functions

  • Kotlin: Call functions using parameter names

  • Kotlin: Function default arguments

  • Kotlin: unit (or) void functions

You can learn complete primary skills of Kotlin programming fast and easily. This brief book is a perfect guide for beginners!


More books you may like:


4. Best Book for Completionists: Learn Kotlin Programming: A comprehensive guide to OOP, functions, concurrency, and coroutines in Kotlin 1.3

Learn Kotlin Programming by Stephen Samuel and Stefan Bocutiu will take you through the fundamentals of Kotlin and get you up to speed in no time. You will learn to build powerful Android and web applications.

The book covers the installation, tools, and how to write basic programs in Kotlin. Learn Kotlin Programming covers the installation, tools, and how to write basic programs in Kotlin. You'll learn:

  • Explore the latest Kotlin features in order to write structured and readable object-oriented code

  • Get to grips with using lambdas and higher-order functions

  • Write unit tests and integrate Kotlin with Java code

  • Create real-world apps in Kotlin in the microservices style

  • Use Kotlin extensions with the Java collections library

  • Uncover destructuring expressions and find out how to write your own

  • Understand how Java-nullable code can be integrated with Kotlin features

This book is divided into sixteen chapters and the contents include

  • Getting Started with Kotlin

  • Kotlin Basics

  • Object-Oriented Programming in Kotlin

  • Functions in Kotlin

  • Higher-Order Functions and Functional Programming

  • Properties

  • Null safety, Reflection, and Annotations

  • Generics

  • Data Classes

  • Collections

  • Testing in Kotlin

  • Microservices with Kotlin

  • Concurrency

  • Coroutines

  • Application of Coroutines

  • Kotlin Serialization

This book is a gem for a beginner or intermediate programmer who wants to learn Kotlin to build applications.


More Ways to Learn Kotlin

The best way to learn to code goes like this:

  • Commit to coding and coding education consistently — at least three days a week.

  • Learn through multiple forms of input. In addition to studying books, take interactive or online courses.

Here are a few more ways to learn Kotlin besides books:

If you want more free beginner resources to learn programming skills, I’ve compiled over 70 free resources that you can access immediately. I hope to see you over there in that article.

I hope you have a wonderful day. 👋 😁

Miranda Limonczenko

Miranda is the founder of Books on Code, with a mission to bring book-lover culture to programmers. Learn more by checking out Miranda on LinkedIn.

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