Top 8 Node and Express Books for Beginners in 2024


Node and Express.js provides a robust set of features for building single, multipage, and hybrid web applications. It builds fast and scalable network applications. 

This framework is capable of handling a huge number of simultaneous connections with high throughput. Express is a web development framework for Node.js. It's the de-facto standard for the majority of Node.js applications out there today.

There are so many great Node and Express books out there for beginners. Choosing the right book is important as it can guide your learning. In this article, we will cover the top 5 books on Node and Express for beginners.


Why Learn Node and Express?

We have rounded up the top reasons why you should learn Node and Express:

  • Used for Server side web applications: Node.js with Express.js can be used to create classic web applications on the server-side.

  • Ecosystem: Node.js is popular because it has a huge, active, open-source, JavaScript-based ecosystem.

  • Improves scalability of the application: You can easily scale your application in every way by adding nodes and adding additional resources to it.

  • Same language can be used for both backend and frontend:  It allows you to use it across the application and reduces the friction to go through when different languages are used for front-end and back-end development. You can do both frontend and backend coding.

  • Requires less development and maintenance cost: It allows you to cut a lot of costs on the development and maintenance of the app.

  • Active community: It is privileged to have a wide and active group of developers who continue to contribute to its ongoing growth and progress on a regular basis.  It keeps the developers feeling involved and progressive and also provides them with the necessary support as and when they need it.

  • Demand in the market: Node and Express.js are clearly an innovation that everybody is eager to leverage. Many popular companies like PayPal, Uber, Walmart, GoDaddy, Flickr, Storylens, and IBM are using Node JS. With your knowledge of the platform, you're extending your employability range.

  • Easy to learn: If you're still looking for a reason to learn Node and Express, well this one will definitely amuse you. The platform is easy to learn and coding is also simpler with it. All you need is focus and dedication, and you are all set.


What Makes The Best Node and Express Books? 

Here are our criteria for selection of the books:

  • Use clear, precise, and easy-to-understand language

  • Thoroughly cover the topics and teach the basic concepts of Node and Express. 

  • Content must be latest and up-to-date.

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

  • Enable to hold the attention of readers

  • Structured and friendly toward self-taught programmers

Let’s go through the reviews on the best books on Node and Express for beginners:


Best Books on Node and Express

Now that you are aware of all the reasons to learn Node and Express, here are some of the best books you should consider to learn it.

Let’s look at them in brief.

Here are the top books for Node and Express:


1. Best Book for Hands-on Learners: Web Development with Node and Express: Leveraging the JavaScript Stack

Web Development with Node and Express by Ethan Brown teaches you Express fundamentals by walking you through the development of an example application. This hands-on guide covers everything from server-side rendering to API development suitable for use in single-page apps (SPAs).

The examples in this book can be used with any system that Node works on. After reading the book, you will be able to:

  • Create a templating system for rendering dynamic data

  • Dive into request and response objects, middleware, and URL routing

  • Simulate a production environment for testing

  • Persist data in document databases with MongoDB and relational databases with PostgreSQL

  • Make your resources available to other programs with APIs

  • Build secure apps with authentication, authorization, and HTTPS

  • Integrate with social media, geolocation, and more

  • Implement a plan for launching and maintaining your app

  • Learn critical debugging skills

The book is divided into 23 chapters and the contents covered are:

  • Chapter 1 gives the introduction of Express

  • Chapter 2 talks about getting started with Node

  • Chapter 3  talks about Saving Time with Express

  • Chapter 4 covers Tidying Up

  • Chapter 5 covers Quality Assurance

  • Chapter 6 covers the Request and Response Objects

  • Chapter 7 talks about Templating with Handlebars

  • Chapter 8 covers Form Handling

  • Chapter 9 covers Cookies and Sessions

  • Chapter 10 talks about Middleware

  • Chapter 11 talks about Sending Email

  • Chapter 12 covers Production Concerns

  • Chapter 13 covers Persistence

  • Chapter 14 covers Routing

  • Chapter 15 talks about REST APIs and JSON

  • Chapter 16 covers Single-Page Applications

  • Chapter 17 covers Static Content

  • Chapter 18 covers Security

  • 19. Integrating with Third-Party APIs

  • Chapter 20 covers debugging

  • Chapter 21 talks about going live

  • Chapter 22 covers maintenance

  • Chapter 23 covers some additional resources 

Just pick up this book and explore new ways to look at web development.


2. Best Book for Serious Learners: Beginning Node.js, Express & MongoDB Development 

Beginning Node.js, Express & MongoDB Development by Greg Lim takes you on a fun, hands-on and pragmatic journey to learning Node.js, Express and MongoDB development. The book will let you start building your first Node.js app within minutes. 

The book is divided into sixteen chapters. Every chapter is written in a bite-sized manner and straight to the point. The contents covered are:

  • Chapter 1 gives you the introduction

  • Chapter 2 gives an introduction to npm and Express

  • Chapter 3 talks about beginning Blog Project

  • Chapter 4 covers Templating Engines

  • Chapter 5 gives an introduction to MongoDB

  • Chapter 6 talks about applying MongoDB to Project

  • Chapter 7 talks about uploading an image with Express

  • Chapter 8 gives an introduction to Express Middleware

  • Chapter 9 covers Refactoring to MVC

  • Chapter 10 covers User Registration

  • Chapter 11 covers User Authentication with Express Sessions

  • Chapter 12 talks about showing Validation Errors

  • Chapter 13 talks about relating Post Collection with User Collection

  • Chapter 14 talks about adding a WYSIWYG Editor

  • Chapter 15 talks about using MongoDB Atlas

  • Chapter 16 covers Deploying Web Apps on Heroku

By the end of the book, you will have the skills to create a blog app and deploy it to the Internet.


Other books you may be interested in:


3. Best Book for Completionists: Node.js Web Development: Server-side web development made easy with Node 14 using practical examples, 5th Edition

Node.js Web Development by David Herron helps you to build scalable web applications using Node.js, Express.js, and the latest ECMAScript techniques. The book takes you through the different stages of developing robust and scalable apps using Node.js 14.

You will learn to deploy applications with AWS and Docker with this updated edition. After reading the book, you will be able to:

  • Install and use Node.js 14 and Express 4.17 for both web development and deployment

  • Implement RESTful web services using the Restify framework

  • Develop, test, and deploy microservices using Docker, Docker Swarm, and Node.js, on AWS EC2 using Terraform

  • Get up to speed with using data storage engines such as MySQL, SQLite3, and MongoDB

  • Test your web applications using unit testing with Mocha, and headless browser testing with Puppeteer

  • Implement HTTPS using Let's Encrypt and enhance application security with Helmet

This book is divided into fourteen chapters and includes the following topics:

  • Chapter 1 talks about Node.js

  • Chapter 2 talks about setting up Node.js

  • Chapter 3 explores Node.js Modules

  • Chapter 4 covers HTTP Servers and Clients

  • Chapter 5 talks about your first Express Application

  • Chapter 6 talks about implementing the Mobile-First Paradigm

  • Chapter 7 covers Data Storage and Retrieval

  • Chapter 8 talks about authenticating users with a Microservice

  • Chapter 9 covers Dynamic Client/Server Interaction with Socket.IO

  • Chapter 10 talks about deploying Node.js Applications to Linux Servers

  • Chapter 11 talks about deploying Node.js microservices with Docker

  • Chapter 12 covers deploying a Docker Swarm to AWS EC2 with Terraform

  • Chapter 13 covers Unit Testing and Functional Testing

  • Chapter 14 talks about Security in Node.js Applications

The book helps to build and deploy your own apps on a public web hosting solution. By the end of this Node.js book, you will have gained practical Node.js web development knowledge. This book is for anyone with the desire to learn.


4. Best Book on a Budget: Node.Js in 8 Hours: For Beginners, Learn Coding Fast!

Node.js in 8 Hours by Ray Yao is free with Kindle Unlimited. The book covers all essential Node.js language knowledge. You can learn complete primary skills of Node.js programming fast and easily. 

The book includes more than 60 practical examples for beginners and includes tests & answers. The contents covered in the book are:

  • Hour 1 covers Node.Js Introduction and Node.Js Installation

  • Hour 2 covers Node.Js Function and Imbedded Function

  • Hour 3 covers EventEmitter Examples and Error Event

  • Hour 4 talks about how to write to Buffer and read from Buffer

  • Hour 5 talks about File Stream and Read Stream

  • Hour 6 talks about opening a File and File Status

  • Hour 7 covers how to create and read a Directory

  • Hour 8 talks about OS Module and Path Module

In the long run, this book will save you a lot of time and make complex things simple and easy to understand.


5. Best Book for Practical Learners: Learning Node: Cookbook, 4th Edition

Node Cookbook: Discover solutions, techniques, and best practices for server-side web development with Node.js 14, 4th Edition by Bethany Griggs helps you to get started with creating, debugging, and deploying your Node.js applications. The book covers solutions to common problems along with tips to avoid pitfalls.

The fourth edition of the Node Cookbook is updated with the latest Node.js features and the evolution of the Node.js framework ecosystems. Here's what you'll learn from the book: 

  • Understand the Node.js asynchronous programming model

  • Create simple Node.js applications using modules and web frameworks

  • Develop simple web applications using web frameworks such as Fastify and Express

  • Discover tips for testing, optimizing, and securing your web applications

  • Create and deploy Node.js microservices

  • Debug and diagnose issues in your Node.js applications 

The book is divided into twelve chapters and includes the following contents: 

  • Chapter 1 introduces Node.js 14

  • Chapter 2 talks about Handling I/O

  • Chapter 3 covers Streams

  • Chapter 4 talks about using Web Protocols

  • Chapter 5 talks about developing Node.js Modules

  • Chapter 6 talks about working with Web Frameworks

  • Chapter 7 talks about persisting to Databases

  • Chapter 8 covers Testing with Node.js

  • Chapter 9 talks about dealing with Security

  • Chapter 10 talks about Optimizing Performance

  • Chapter 11 talks about deploying Node.js Microservices

  • Chapter 12 talks about Debugging Node.js 

The book has comprehensive examples covering a lot of practical problems. It is a great read for anyone trying to expand their Node knowledge. If you use nodeJS for writing microservices this book is a great resource!

6. Best Node reference: Node.js Design Patterns, 3rd Edition

Node.js Design Patterns: Design and implement production-grade Node.js applications using proven patterns and techniques, 3rd Edition by Mario Casciaro and Luciano Mammino guides you to learn how to create solid server-side applications by leveraging the full power of Node.js 14. The book helps you to master well-known design principles to create applications that are readable, extensible, and that can grow big.

With this book, you'll learn to:

  • Leverage Node.js streams to create data-driven asynchronous processing pipelines

  • Implement well-known software design patterns to create production-grade applications

  • Share code between Node.js and the browser and take advantage of full-stack JavaScript 

The book contains thirteen chapters: 

  • Chapter 1: The Node.js Platform

  • Chapter 2: The Module System

  • Chapter 3: Callbacks and Events

  • Chapter 4: Asynchronous Control Flow Patterns with Callbacks

  • Chapter 5: Asynchronous Control Flow Patterns with Promises and Async/Await

  • Chapter 6: Coding with Streams

  • Chapter 7: Creational Design Patterns

  • Chapter 8: Structural Design Patterns

  • Chapter 9: Behavioral Design Patterns

  • Chapter 10: Universal JavaScript for Web Applications

  • Chapter 11: Advanced Recipes

  • Chapter 12: Scalability and Architectural Patterns

  • Chapter 13: Messaging and Integration Patterns

Throughout the book, you'll see Node.js in action with the help of several real-life examples leveraging technologies such as LevelDB, Redis, RabbitMQ, and ZeroMQ. It's a perfect resource for both beginners and advanced developers.


7. Best Hands-on Guide: Node.js: Novice to Ninja - 2022 (1st Edition)

Node.js: Novice to Ninja by Craig Buckler is a hands-on guide that helps you get started with Node.js in the shortest possible time. Within a day or two you will have enough knowledge to write simple applications.

The book guides you to learn everything needed to build a professional web application using Node.js. You'll start by getting familiar with the basics before moving on to more advanced concepts. Here’s what you’ll learn from the book:

  • Install Node and build your first application

  • Get started with Express.js and use it to process forms

  • Master asynchronous programming in Node.js

  • Work with MongoDB and MySQL databases

  • Use WebSockets for real-time applications

  • Understand the Node ecosystem: npm and modules

  • Build a complete multiplayer quiz app

The book is divided into nineteen chapters and includes the following topics:

  • Chapter 1 gives an introduction on Node.js

  • Chapter 2 talks about installing Node.js

  • Chapter 3 covers your First Node.js Application

  • Chapter 4 talks about how to Debug Node.js Scripts

  • Chapter 5 helps you get started with Express

  • Chapter 6 talks about Processing Form Data with Express

  • Chapter 7 talks about how to use the npm Node Package Manager

  • Chapter 8 covers ES2015 and CommonJS Modules

  • Chapter 9 talks about Asynchronous Programming in Node.js

  • Chapter 10 talks about Database Storage

  • Chapter 11 talks about WebSockets

  • Chapter 12 talks about Useful Node.js APIs

  • Chapter 13 covers an Example Real-time Multiplayer Quiz: Overview

  • Chapter 14 covers an Example Real-time Multiplayer Quiz: Architecture

  • Chapter 15 covers an Example Real-time Multiplayer Quiz: Express Code

  • Chapter 16 covers an Example Real-time Multiplayer Quiz: WebSocket Code

  • Chapter 17 covers Node.js Tools and Resources

  • Chapter 18 covers Node.js Application Deployment

  • Chapter 19 is the final wrap-up

The book includes access to 25 high-quality tutorial videos, containing 1.5 hours of content. It is for web developers taking their first steps with Nodes.js. Ideally, you should have a basic understanding of web development concepts and technologies.


8. Best Book for Practical Skills: The Ultimate Guide to Node.js, MongoDB, and Express

The Ultimate Guide to Node.js, MongoDB, and Express by Neo D. Truman is a comprehensive guide that teaches you everything you need to know to create scalable, efficient web applications. The book focuses on practical skills and hands-on learning.

Here’s what you’ll learn from the book:

  • How to set up a development environment using Node.js, MongoDB, and Express

  • The process of creating a basic Node.js application

  • The concept of semantic versioning in Node Package Manager (NPM)

  • The three different types of Node.js modules, along with importing and exporting them

  • An implementation of a command line interface in Node.js

  • The process of working with the file system and the four types of streams available in Node.js

  • How to make HTTP requests using Node.js

  • Understanding event-driven programming and the event loop in Node.js

  • How to work with MongoDB, including CRUD operations

  • Building a simple web application using Node.js

  • How to use Express for routing, middleware, and error handling

  • How to build a web application with Express, including implementing authentication and authorization

  • Best practices for building and structuring web applications

This book is a comprehensive, beginner-friendly introduction to Node.js, MongoDB, and Express. It provides step-by-step guidance on building a web application from scratch. You’ll find insights and best practices from experienced web developers.


Bonus Book: Best Book for Total Beginners: Express.js: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Learn Express.js Step by Step - 2020 (2st Edition) 

Express.js: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide by Max Beerbohm and Moaml Mohmmed is free with Kindle Unlimited. The book is a perfect way to start learning Express.

This book is ideal for programmers who want to create web applications using JavaScript, Node, and Express.

As you progress reading the book, step by step you will understand Express. The examples in this book can be used with any system that Node works on.

The book explains the Node and Express concepts with step-by-step instructions. It explains every single step along the way so the reader would not get confused.

The book makes a great companion for novice programmers. This book will introduce you to Express.js and will prepare you for more advanced topics.


More Ways to Learn Node and Express

So these are the 5 best Node and Express books for beginners. They serve as a great resource for those who want to learn best through reading.

There are also a few online courses on the list that let you learn Node and Express.

  • Codecademy: Codecademy offers free and premium (‘Pro’) interactive courses. For more on Codecademy Pro, see my Codecademy Pro review.

    • Learn Node.js. This course gives a great introduction to the concepts of Node.js and server-side web development.

    • Learn Express. This course will help you learn how to build HTTP servers in Node.js using the Express framework.

  • Udemy: The Complete Node.js Developer Course (3rd Edition). This high-rated course will help you learn Node.js by building real-world applications with Node, Express, MongoDB, Jest, and more!

We also suggest here over 70 coding resources that are free online.

Just grab the best option suitable for you and begin to learn right away.

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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