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The 20 Best Ruby Books for Learning Ruby Programming

Ruby is an interpreted programming language for web application development. This high level and general-purpose language can help you to develop very sophisticated applications. Ruby on Rails has rich gems, which is not even in possession of many modern technologies. Therefore it is worth learning the Ruby programming language at this time. Keeping this view in mind, we are providing an impressive Ruby book list so that you can learn this precious language with comfort and interest. 

The Gold Mine of Best Ruby Books


This content is the guideline to the readers who have chosen to learn the Ruby programming language. In this guideline, you will find different categories of Ruby books that are different in their teaching styles and outstanding in their way of innovative teaching. You will find books suitable for both amateurs and experts. The descriptions and table of contents will help you to find out the best Ruby book for you. 

1. Beginning Ruby on Rails


Those who want to have the actual taste to learn the Ruby programming language in an exciting way, they can blindly follow the Ruby programming language book named  ‘Beginning Ruby on Rails.’ Initially, the book eases up your installation process by showing how to install it on any of the important Operating Systems. Then comes different statements, conditions, and so on. Besides, the book will introduce Rails, the chemistry between Ruby and Rails, and working procedures with databases. 

Table of Contents

  • Welcome to Ruby, Install Ruby, and Rails
  • Conditionals, Loops, Methods, Blocks
  • Classes and Objects
  • Welcome to Rails
  • Connecting to Database
  • Validating and Testing
  • Controlling the Action wit the Action Controller
  • Getting the Big Picture with Views
  • Ajax and Rails

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2. The Book of Ruby


The process of learning Ruby programming language should be very systematic, especially for the new learners; thereby, this Ruby book is written, maintaining all possible systematic ways. Firstly the book will teach you every general idea about Ruby and Rails. In the very first chapter, you will come to know about strings, numbers, classes, and objects. Gradually the book will dive deep down to more important topics like exception handling, debugging and Ruby on Rails, etc.

Table of Contents

  • What is Ruby and What is Rails
  • Strings, Numbers, Classes, and Objects
  • Class, Hierarchies, Attributes, and Class Variables
  • String and Ranges
  • Arrays and Hashes
  • Loops and Iterators
  • Conditional Statements and Method
  • Passing Arguments and Returning Values
  • Exception Handling
  • Blocks, Procs, and Lambdas
  • Symbols, Modules, and Mixins
  • Files and IO
  • YAML and Marshal
  • Regular Expression and Threads
  • Debugging and Testing
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Dynamic Programming

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3. Eloquent Ruby


Almost all the Ruby books discuss the basic things that you need to learn the Ruby programming language. Still, this book has taken a unique endeavor by enriching the book with topics like how to find strings, ways to use symbols, how to embrace dynamic typing, etc. Eloquent Ruby will teach you the way to use modules as Mixins and blocks to Iterate. There are many more interesting and important topics where you can learn and implement Ruby in the perfect way. 

Table of Contents

  • The Basics
    • Write Code the Looks Like Ruby
    • Choose the Right Control Structure
    • Take Advantage of Ruby’s Smart String
    • Finding the Right String with Regular Expressions
  • Classes, Modules, and Blocks
    • Construct your Classes from Short, Focused Methods
    • Define Operators Respectfully
    • Create Classes That Understand Eulity
    • Get the Behaviour Your Need with Singleton and Class Methods
  • Metaprogramming
    • Use Hooks to Keep Your Program Informed
    • Use method_missing for Delegation
    • Use method_missing to Build Flexible APIs
    • Update Existing Classes with Monkey Patching
  • Pulling it All Together
    • Build External DSLs for Flexible Syntax
    • Package Your Programs as Germs
    • Know your Ruby Implementation
    • Keep an Open Mind to Go with those open Classes

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4. Head First Ruby


It is always better to get a lot of things with less effort, which is precisely provided by the Head First Ruby book. In all the chapters, you will find the touch of both innovation and literature, which made the book a very interesting one. You can learn arrays, blocks, hashes, references, Mixins, etc. in a very appropriate way. Here not only topics like documentation, exception, web apps are discussed, rather a specific guideline to utilize these are suggested. 

Table of Contents

  • More with Less: Code the Way you Want
  • Methods and Classes: Getting Organized
  • Inheritance: Relying on Your Parents
  • Initializing Instances: Off to a Great Start
  • Arrays and Blocks: Better than Loops
  • Block Return Values: How Should I Handle This?
  • Hashes: Labeling Data
  • References: Crossed Signals
  • Mixins: Mix It UP
  • Comparable and Enumerable: Ready-Made Mixes
  • Documentation: Read the Manual
  • Exceptions: Handling the Unexpected
  • Unit Testing: Code Quality Assurance
  • Web apps: Serving HTML
  • Saving and Loading Data: Keep It Around
  • Leftovers: The top Ten Topics

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5. Learn Rails: Accelerated Web Development with Ruby on Rails


This Ruby book is a perfect book to learn Ruby programming language for both newbies and experts. The book covers all the basics of Ruby in the beginning, like methods, classes, comments, strings, numbers, etc. You will also start your journey with Rails, where you will learn environments, layouts, partials, etc. Gradually the book will discuss routes, bundler, gems, forms, tests, etc. There are a lot of examples that ease up the learning like action cable, Rails application, jquery, etc.

Table of Contents

  • Ruby Introduction
  • First Steps with Rails
  • ActiveRecord
  • Scaffolding and REST
  • Routes
  • Bundled and Gems
  • Forms
  • Cookies and Sessions
  • Tests
  • Active Job
  • Action Mailer
  • Internationalization
  • Asses Pipeline
  • Caching
  • Action Cable
  • Credentials 
  • Active Storage

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6. Learn Ruby Programming by Examples


This beautiful piece of Ruby book has a very practical way to teach by using examples. In the first part of the book, you will come to know some basic functions that you may observe on different OS like Mac OS X, Windows, etc. In the basic part, you will get different tutorials, including online tutorials. And there are a lot of examples of printing shapes like diamond, triangle, etc. The book has made itself rich by plenty of resources reference.

Table of Contents

  • Ruby on Windows
  • Ruby on Mac OS X
  • Online Ruby Tutorials
  • Rhythm for Working on the Exercises
  • Suggestions on Windows Layouts
  • Type of Errors
  • Interactive Ruby Shell (IRB)
  • Print out Triangle
  • Print out a Half Diamond
  • Print out Diamond Shape
  • Print big Diamond, name Your Size
  • Exercises

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7. Learn Ruby the Hard Way


It is said that the hard way is the easiest and best way to learn something. Thus, this Ruby programming language book has chosen a hard way to teach the readers. In this vast book, there are a lot of exercises that include setup exercise, comment, and puns, character exercise, etc. In total, there are fifty-one exercises to make someone proficient in the Ruby language. The book also contains useful advice from an old programmer, which will definitely inspire a new beginner.

Table of Contents

  • The Hard Way is Easier
  • Reading and Writing
  • Attention to Detail
  • Spotting Differences
  • Do Not Copy-Paste
  • Using the Included Videos
  • A Note on Practice and Persistence
  • A Warning for the Smarties
  • The Setup for OS X, Windows, Linux, and Warning for Beginners
  • A Good First Program
  • NUmber and match
  • Variables and Names
  • More Printing
  • Printing, Printing
  • Parameters, Unpacking, Variables
  • Reading and Writing Files
  • Names, Variables, Codes, Functions
  • Functions Can Return Something

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8. The Little Book of Ruby


In comparison to other Ruby books, this book is really precious and contains almost all to make someone a true programmer in the Ruby programming language. In the first portions, the concept of Ruby and Rails are clarified in a nice fashion. You will come to know how to install Ruby on your OS. After discussing different basic things, the book has discussed different accessor methods, a detailed discussion on arrays, a detailed discussion on Hash, Loops, and many more.

Table of Contents

  • The Little Book of Ruby 
  • String and Embedded Evaluation
  • Instance and Instance Variables
  • Creating a Class Hierarchy
  • Accessor Methods
  • Introducing Arrays
  • Creating Hashes
  • Loops, Blocks, While Loops, Until Loops
  • If..else, and..or..not, ?:, Unless, if and unless Modification
  • A Module is Like a Class
  • Module Methods, Modules as Newspaper
  • Modules ‘Instance Methods’
  • Moduled Modules From Files
  • Including Modules from Files
  • Saving Data, YMAIL, Files, Moving On

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9. Metaprogramming Ruby


Metaprogramming Ruby is the book where different topics are named with the name of days. In those days, different topics are discussed, like dynamic methods. Different open classes, quizzes, and exercises have made the book a unique one. There are a lot of quizzes in the book that includes the quiz of methods, attributes, etc. Besides metaprogramming with Ruby, the book also discusses metaprogramming in rails. Different important topics like mimic methods, self yield, etc. took place in the book. 

Table of Contents

  • Metaprogramming Ruby
  • Monday: The Object Model
  • Tuesday: Methods
  • Wednesday: Blocks
  • Thursday: Class Definitions
  • Friday: Code the Writes Code
  • Epilogue
  • The Design of ActiveRecord
  • Inside ActiveRecord
  • Metaprogramming Safely

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10. Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby


This book has a very vibrant and vivid description of all the topics. This Ruby book is for those who want to be a self-taught programmer where different basic topics like design principles, design patterns, judging design are widely discussed. Out of numerous topics, you will come to know about interfaces, sequence diagrams, and using procedure, Demeter, etc. The book will show you the way to reduce cost by Duck typing. 

Table of Contents

  • Object-Oriented Design
  • Designing Classes with a Single Responsibility
  • Managing Dependencies
  • Creating Flexible Interfaces
  • Reducing Costs with Duck Typing
  • Acquiring Behaviour Through Inheritance
  • Sharing Role Behaviour with Modules
  • Combining Objects with Composition
  • Designing Cost-Effective Tests

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11. Programming Ruby


The book contains Ruby documentation after teaching the installation and running procedure of Ruby. In this object-oriented language, what is control structure, blocks, and Iterators, onward and upward, etc. are cleared most professionally. How to define and call a method? Well, the answer is within the book. There are a lot many topics like Ruby Tk, Ruby and Microsoft Windows, Ruby Objects in C, Aliasing, etc. which are nicely covered in the book. 

Table of Contents

  • Part I- Facets of Ruby
    • Getting Started
    • Ruby.New
    • Classes, Objects, and Variables
    • Containers, Blocks, and Iterators
  • Part II- Ruby in its Setting
    • Ruby and It’s World with Interactive Ruby Shell
    • Documenting Ruby and Package Management with RubyGems
    • Ruby and the Web, Ruby Tk
    • Ruby and Microsoft Windows
    • Extending Ruby
  • Part III- Ruby Crystallized
    • The Ruby Language and Duck Typing
    • Classes and Objects
    • Locking Ruby in the Safe
  • Part IV- Ruby Library Preference
    • Build-In Classes and Modules
    • Standard Library

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12. Ruby Best Practices


The well known O’Reilly production presents a very outstanding book where Ruby comes with different practices so that you can learn the Ruby programming language quickly. You will know the coding, designing, and way to master the language. The book will teach how to handle the situation when something goes wrong and how to maintain different projects with perfect skill.  

Table of Contents

  • Driving code Trough Tests
  • Designing Beautiful APIs
  • Mastering the Dynamic Toolkit
  • Text Processing and File Management
  • Functional Programming Techniques
  • When Things Go Wrong
  • Reducing Cultural Barriers
  • Skillful Project Maintenance
  • Writing Backward-Compatible Code
  • Leveraging Ruby’s Standard Library
  • Ruby Worst Practices

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13. Ruby in a Nutshell


Another O’Reilly collection to learn Ruby programming language is Ruby in a Nutshell. This Ruby book declares the elegance and action of Ruby in the introduction. Then different basics of the language like literals, variables, methods, operators are discussed. A thorough study on predefined variables and global constants with built-in functions and libraries got an excellent and detailed place in this Ruby book.

Table of Content

  • Ruby’s Elegance and Ruby in Action
  • Language Basics
  • Command-Line Options
  • Environment Variables, Lexical Conventions, Literals, and Variables
  • Operators, Methods, and Control Structures
  • Object-Oriented Programming
  • Build-In Library Preferences
  • Predefined Variables
  • Predefined Global Constants
  • Built-in Functions and Libraries
  • Ruby Tools
  • Standard Library Reference
  • Standard Tools and Additional Tools
  • Ruby Application Archive
  • Ruby Updates

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14. Ruby Pocket Preference


The Ruby Pocket Reference is the key to learn the running procedure of the Ruby interpreter. You can know how to use a shebang line on Linux and types of files on Windows. There are discussions of some topics like Methods, parentheses, variable arguments, sliding methods, books as a subsidiary of Methods. There are many more topics like accessories, singletons, inheritance, etc. 

Table of Contents

  • Running Ruby
  • Preserved Words
  • Comments, Numbers, Variables, and Symbols
  • Predefined Variables and Pseudo Variables
  • Global Constants
  • Ranges, Methods, and Conditional Statements
  • Classes and Files
  • The IO Classes
  • Exception Handling
  • Object Class and Kernel Module
  • String Class, Array Class, and Hash Class
  • Time Formatting Directive
  • Interactive Ruby (irb)
  • Ruby Debugging, Ruby Documentation, and RDoC Options
  • RubyGems
  • Rake 
  • Ruby Resources
  • Glossary

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15. Ruby Programming


Like most of the other Ruby books, this Ruby programming language book starts with the teaching of the installation of Ruby. The book discusses the basic parts like strings, objects, arrays, etc. There are more than the basic parts like exceptional false class, IO, etc. which made the book more interesting and valuable to the readers. Other general topics like method, modules, range are also discussed with due importance.

Table of Contents

  • Overview and Installing Ruby
  • Ruby Editors and Ruby Editors
  • National Conventions and Interactive Ruby
  • Basic Ruby- Strings, Alternate Quotes, Here Documents, Objects
  • Syntax- Lexicology, Variables, Literals, Operators, Control Structures
  • Lazy Evaluation
  • Methods which Return Enumerators
  • More Enumerators Readings
  • Exception False Class
  • IO- Fiber, Encoding, gets, Rev, read, File
  • Marshal
  • Methods
  • Module
  • Numeric- Integer, Begnum, Fixnum, Float
  • Range
  • Thread, Structure, Symbol

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16. Ruby Tutorial


Tutorials point presents Ruby Tutorial, one of the best books to learn Ruby programming language. This book has been written for the beginners so that they can easily learn the basic and gradually advanced topics of Ruby programming language. This tutorial book teaches different installation processes on different Operating Systems like Windows, Linux, Mac OS.  The book elaborately discussed basics, setup of environment, syntax, and much more. 

Table of Contents

  • Overview, Environment Setup, Syntax, Classes, and Objects
  • Variables, Constants, and Literals
  • Operators, Comments, If…Else, Case, Unless
  • Loops, Methods, Blocks, Modules, and Mixins
  • Strings, Arrays, Hashes, Date and Time
  • Ranges, Iterators, File I/O, Exceptions
  • Ruby Object Oriented
  • Ruby Regular Expressions
  • Ruby- DBI
  • Web Applications, Sending Email, Socket Programming
  • Ruby- XML, XSLT, SPATH
  • Ruby- Web Services, Tk Guide
  • Ruby LDAP, Multithreading, Built-In Functions
  • Predefined Variables, Predefined Constants
  • Associated Tools

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17. Ruby Way


Ruby Way is a Ruby book that is applicable for all categories of readers. Firstly the book provides a good review of the language where introduction, syntax, OOP, Dynamic aspects of Ruby have come up. Gradually you will come to know how to work with Ruby expressions and how to internationalize Ruby. Then you will jump to learn symbols, syntax, OOP, GUI or graphical user interface, scripting, concurrency, etc. 

Table of Contents

  • Ruby in Review
  • Working with Strings
  • Working with Regular Expressions
  • Internationalization in Ruby
  • Performing Numerical Calculations
  • Symbol and Ranges
  • Working with Times and Dates
  • Arrays, Hashes, and Other Enumerables
  • I.O and Data Storage
  • OOP and Dynamic Features in Ruby
  • Threads and Concurrency
  • Scripting and System Administration
  • Ruby and Data Formats
  • Testing and Debugging
  • Packaging and Distributing Code
  • Ruby and Web Application 
  • Distributed Ruby and Development Tools
  • The Ruby Community

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18. Rails- Ruby on Rails


Another book from Tutorials points where you get the chemistry of Ruby and Rails. The book firstly introduces both Ruby and Rails by giving the answer of what both of them are. There is a good discussion on the Framework. You will discover many examples of Ruby and Rails, which will make your learning very easy. The behavior of Ruby and Ajax on Rails are also highlighted in the book with proper example and emphasis. 

Table of Contents

  • Ruby on Rails
  • Installation
  • Framework
  • Directory Structure
  • Examples
  • Database Setup
  • Active Records
  • Migrations
  • Controller
  • Routes
  • Views
  • Layouts
  • Scaffolding
  • Ajax on Rails
  • File Uploading
  • Send Email

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19. Ruby Notes for Professionals


The professional Ruby programmers must have this book with them as the book is precise but all in one Ruby book. However, to learn the Ruby programming language, this professionals note works great. All the necessary things like strings, arrays, dates, blocks, hashes, etc. are in the book. In the number chapter, there are different discussions on numbers like odd, even, complex, and many more. All other chapters are also discussed with so many diversities. 

Table of Contents

  • Getting Started with Ruby Language 
  • Casting, Operators, Variable Scope and Visibility
  • Environment Variables, Constants, Special Constants in Ruby
  • Comments, Arrays, Multidimensional Arrays
  • Strings, Date and Time, Numbers and Symbols
  • Comparable Control Flow
  • Methods, Hashes, Blocks and Procs and Lambdas
  • Interaction, Exceptions, Enumerable in Ruby
  • Classes, Inheritance, method_missing
  • Regular Expression and Regex Based Operations
  • File and I/O Operations
  • Ruby access Modifiers
  • Design Patterns and Idioms in Ruby
  • Thread, Range, Modules
  • Introspection in Ruby, Monkey Patching In Ruby and Splat Operator
  • JSON with Ruby, Pure RSpec JSON API Testing
  • Queue, Destruction, Structure, Metaprogramming 

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20. The Ruby Programming Language


This is the last collection of our Ruby programming language book list, which is also another publication of O’Reilly. The book is for both beginners and experts, where you can go for a tour in the Ruby programming world. You will come to know the skeleton and the execution of this programming language after reading the book. However, all the basic and advanced topics are well discussed in the book in a precise and exact way. 

Table of Contents

  • The Tour of Ruby
  • The Structure and Execution of Ruby Programs
  • Data types and Objects
  • Expressions and Operators
  • Statements and Control Structures
  • Methods, Procs, Lambdas, and Closures
  • Classes and Modules
  • Reflections and Metaprogramming
  • The Ruby Platform
  • The Ruby Environment

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Last Words


So far, we have tried to include all possible categories of Ruby programming language books. We believe you could choose your right Ruby book. We are also hopeful that these books are enough to feed all your requirements and queries to learn the Ruby programming language. If you have any suggestions restarting our collection, please share your thoughts by commenting. Finally, we are positive to think that you were benefited from our effort, and you are positive to transmit this effort with others by sharing. However, your feedback is our inspiration and way to improve further. I wish you a good Ruby journey.

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