Top 13 Node.js Books for Beginners and Advanced Coders

    Lucero del Alba
    Lucero del Alba

    In this article, we’ll review the best books for learning Node.js, covering different stacks and application types, from total beginner to enterprise-grade.

    Make some room in your bookshelves, because it’s book review time! 🔖 📚

    We’ve also recently reviewed the best books for learning HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Python and SQL.

    1. What is Node.js?
    2. How to Choose the Best Node.js Books?
    3. Best Node.js Books for Beginners
    4. Best Web Development with Node.js Books
    5. Best Full-stack Node.js Books
    6. Best Advanced Node.js Books

    What is Node.js?

    Node.js is a JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. Node.js is used for developing server-side, real-time web and networking applications. It can be used to create highly scalable applications by making asynchronous programming easier. Node.js is great for web applications that require a lot of input/output operations, as it’s designed to handle many concurrent connections. It’s also great for developing chat apps, real-time tracking apps, and more. You can read What Is Node and When Should I Use It?
    for more of the basics.

    How to Choose the Best Node.js Books?

    There’s a lot of ground to cover with Node.js, as it’s the only technology that can be used alone for full-stack development. This is the so called “JavaScript everywhere” paradigm — coding both on the frontend and backend with just JavaScript. It wasn’t long ago that programmers had to use one language on the frontend and a different one on the backend. Here are some things to consider when picking a Node.js book:
    • When was it published? (This is quite relevant for a rapidly evolving technology like Node.js.)
    • Do you want to use Node.js for tooling your frontend development, or are you more into server-side services?
    • Are you a beginner? Or are you looking to up your existing Node.js skills? Or do you need to learn enterprise-grade coding?
    • Which version of Node.js do you plan to use?
    Let’s now take a look at some of the best Node.js books out there! Please note: as an Amazon Associate, SitePoint will earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through links in this article.

    Best Node.js Books for Beginners

    We’ll start by looking at books targeted at those who are just starting out with Node.js.

    Node.js: Novice to Ninja

    • Author: Craig Buckler
    • Publishing: first edition (July, 2022)
    • Paperback: 410 pages
    • Ranking: 5/5 on SitePoint
    • Available: Online and Amazon
    Node.js: Novice to Ninja cover The phenomenal Craig Buckler has created a masterclass of practical, fun, and approachable Node.js lessons. This book starts with the basics and works its way up to the advanced concepts used in applications. It was designed to take a novice programmer all the way to the level required to develop modern web applications in the real world. You’ll cover techniques such as database integration, debugging, and deployment. We recommend this book for anyone who’s looking to use Node.js to power their app’s backend or start their career as a full stack developer. Throughout the book, you’ll apply what you learn by building your own multiplayer quiz application to play with your friends.

    Get Programming with Node.js

    Get Programming with Node.js — cover image
    • Author: Jonathan Wexler
    • Publishing: first edition (March 15, 2019)
    • Paperback: 480 pages
    • Ranking on Amazon: 4.4/5 (70 ratings)
    Written by Jonathan Wexler
    (GitHub), lead developer for The New York Code and Design Academy, Get Programming with Node.js covers all the basics of Node.js development, from setting up a development environment to connecting with a database, building a user model, authenticating user accounts, and building an API. Every unit ends with a capstone project, so it’s an excellent choice for those looking to get their feet wet in the world of Node.js.    

    Learning Node: Moving to the Server-Side

    Learning Node — cover image
    • Author: Shelley Powers
    • Publishing: second edition (June 28, 2016)
    • Paperback: 288 pages
    • Ranking on Amazon: 4.3/5 (41 ratings)
    Learning Node takes you a bit further in your Node.js journey. In a relatively short book, Shelley Powers (blog) manages to cover a fair amount of technical ground, though this book is getting a bit old. Topics include:
    • frameworks and functionality for full-stack development
    • module system and packages management support
    • code testing with the REPL console
    • support for network, security, and sockets
    • OS functionality with child processes
    • use in microcontrollers, microcomputers, and the Internet of Things

    Best Web Development with Node.js Books

    Next, we’ll look at some Node.js books that focus on web development.

    Web Development with Node & Express: Leveraging the JavaScript Stack

    Web Development with Node and Express — cover image
    • Author: Ethan Brown
    • Publishing: second edition (December 3, 2019)
    • Paperback: 346 pages
    • Ranking on Amazon: 4.2/5 (68 ratings)
    Ethan Brown (GitHub
    ) also starts covering Node.js from the beginning, but Web Development with Node & Express (repo) gets into more of the specifics of developing for the Web. Among other topics covered are these:
    • request and response objects
    • templating
    • form handling
    • cookies and sessions
    • middleware
    • sending email
    • persistence
    • routing

    Node.js Web Development: Server-Side Web Development Made Easy with Node 14 Using Practical Examples

    Node.js Web Development — cover image
    • Author: David Herron
    • Publishing: fifth Edition (July 31, 2020)
    • Paperback: 760 pages
    • Ranking on Amazon: 4.3/5 (81 ratings)
    As the title suggests, Node.js Web Development (repo) is about server-side web development with Node.js, and it’s written by David Herron, an experienced programmer, software engineer and technical writer. This book is in its fifth
    edition, and at nearly 800 pages in length, it’s also the longest book on this list! So it’s no surprise that it covers a lot of ground in great detail, including microservices, cloud deployment, app testing, and app security.

    Node Cookbook: Discover Solutions, Techniques, and Best Practices for Server-Side Web Development with Node.js 14

    Node Cookbook — cover image
    • Author: Bethany Griggs
    • Publishing: fourth edition (November 25, 2020)
    • Paperback: 512 pages
    • Ranking on Amazon: 4.5/5 (60 ratings)
    Node Cookbook (repo
    ) is written by Bethany Griggs (GitHub), and it’s aimed at intermediate and advanced learners who are looking to become proficient in their Node.js skills. Node Cookbook also is on its fourth edition, which is an impressive achievement for a fairly technical book.

    Best Full-stack Node.js Books

    Next, we’ll list our favorite Node.js books for full-stack development.

    Express in Action: Writing, Building, and Testing Node.js Applications

    Express in Action — cover image
    • Author: Evan Hahn
    • Publishing: first edition (April 15, 2016)
    • Paperback: 256 pages
    • Ranking on Amazon: 4.3/5 (50 ratings)
    Yet another book for learning server-side web development with Node.js is Express in Action (repo), written by Evan Hahn (blog
    , GitHub), which is basically a dive into Express.js — a popular web framework for Node.js. Express in Action starts from the very foundations of Express, to views and templates with Pug and EJS, persisting data with MongoDB, and deployments to Heroku. A word of caution, though: it’s getting a bit old.

    Beginning Node.js, Express & MongoDB Development

    Beginning Node.js — cover image
    • Author: Greg Lim
    • Publishing: independent (September 1, 2020)
    • Paperback: 152 pages
    • Ranking on Amazon: 4.2/5 (224 ratings)
    Beginning Node.js, Express & MongoDB Development is a good starting point for those wanting to learn web development with Node — and learn it fast! Written by Greg Lim (blog, GitHub
    ), it might not be the most comprehensive book out there, but it’s among the shortest books on this list — which for some readers might also be a good thing. As an added bonus, the book also has a companion — and very well rated — full course on Udemy.

    Beginning MERN Stack: Build and Deploy a Full Stack MongoDB, Express, React, Node.js App

    Beginning MERN Stack — cover image
    • Author: Greg Lim
    • Publishing: independent (June 21, 2021)
    • Paperback: 159 pages
    • Ranking on Amazon: 4.2/5 (61 ratings)
    MERN (MongoDB, Express, React, Node.js) is a popular tech stack for web development, and Beginning MERN Stack (repo) is a great introduction to it. It is also the most updated book on this list! By the same author as Beginning Node.js, Express & MongoDB Development, this is another very
    concise book that covers the basics of the MERN stack over 26 chapters — in just about 150 pages!

    Full-Stack React Projects: Learn MERN Stack Development by Building Modern Web Apps Using MongoDB, Express, React, and Node.js

    Full-Stack React Projects — cover image
    • Author: Shama Hoque
    • Publishing: second edition (April 17, 2020)
    • Paperback: 716 pages
    • Ranking on Amazon: 4.1/5 (66 ratings)
    Full-Stack React Projects (repo
    ) is another MERN stack book, written by Shama Hoque (GitHub), a full-stack software engineer and a professional technical writer. But this is a lengthy one (over 700 pages, making it one of the longest books on this list). It goes into way more detail and advanced topics, such as data visualization, media streaming, search engine optimization, and virtual reality games.

    Pro MERN Stack: Full Stack Web App Development with Mongo, Express, React, and Node

    Pro MERN Stack — cover image
    • Author: Vasan Subramanian
    • Publishing: second edition (May 13, 2019)
    • Paperback: 565 pages
    • Ranking on Amazon: 4.2/5 (34 ratings)
    Pro MERN Stack
    (repo) keeps on exploring full-stack development with Node, and takes it to the next level. Written by Vasan Subramanian (blog, GitHub), Pro MERN Stack covers GraphQL, architecture and ESLint, modularization and webpack, server-side rendering, and other advanced topics.

    Best Advanced Node.js Books

    Lastly, here’s our pick of Node.js books for advanced learners.

    Node.js Design Patterns: Design and Implement Production-Grade Node.js Applications Using Proven Patterns and Techniques

    Node.js Design Patterns — cover image
    • Authors: Mario Casciaro and Luciano Mammino
    • Publishing: third edition (July 29, 2020)
    • Paperback: 664 pages
    • Ranking on Amazon: 4.6/5 (227 ratings)
    Node.js Design Patterns (repo
    ) describes itself as “the go-to book for Node.js developers looking to master the most important patterns and best practices to deploy Node.js applications to production with confidence”. Written by two experienced software engineers, Mario Casciaro (GitHub) and Luciano Mammino (GitHub), it has the most ratings of the books covered in this article, and is one of the best rated as well. Its nearly 700 pages covers a wide range of Node.js design advanced patterns and techniques. Node.js Design Patterns
    also has a companion official website with a sample chapter, in case you want to take it for a test drive.

    Distributed Systems with Node.js: Building Enterprise-Ready Backend Services

    Distributed Systems with Node.js — cover image
    • Author: Thomas Hunter II
    • Publishing: first edition (November 24, 2020)
    • Paperback: 377 pages
    • Ranking on Amazon: 4.5/5 (71 ratings)
    Thomas Hunter II (GitHub) is a software engineer who writes extensively about Node and actively contributes to Node projects. In Distributed Systems with Node.js (repo), Thomas gets down to the nitty-gritty of high-performance and enterprise-grade applications. From its back cover:
    • Learn why running redundant copies of the same Node.js service is necessary
    • Know which protocol to choose, depending on the situation
    • Fine-tune your application containers for use in production
    • Track down errors in a distributed setting to determine which service is at fault
    • Simplify app code and increase performance by offloading work to a reverse proxy
    • Build dashboards to monitor service health and throughput
    • Find out why so many different tools are require when operating in an enterprise environment

    Extra: The SitePoint Library

    SitePoint Premium home page screenshot SitePoint Premium gives you instant access to tons of books on the SitePoint Library, with many Node.js books and courses, including Node.js: Novice to Ninja
    by Craig Buckler (also on Amazon).

    Final Thoughts

    Node.js is a well established and popular platform for server-side web development, and it’s increasingly used in the enterprise world, as it allows developers to quickly and easily build powerful backend services. In this roundup, we’ve selected books that cover a fair amount of what Node.js can do. We hope these books can help you get started, and that you’ll find something here to help you become a top-level Node.js expert. 🥇🚀

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Node.js Books

    What are the key factors to consider when choosing a Node.js book?

    When choosing a Node.js book, consider your level of expertise. Beginners should look for books that cover the basics of Node.js, while more advanced users may want books that delve into complex topics. The book’s relevance to current Node.js versions is also crucial, as outdated information can lead to confusion. Additionally, consider the author’s reputation and the book’s reviews. Authors with a strong background in Node.js will likely provide more accurate and insightful information. Lastly, consider the book’s teaching approach. Some books use a hands-on approach with projects and exercises, while others are more theory-based.

    Are online resources sufficient for learning Node.js, or do I need a book?

    Online resources can be a great starting point for learning Node.js, offering interactive tutorials and up-to-date information. However, books often provide a more structured and in-depth approach to learning. They can offer comprehensive coverage of Node.js, from basic concepts to advanced topics, often with real-world examples and exercises. A combination of both can be beneficial for a thorough understanding of Node.js.

    How can I ensure the Node.js book I choose is up-to-date?

    Check the publication date of the book. Node.js is constantly evolving, so books published several years ago may not cover the latest features. Also, look for books that specifically mention they cover the latest version of Node.js. Reading reviews can also give you an idea of whether the book’s content is current.

    Can I learn Node.js without prior programming experience?

    While it’s possible to learn Node.js without prior programming experience, it can be challenging. Node.js is a JavaScript runtime, so understanding JavaScript fundamentals will make learning Node.js much easier. There are many books available that cater to beginners, providing a step-by-step guide to JavaScript and Node.js.

    How long does it typically take to learn Node.js?

    The time it takes to learn Node.js can vary greatly depending on your prior programming experience, the amount of time you can dedicate to learning, and the complexity of the concepts you wish to understand. For someone with a solid understanding of JavaScript, it might take a few weeks to become comfortable with Node.js basics. However, mastering Node.js and its associated tools and libraries can take several months or more.

    What are some common applications of Node.js?

    Node.js is commonly used for building scalable network applications, such as web servers, real-time chat applications, and data-intensive real-time applications (DIRT). It’s also used in Internet of Things (IoT) projects, microservices architecture, and for building APIs.

    Are there Node.js books that focus on specific applications or industries?

    Yes, there are Node.js books that focus on specific applications or industries. For example, some books focus on using Node.js for web development, while others may focus on its use in data analysis or IoT. When choosing a book, consider your interests and the specific skills you want to acquire.

    What are some challenges I might face when learning Node.js?

    Some common challenges when learning Node.js include understanding asynchronous programming, dealing with callback hell, understanding event-driven programming, and managing Node.js’s non-blocking I/O model. However, many books and resources are available to help you overcome these challenges.

    Can I contribute to the Node.js community as a beginner?

    Absolutely! The Node.js community is open and welcoming to contributors of all skill levels. As a beginner, you can contribute by reporting bugs, improving documentation, or even contributing code. Participating in the community is a great way to learn and grow as a Node.js developer.

    Are there any prerequisites for learning Node.js?

    While you can start learning Node.js without any prior knowledge, having a basic understanding of JavaScript and general programming concepts will make the learning process smoother. Familiarity with command line interfaces and understanding how servers work can also be beneficial.