Top Recommended SQL Books

Learn Structured Query Language With These Books

A working knowledge of SQL is an important part of interacting with databases. Whether you're looking for a book to help you get started with Structured Query Language or need a new SQL reference book for your shelf, check out these recommended SQL books.

O'Reilly and Associates are well known in the technical community for producing short books that cut right to the heart of the matter. Don't expect to learn SQL by reading "SQL in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference" from cover to cover, but it's a wonderful book to have sitting on your desk when you're exploring a challenging area of database development. Each of the SQL commands is included in the book along with its use in commercial and open source software.

If you're a no-nonsense reader, you'll love "Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes." It will have you up and running in no time. Its 272 pages are organized into mini-lessons that are each designed to consume no more than 10 minutes of your time. The book begins with simple retrieval and moves to joins, subqueries, cursors, stored procedures and other topics.

This book definitely wins the contest based upon weight—it has more than 1,000 pages. However, those pages are full of detailed explanations of SQL syntax, database structure, and more examples than you'll know what to do with. This is a great reference if you're looking to build a professional library or develop robust SQL applications.

The "SQL Bible, 2nd Edition" is another great book for first-time database users. The SQL Bible starts with the very basics and then walks you through the intricacies of SQL in a clear, straightforward manner. It's jam-packed with examples that you can try on your own. Combining theory with everyday practicality, this comprehensive book is a useful reference for all SQL users, whether beginners or experienced.

"SQL Queries for Mere Mortals" is a hands-on guide to data manipulation in SQL. If you learn best by example, this is the book for you. It's full of sample queries and includes exercises (with solutions) to help the reader develop solid query writing skills. This updated version of the book includes information on new SQL standards and database application.

The "SQL Visual Quickstart Guide" takes a hands-on approach to learning SQL. After brief introductory material, it dives right into developing SQL queries designed to meet specific goals. It's a great reference for those who occasionally use SQL and forget the details, and it serves as a useful reference for experienced users.