The book reviews and links to off-site book reviews have been moved to LLPerlBookReviewsLL, the list of searches and links to other indices of Perl books has been moved to LLPerlBookResourcesLL, and the list of links to freely downloadable Perl books is now at LLFreePerlBooksLL.

(The page got huge, but now it's small again!)

So, which is it?

  • LLPerlBookReviewsLL
  • LLPerlBookResourcesLL
  • LLFreePerlBooksLL


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    O'Reilly and Associates publishes consistently good books and provides invaluable support to the Perl community.

    See LPerlBooksL for other resources, such as books available for loan through PhoenixPerlMongers members as linked off of the LPerlBookResourcesL page, links to freely downloadable books on the LFreePerlBooksL page, and other fun stuff.

    Other Book Review Sites is the official Perl book review site, but it's been known to be down for long periods of time...

    It's not about the acid in the paper, its about the Crack in the author writes Michael Schwern, who has put together a litmus test for Perl-book-suck and applied it to numerous books. An amazing number fail.

    Camel Critiques Book reviews by Tom Christiansen. Not updated since 1998. Tom really knows how to rip apart a bad book - it's funny to read.

    TechBookReport Book review site that covers technical and developer books, including a number of Perl titles. Reviews are indexed by topic - with most of the Perl and related books covered in the Programming Index.

    About the Book Reviews

    Here are some reviews written by PhoenixPerlMongers members and links to reviews written by other PerlMongers chapters and such things.

    ISBN number creates a link to that ISBN on Please fill in more information about these books if you've read them. Did you like it, did you hate it, was it useful to you?

    Book Reviews

    Spidering Hacks is reviewed at at who does a lot of book reviews, most not on Perl. This isn't a synopsis of the review, but they give it good marks and apparently it makes heavy but not exclusive use of Perl. They also say it covers the usual suspects such as Google and Amazon but goes much further with FedEx and banks and such. Sounds spiffy. ISBN 0596005776 but you already knew that ;)

    Writing Perl Modules for CPAN ISBN 1-59059-018-X Introduces all aspecs of CPAN, including network topolgy, navigation, searching, module installation, and the Perl Authors Upload Server (PAUSE). Teaches Perl module design and implementation from the group up, offering information on everything from choosing a module name to writing test scripts. Writing C modules using both XS and Inline::C. Reads like a "How to Program" manual for people who already essentially know Perl. The hard part is people that don't know that they don't know they need to know something. I could go blue rattling off the different things this book touches on. It is concise survey of the broad range of topics you need to know to create modules for CPAN. Anyone exposed to Perl but lacking the self confidence to write code and put it on CPAN or intregrate it into a large project will quickly gain the confidence, and skills. Highly recommended.

    Learn Perl Objects, References & Modules by Randal L. Schwartz with Tom Phoenix, O'Reilly, ISBN 0-596-00478-8 Randal likes to explain why when exlaining things. I don't think the man has ever said, "and you'll soon enough see why". This book was compiled from his Stonehenge courses, including the questions people tend to ask and where they get hung up. Stonehenge doesn't just bring advanced perlers to the next level, they give crash courses to people who program other language when companies adopt a new direction. There are stories from Stonehenge floating around about COBOL programmers learning Perl, and the ideas we take for granted don't exist in that world. Learn Perl Objects, References & Modules takes the hardest part of Perl (or atleast the part with the most stumbling blocks) and makes a course out of it that doesn't alienate students, no matter what their background. The examples are simple and non-presumptious. It isn't assumed that you want to know every feature of Perl references in no particular order for no particular reason. Rather, each example builds on the next, and gives convincing arguments why a little more complexity simplifies the program. The whole book follows a pattern of making slightly awkward programming situations, well, not awkward. By the time you're done, even complex problems aren't awkward. Reference counting, subrouting references, nested data structures, weak references, writing objects through the basics of creating CPAN distributions are covered, but only after clearing a path through do "", namespaces, references, scopes, and so on.

    CGI Programming With Perl ISBN 1-56592-419-3 This book teaches CGI programming, not Perl, but you could learn a lot of Perl from it if you're new. Perl isn't the end, it's the means, and this approach works. HTTP is the first thing dicussed in the book. This bites the bullet. Everything else just kind of makes sense when you have an idea of what is really going on. HTTP is concisely illustrated with examples and just the right amount of background. A lesser book would hide a bad version of this in an appendix and leave the reader trying to digest the arbitrary abstraction all the way to the end of the book. This way, abstracts can be treated like exactly what they are - abstracts on top of HTTP. By the time the idea of CGI is mentioned, the reader already knows exactly what it is does and why it's interesting. The book isn't ivory tower, either. When POST is introduced on page 28 the reader is told both what happens and what the natural consequences are: you can't bookmark a POST, and the form parameters don't show up in the access log. The book moves quickly but it is thorough too, with practical explanations, making it a good quick reference. The HTTP headers, CGI environment variables, HTML form tags, interface, and numerous other things have mini references built into the book. Authentication, caching, content type negotiation, character sets are covered in Chapter 2. Locking, taintedness, encryption, templating, email delivery and other important things are given the same treatment. DoS, XML, image generation are touched on. Examples use just-introduced ideas to do things that you might actually really want to do such as blocking off-site links to images. This book contains 90% more information than the head of the average CGI programmer. Best part though is this is an old book that is very well maintained. It feels like an old school O'Reilly title and has fun historical tidbits but is just that much more polished for it. A+ - ScottWalters

    "I recently purchased Damian Conway's Latest: Object Oriented Perl. The book opened up my eyes on many issues Perl programmer face in the object oriented environment. I feel it is a must read for anyone writing or about to write a Perl module. I wish I had this book before I wrote most of my initial 'attempts' at module writing and object oriented programming. It would have saved me a lot of time, and I would have better code to boot." ISBN 1884777791 - TimBeavers

    Extending and Embedding Perl review by

    Graphics Programming with Perl review by

    HTTP: The Definitive Guide review by

    Essential Blogging review by

    Computer Science and Perl Programming ISBN 0596003102. O'Reilly. Select articles, - on - looks interesting!

    Programming WebServices with Perl - ISBN 0-596-00206-8 - - SOAP stuff. Considered the future of online applications development. Java has entirely embraced it. I've read the sample chapter and found it very informative, well written, and, well, exciting. - ScottWalters

    PERL 5 how-to: The Definitive PERL Programming Problem-Solver ISBN 1571690581, by Reggie David, Ed Weiss, Mike Glover - Sams Publishing - Any good? I don't know! Does anyone have this one?

    Advanced Topics in PERL ISBN 0137613059 - Pren Hall - Any good?


    =head1 Other Perl Pages Here

    Besides L
    PerlBookReviewsL and LFreePerlBooksL, this page lists some other resources for LPerlBooksL.

    =head1 Book Searches and Resources - Search for Perl books

    A collection of books that may or may not be available for loan to Phoenix Perl Mongers members. See and contact whomever is listed next to the book that interests you. There are also brief writeups of several Perl and programming books with links to buy on on - thanks! - ScottWalters

    Many books are available at your local public library:

    Some books are in the wild:


    Other Book Pages Here

    See also L
    PerlBooksL for more book links.

    Hey, idiot spammer... links are rel=nofollow. You don't get Google Juice. However, I do get an email as soon as you save your edit. You're wasiting your time. Go away. -scott

    About Free Books

    These books are freely available (by price and copyright license). Most of these are Perl books, but seek towards the end and there are some links to books on related topics as well.

    Free Perl Books

    Writing Perl Modules for CPAN A fantastic book by Sam Tregar. I (ScottWalters) consider it one of the best intermediate books as it introduces OO, modules, etc from the perspective of rolling up CPAN modules. I've written reviews of this book before; the short of it is that besides showing you how to do what you really need to do to get modularity in Perl, it's also a tome of knowledge on everything you never thought to ask on CPAN and PAUSE.

    Extreme Perl

    Perl Regualar Expressions - by japhy =) I think it's available commercial too - I don't even have the title right, and I don't know the ISBN. I'm sorry.

    Beginning Perl - linked off : "by Simon Cozens, Peter Wainwright. 700 pages. Wrox Press Inc. (May 25, 2000). Beginning Perl is a different kind of Perl book. It's written particularly with the beginning programmer in mind, but it doesn't treat you like an idiot, and experienced programmers will not feel patronised. It covers a lot of ground, from the very basics of programming, right through to developing CGI applications for the web. More importantly, it emphasises good Perl practice, and readable and maintainable code." Available in dead tree format as well: ISBN 1861003145

    Practical mod_perl by Eric Cholet and Stas Bekman. Also available in print.

    Picking Up Perl - could this be the same one as (LaTeX format)? Linked off of

    Perl the Hard Way No fluff rapid introduction to Perl for people who know how to program. Good style and objects aren't shuffled off to a later chapter - it is assumed that you can handle the slight increase of complexity of seeing them throughout the book. The book is kind of small but that could be interpreted as a feature. It isn't a comprehensive guide to Perl syntax, features, tricks, or day to day use but it is a good introduction to the language. Green Tea Press expects to eventually have a print version available.

    Programming Style Guide in LaTeX format

    Webclient Programming In Perl - Free Book, in LaTeX format

    Webclient Programming With Perl

    MacPerl: Power & Ease by Vicky Brown and Chris Nandor. 372 pages. (1998).

    Embedding Perl in HTML with Mason ISBN 0596002254, by Dave Rolsky, Ken Williams. 318 pages. O'Reilly & Associates. (October 2002). "This book shows you how to create large, complex, dynamically driven web sites that look good and are a snap to maintain. You'll learn how to visualize multiple Mason-based solutions to any given problem and select among them. The book covers the latest line of Mason development 1.1x, which has many new features, including line number reporting based on source files, sub-requests, and easier use as a CGI."

    Web Client Programming with Perl O'Reilly. "Automating Tasks on the Web"

    Free Non-Perl Books

    O'Reilly's Open Book Project Numerous freely available books: The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Creating Applications with Mozilla, DocBook: The Definitive Guide, Embedding Perl in HTML with Mason, Free as in Freedom, Learning Debian/GNU Linux, Linux Device Drivers, 2nd Edition, Linux Network Administrator's Guide, 2nd Edition, MySQL Reference Manual, OpenSources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution, Using Samba, Volume 6B: Motif Reference Manual, 2nd Edition, CGI Programming on the World Wide Web, The Future Does Not Compute, Java AWT Reference, Linux Network Administrator's Guide, Making TeX Work, MH & xmh: Email for Users & Programmers, 3rd Edition, PNG: The Definitive Guide, Unix Text Processing (Hayden Books), Volume 3: OPEN LOOK User's Guide (Unpublished), Volume 6A: Motif Programming Manual, Volume 7A: XView Programming Manual, Volume 7B: XView Reference Manual, Web Client Programming with Perl, World Wide Web Journal

    Free Books At The Free Software Foundation - none Perl related, though.

    Programming Ruby -

    Practical PostgreSQL -

    Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs - Very good introduction to functional programming and problem solving. Good introduction but it'll take you all the way and leave you an expert. This is the classic text of the functional programming world.

    A Programmer's Introduction to PHP 4.0 By W.J. Gilmore, 453pp., APress. Chapters 1-16 downloadable at