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perlbook - Books about and related to Perl


There are many books on Perl and Perl-related. A few of these are good, some are OK, but many aren't worth your money. There is a list of these books, some with extensive reviews, at . We list some of the books here, and while listing a book implies our endorsement, don't think that not including a book means anything.

Most of these books are available online through Safari Books Online ( ).

The major reference book on Perl, written by the creator of Perl, is Programming Perl:

Programming Perl (the "Camel Book"):
by Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen, and Jon Orwant
ISBN 978-0-596-00027-1  [3rd edition July 2000]

The Ram is a cookbook with hundreds of examples of using Perl to accomplish specific tasks:

The Perl Cookbook (the "Ram Book"):
by Tom Christiansen and Nathan Torkington,
    with Foreword by Larry Wall
ISBN 978-0-596-00313-5 [2nd Edition August 2003]

If you want to learn the basics of Perl, you might start with the Llama book, which assumes that you already know a little about programming:

Learning Perl (the "Llama Book")
by Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix, and brian d foy
ISBN 978-0-596-52011-3 [5th edition June 2008]

The tutorial started in the Llama continues in the Alpaca, which introduces the intermediate features of references, data structures, object-oriented programming, and modules:

Intermediate Perl (the "Alpaca Book")
by Randal L. Schwartz and brian d foy, with Tom Phoenix
	foreword by Damian Conway
ISBN 978-0-596-00478-1 [1st edition March 2006]


You might want to keep these desktop references close by your keyboard:

Perl 5 Pocket Reference
by Johan Vromans
ISBN 978-0-596-00374-6 [4th edition July 2002]
Perl Debugger Pocket Reference
by Richard Foley
ISBN 978-0-596-00503-0 [1st edition January 2004]
Regular Expression Pocket Reference
by Tony Stubblebine
ISBN 978-0-596-51427-3 [July 2007]


Beginning Perl
by James Lee
ISBN 1-59059-391-X [3rd edition April 2010]
Learning Perl
by Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix, and brian d foy
ISBN 978-0-596-52010-6 [5th edition June 2008]
Intermediate Perl (the "Alpaca Book")
by Randal L. Schwartz and brian d foy, with Tom Phoenix
	foreword by Damian Conway
ISBN 0-596-10206-2 [1st edition March 2006]
Mastering Perl
by brian d foy
ISBN 978-0-596-10206-7 [1st edition July 2007]
Effective Perl Programming
by Joseph N. Hall, Joshua A. McAdams, brian d foy
ISBN 0-321-49694-9 [2nd edition 2010]


Writing Perl Modules for CPAN
by Sam Tregar
ISBN 1-59059-018-X [1st edition August 2002]
The Perl Cookbook
by Tom Christiansen and Nathan Torkington
    with foreword by Larry Wall
ISBN 1-56592-243-3 [2nd edition August 2003]
Automating System Administration with Perl
by David N. Blank-Edelman
ISBN 978-0-596-00639-6 [2nd edition May 2009]
Real World SQL Server Administration with Perl
by Linchi Shea
ISBN 1-59059-097-X [1st edition July 2003]

Special Topics

Regular Expressions Cookbook
by Jan Goyvaerts and Steven Levithan
ISBN 978-0-596-52069-4 [May 2009]
Programming the Perl DBI
by Tim Bunce and Alligator Descartes
ISBN 978-1-56592-699-8 [February 2000]
Perl Best Practices
by Damian Conway
ISBN: 978-0-596-00173-5 [1st edition July 2005]
Higher-Order Perl
by Mark-Jason Dominus
ISBN: 1-55860-701-3 [1st edition March 2005]
Mastering Regular Expressions
by Jeffrey E. F. Friedl
ISBN 978-0-596-52812-6 [3rd edition August 2006]
Network Programming with Perl
by Lincoln Stein
ISBN 0-201-61571-1 [1st edition 2001]
Perl Template Toolkit
by Darren Chamberlain, Dave Cross, and Andy Wardley
ISBN 978-0-596-00476-7 [December 2003]
Object Oriented Perl
by Damian Conway
    with foreword by Randal L. Schwartz
ISBN 1-884777-79-1 [1st edition August 1999]
Data Munging with Perl
by Dave Cross
ISBN 1-930110-00-6 [1st edition 2001]
Mastering Perl/Tk
by Steve Lidie and Nancy Walsh
ISBN 978-1-56592-716-2 [1st edition January 2002]
Extending and Embedding Perl
by Tim Jenness and Simon Cozens
ISBN 1-930110-82-0 [1st edition August 2002]
Pro Perl Debugging
by Richard Foley with Andy Lester
ISBN 1-59059-454-1 [1st edition July 2005]

Free (as in beer) books

Some of these books are available as free downloads.

Higher-Order Perl:

Other interesting, non-Perl books

You might notice several familiar Perl concepts in this collection of ACM columns from Jon Bentley. The similarity to the title of the major Perl book (which came later) is not completely accidental:

Programming Pearls
by Jon Bentley
ISBN 978-0-201-65788-3 [2 edition, October 1999]
More Programming Pearls
by Jon Bentley
ISBN 0-201-11889-0 [January 1988]

A note on freshness

Each version of Perl comes with the documentation that was current at the time of release. This poses a problem for content such as book lists. There are probably very nice books published after this list was included in your Perl release, and you can check the latest released version at .

Some of the books we've listed appear almost ancient in internet scale, but we've included those books because they still describe the current way of doing things. Not everything in Perl changes every day. Many of the beginner-level books, too, go over basic features and techniques that are still valid today. In general though, we try to limit this list to books published in the past five years.

Get your book listed

If your Perl book isn't listed and you think it should be, let us know.