This is a list of books that we love.


The Art of Electronics is the canonical introductory text to the subject, despite being more than twenty years old. As you might expect from that description, it is large, heavy, comprehensive, and can be terribly intimidating to newbies. Despite that, it is surprisingly well-written for a technical textbook and working through it will give you an excellent grounding in a variety of different facets of electronics.
If Art of Electronics seems too heavy-weight for your liking, this relatively small and engaging tome from the patron saint of electronics hackers is an excellent alternative.
This is my favorite Arduino book. I find the cookbook format really useful for getting straight to work and solving the problem(s) in front of me.
This book is an great guide to applying electrical engineering concepts to real-world circuitry design. I find it an invaluable resource for turning theory into practice.
This is another great book for turning theory into practice in electronics design. It has forty-five chapters covering different subjects, each one written by an expert on that subject.
The essays in this book include many of the greats of analog circuit design of the past fifty years. I found the insight into the history of some of the most commonly used integrated circuits fascinating. And the tips and tricks for effective analog design will help you get better and faster results.


If you're interested in radio communications, but not an electrical engineer, this is probably the most comprehensive reference on the market. It covers a broad range of radio topics in enough depth to get you started on building your own radios, antennas, and other gear.

The sections on radio regulations are more than good enough to give you the information you need to get a ham license. That license lets you use a much broader range of frequencies and at higher power than the general public is allowed. This is invaluable for projects that include radio control and telemetry.

Robotics & Mechatronics

This is a fun little book about building super-cheap and remarkably capable robots written by the founder of Solarbotics. I first heard about BEAM robotics back in the mid-90s, on the old Principia Cybernetica website, and I was fascinated by the idea of building robots built around the impulses common to all living things. This book is a great practical introduction to the subject.

Building Things

My first technical job of any kind was in a plasma physics lab, as an undergraduate research assistant. My professor suggested I pick up a copy of this book. It's a wonderful guide to building and operating all manner of unusual, precise, and just plain cool machinery. The first section is a brief but sound introduction to designing and making physical objects. It builds on this with sections on topics including vacuum systems, optics, electronics, working with glass, charged particle optics (make your own accelerator!), and a variety of other topics.


If you've ever watched the guys on Mythbusters pull a tiny little book out of their pocket to look up some obscure fact or guideline for what they're working on, this is the book they pull out. It's both invaluable and dirt cheap. The only downside is that the type is tiny. If your eyes are bad, you may want to pick up a magnifier.
Machinery's Handbook is the standard reference for the construction of mechanical things. It has comprehensive discussions of an enormous range of topics including fasteners, machining, mathematics, assembly and adjustment of moving parts, manufacturing processes, and many, many other things. It has been continuously in print, with frequent updates, for more than a century. However, in order to keep the book at a manageable size, the paper is so thin as to be translucent, which some people find distracting.
DeskRef is PocketRef's big brother. It has even more useful information, in somewhat larger and easier to read type.
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