Review: Raspberry Pi beginners’ books

Over at The Register, you can read my round up of five of the latest Raspberry Pi books:

  • The Raspberry Pi User Guide by Eben Upton and Gareth Halfacree
  • Getting Started with the Raspberry Pi by Matt Richardson and Shawn Wallace
  • Raspberry Pi in Easy Steps by Mike McGrath
  • Raspberry Pi for Dummies by Sean McManus and Mike Cook
  • Haynes’ Raspberry Pi Owners’ Workshop Manual by Gray Girling

Each has its inevitable strengths and weaknesses, but overall I’d recommend the Owners’ Workshop Manual as the best all-rounder and look-up reference book. While Getting Started with the Raspberry Pi is an enjoyable read and ticks all the right boxes, it’s not as detailed as Raspberry Pi for Dummies, which is the best of these books for the general, non-technical reader – though techies will find parts useful too.

Wiley’s Pi User Guide: version 2.0 and version 1.0

Wiley’s Pi User Guide: version 2.0 and version 1.0

The Raspberry Pi User Guide isn’t bad but it’s showing its age – which is saying something when you consider it was only published in September 2012. I almost view Raspberry Pi for Dummies as version 2.0 of the User Guide – they both come from the same publisher, Wiley. Only Dummies’ relentlessly upbeat style puts a Brit like me off.

Finally, Raspberry Pi in Easy Steps has some handy tables and lists, but it’s too cursory for me. If you like following instructions, you’ll love it, but not if you want to explanations. Definitely one for the completely untechnical.

Haynes’ manual is a fine reference, Getting Started... a good introduction to the Pi

Haynes’ manual is a fine reference, Getting Started… a good introduction to the Pi

All of the books covered are available as e-books, from Amazon, iTunes, Kobo and others, except the Haynes manual, which is nice and colourful but not a handy size or in a binding that makes it easy to have open on the desk alongside your Pi.

Read the full review over at The Register.

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