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This is the list of books that I would recommend to any Professional .NET Developer.

General Software Construction

Code Complete 2
The classic Code Complete is the first one in the list. Every developer in the world should read this one.

Refactoring – Improving the design of existing code
The classic Fowler book about Refactoring. Developers should really read this book before they start designing. The samples are Java, but everything applies to .NET as well.

Design Patterns Explained
Many books are written about Design Patterns, but I think this is the best one I ever read. The samples are Java, but again everything applies to .NET.

Core CLR and Language Features

CLR via C#, Second Edition
This is the book about the CLR. If you read this one, you know all there is to know about the CLR.

C# in Depth
This is the best book about the C# language. Because it’s about the language and nothing else, the book is only about 400 pages.

Effective C# & More Effective C#
Two unique books, about different ways to improve your C#. Bill Wagner really knows the details about C#, and he does a very good job at explaining it to the reader.

Essential LINQ
Excellent book about LINQ. The two authors both work for Microsoft, and they explain all aspects of LINQ in a very clear and precise way.

Expert .NET 2.0 IL Assembler
If you want to learn IL, then this is the book for you. The author really knows his stuff.

General .NET Development

Framework Design Guidelines
A must read for any .NET developer. The book is about designing reusable libraries, but all the guidelines apply to any .NET code you write.

Essential Windows Communication Foundation
This is an excellent book about WCF. The three authors are all Microsoft employees, and they explain the content very well. I can also recommend Programming WCF Services by Lowy Juval.

Programming Entity Framework
Every developer needs to know at least one OR-Mapping technology.  If you prefer the Entity Framework, then this is the book for you.


Debugging Microsoft .NET 2.0 Applications
John Robbins is an expert when it comes to debugging. This book is loaded with information about debugging .NET applications.


Concurrent Programming on Windows
This is the best book on Concurrent Programming. Joe Duffy is an expert on this topic. It’s around 1000 pages, but really worth it.

Unit Testing

xUnit Test Patterns
This is not a .NET specific book, but is definitely the best book about Test Patterns out there. It’s a huge book (800 pages) but you will learn everything you need about writing automated test.

Working Effectively with Legacy Code
This book is all about getting legacy code into a test harness. The samples are Java, but everything applies to .NET as well.

UI Development

Programming WPF
Chris and Ian does a very job good at explaining the WPF platform. The book is around 800 pages, but it describes almost any aspect of WPF.

WPF Control Development Unleashed
The is the most advanced WPF book out there, and definitively not the first book to read when learning WPF. But it does an incredible job at describing some of the more advanced WPF topics.

Essential Silverlight 3
If you like “Under the Hood” information about Silverlight, then this is the book for you. This is a short book, but has a lot of details that you won’t find in any other Silverlight book.

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