What is your recommended order of reading Elixir books in 2019?

We often share or get asked which order of books we would recommend newcomers, so please use this thread to post your own recommendations.

If possible, please only include books that you have read yourself (or point out any books that haven’t yet read but recommend nonetheless) :023:


Here’s my current recommendation based on what I have read myself so far…


Programming Elixir and Elixir In Action are a fantastic combo because they cover much of the same ground, so reading them like this means you don’t really have to make notes as you’ll be repeating what you’ve learnt (which reinforces what you’ve learnt). You could probably just read Programming Elixir first then Elixir In Action mind (or the other way round if you wanted to). They are both must-reads as you get to learn about Elixir via two different (and very well respected) authors who have two different styles and approaches to the subject.

At first I thought Learn Functional Programming with Elixir would have been a great ‘first’ book when coming to Elixir, but after reading it I was glad I read it after Programming Elixir and Elixir In Action because it doesn’t really teach you the fundamentals of the language like those two do; it is more focused on functional programming (and that is very handy, particularly when you start to look at things like Phoenix and Ecto and are gearing up towards writing your first project).

The reason why I feel reading the first couple of chapters of Programming Phoenix before reading Programming Ecto is because by the time you finish Learn Functional Programming with Elixir you will be itching to get into Phoenix (as it may feel like you have waited long enough! :lol:) plus I really loved the first couple of chapters of Programming Phoenix and by the end of them, you will be the most excited and motivated you have been to date :003:

I have written reviews of all of the books I have finished and they go into a bit more detail if you fancy taking a look:

Not a review but my thoughts on the initial chapters of Programming Phoenix -> Programming Phoenix (Pragprog) :smiley:

One thing is for sure, we are very lucky to have so many Elixir #books and I can’t wait to read the rest of them :lol:


Although not only about books, I really like the sequence suggested in this post by Rafael Rocha from Plataformatec:


That’s because although I agree with you about Learning Functional Programming with Elixir not providing enough coverage of the language, I think most experienced developers will benefit more from a quick tutorial in how to do functional programming with Elixir. Taking the next step after that should be easier. BTW, I haven’t taken the video course suggested there, but I did buy the GraphQL one from the same authors and I’m quite happy with my purchase.


I’d second that suggestion, I did really enjoy their elixir/opt course (part way through the graph ql one currently). My journey was a bit messed up with distractions all over the place (which I guess in reality a lot of people will have). I had worked through a lot of Programming Elixir and then not been able to go back for a few months, it provided an excellent ramp up back into things and progressed on nicely. I read Elixir in action after. Not really a recommendation of order specifically (the suggested outline is a better structure than I followed), but regardless of the book order I would highly recommend the course as a supplement in the beginner to intermediate stage or as a refresher for someone like me who had a bit of a break in the process. I thought it was excellent for bringing things together and for a little reinforcement though I would as suggested pair it with books for a deeper dive into details. The OTP section of the course was particularly well put together in my opinion.


I think Phoenix in Action deserves a mention here as an option for position 3+ (after covering Elixir basics). It’s very well done.