Perl Books

If you swallowed the red pill and want to go deeper, or if you learn better with a cherished physical object that you can lovingly (maniacally?) caress and display on your bookshelf, you may want to read a Perl book.

Here is a curated list of recommended Perl books. This list only includes books published after 2010. The list is ordered by the publishing date of the most recent edition.

Modern Perl

Published 2016

Modern Perl is arguably the most current Perl book and is written by Chromatic, an active member of the community.

Free version   

Learning Perl

Published 2016

Also known as the Llama book, Learning Perl teaches basic Perl concepts. Topics include:

  • Perl data and variable types
  • Subroutines
  • File operations
  • Regular expressions
  • String manipulation (including Unicode)
  • Lists and sorting
  • Process management
  • Smart matching
  • Use of third party modules

Mastering Perl

Published 2014

Also known as the Alpaca book, this book starts where Intermediate Perl ends. Topics include:

  • Explore advanced regular expressions features
  • Avoid common problems when writing secure programs
  • Profile and benchmark Perl programs to see where they need work
  • Wrangle Perl code to make it more presentable and readable
  • Understand how Perl keeps track of package variables
  • Define subroutines on the fly
  • Jury-rig modules to fix code without editing the original source
  • Use bit operations and bit vectors to store large data efficiently
  • Learn how to detect errors that Perl doesn’t report
  • Dive into logging, data persistence, and the magic of tied variables

Programming Perl

Published 2012

Also known as the Camel Book, this is a widely respected reference book written by the creator of Perl, Larry Wall. The latest edition covers Perl 5.14.

Intermediate Perl

Published 2012

Also known as the Alpaca book, this book starts where Learning Perl ends. Topics include:

  • Packages and namespaces
  • References and scoping, including regular expression references
  • Manipulating complex data structures
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Writing and using modules
  • Testing Perl code
  • Contributing to CPAN

Beginning Perl

Published 2012

An introduction to Perl for new and experienced programmers written by Ovid, an active member of the Perl community.

Regular Expressions Cookbook

Published 2012

This book covers regular expressions in C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, and VB.NET.

Perl Pocket Reference

Published 2011

A quick reference which includes summaries of Perl syntax, operators, and core functions for Perl 5.14.

Working Effectively With Legacy Code

Published 2005

Not a Perl book, but its a good book. This book was published in 2005 but I'd argue its timeless.