Image from Amazon Title: Data Structures the Fun Way
Author(s): Jeremy Kubica
Publisher: No Starch
Category: Data Structures
Amazon wrote:Learn how and when to use the right data structures in any situation, strengthening your computational thinking, problem-solving, and programming skills in the process.
This accessible and entertaining book provides an in-depth introduction to computational thinking through the lens of data structures — a critical component in any programming endeavor. You’ll learn how to work with more than 15 key data structures, from stacks, queues, and caches to bloom filters, skip lists, and graphs. You’ll also master linked lists by virtually standing in line at a cafe, hash tables by cataloging the history of the summer Olympics, and Quadtrees by neatly organizing your kitchen cabinets, all while becoming familiar with basic computer science concepts, like recursion and running time analysis.
“Data Structures the Fun Way” targets students or people already working. While you don't need to know any language in particular, you should know one. The examples are written in a Python'ish pseudocode.
As you might imagine from the title, this book is a fun read. The author writes “Similes are scattered through this book like blueberries through a muffin.” There's also lots of coffee examples such as the coffee barista using a Bloom filter.
There's lots of diagrams helping to visualize the algorithms. Each chapter ends with “why this matters” to tie what you learned to programming at large.
While the book does start with “what is a variable”, this is meant as review. The same chapter covers insertion sort. The book does cover advanced topics like B-trees and grids. My favorite chapter was the one on caching.
I learned a lot of this in college, but that was long enough to forget a bunch. This was a fun review. And it seems like it would also be clear and fun to someone learning the topics for the first time.
I would have rather a real language be used than pseudocode to let readers play with the examples, but overall a great read.
I give this book 8 out of 10 horseshoes.
A received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review.