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10 Best Engineering Books to Read in 2023


Engineering is the art of shaping the future, where creativity meets precision, and innovation transforms our world. If you're passionate about designing solutions, building structures, and solving complex problems, consider Oxford Summer Courses. Embark on an immersive journey through our Engineering summer school, where you'll explore the principles of engineering, gain hands-on experience, and discover the boundless possibilities of this dynamic field.


Please note that the following list of resources is recommended reading to deepen your knowledge and appreciation of Engineering. While some of these resources may be included in the Oxford Summer Courses curriculum, the specific content of the summer school can vary. If you wish to study Engineering with us, you can apply to our summer school.


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1. "The Art of Electronics" by Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill

  • "Learning about electronics can feel like learning to tango. It's an intricate dance of electrons and circuits, but oh, what a dance!"
  • First published in 1980, "The Art of Electronics" is a classic in electrical engineering. It combines practical circuits with theory, making it an indispensable resource for anyone diving into the world of electronics.
  • Discussion: How has "The Art of Electronics" influenced modern electrical engineering practices and innovations?

2. "Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down" by J.E. Gordon

  • "Have you ever looked at a bridge and wondered why it doesn't crumble under the weight of all those cars and trucks? This book explains the secrets behind structures."
  • Gordon's exploration of the principles of structural engineering in "Structures" is both accessible and enlightening. It delves into the science behind why buildings and bridges remain standing.
  • Discussion: How does a deep understanding of structural engineering impact modern architecture and construction techniques?

3. "The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution" by Walter Isaacson

  • "From vacuum tubes to microchips, this book is a journey through the minds of those who shaped the digital world we live in today."
  • Isaacson's compelling narrative recounts the stories of innovators who laid the foundation for the digital age. It's a must-read for those interested in the history of computing and technology.
  • Discussion: How have the pioneers in "The Innovators" influenced contemporary tech giants and start-ups?

4. "Fundamentals of Thermodynamics" by Claus Borgnakke and Richard E. Sonntag

  • "Thermodynamics may sound intimidating, but it's the science behind how engines work and how we harness energy. This book is your guide to understanding it."
  • This textbook is an essential resource for engineering students. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the principles of thermodynamics and their applications.
  • Discussion: How does a grasp of thermodynamics contribute to modern energy-efficient technologies and sustainable practices?

5. "The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses" by Eric Ries

  • "Engineering meets entrepreneurship in this book. It's a roadmap for turning ideas into successful ventures."
  • Ries introduces a systematic approach to building and growing startups. It's not just for business students; engineers can apply these principles to innovate effectively.
  • Discussion: How can the principles of "The Lean Startup" be applied to engineering projects and research for more efficient and successful outcomes?

6. "Introduction to Flight" by John D. Anderson Jr.

  • "Ever wonder what makes planes defy gravity and take to the skies? This book reveals the magic of flight."
  • Anderson's book is a comprehensive introduction to the principles of flight and aerodynamics. It's a fascinating read for anyone curious about the mechanics of aviation.
  • Discussion: How have advancements in aviation, inspired by "Introduction to Flight," shaped modern air travel and aerospace engineering?

7. "Engineering: A Very Short Introduction" by David Blockley

  • "Engineering is about solving real-world problems. This concise book provides a glimpse into the diverse and exciting world of engineering."
  • Blockley's introduction to engineering explores its history, principles, and the vital role engineers play in shaping our world.
  • Discussion: How does a fundamental understanding of engineering concepts, as outlined in this book, empower individuals to address global challenges?

8. "Makers: The New Industrial Revolution" by Chris Anderson

  • "From 3D printing to DIY drones, this book explores how the maker movement is revolutionising manufacturing and engineering."
  • Anderson's "Makers" sheds light on the democratisation of engineering through accessible tools and technologies.
  • Discussion: How does the maker movement, as described in "Makers," influence innovation and entrepreneurship in the engineering field today?

9. "The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography" by Simon Singh

  • "Uncover the secrets of encryption and the battle between codebreakers and codemakers throughout history."
  • Singh's book takes readers on a cryptographic journey, revealing the role of codes and ciphers in shaping the course of history.
  • Discussion: How does the history of cryptography, as explored in "The Code Book," inform modern cybersecurity and data protection efforts?

10. "The Wright Brothers" by David McCullough

  • "Two bicycle mechanics from Ohio changed the world when they achieved powered flight. This is their remarkable story."
  • McCullough's biography of the Wright brothers offers insights into their determination and innovation in aviation.
  • Discussion: How did the achievements of the Wright brothers, as detailed in this book, pave the way for modern aviation and aerospace engineering?


Oxford Summer Courses invites you to immerse yourself in the captivating world of Engineering. In this blog post, we present a thoughtfully curated list of 10 classic books that will ignite your passion for technology and deepen your understanding of engineering principles. From electronic circuits to thermodynamics, and from aviation to cryptography, these literary works will transport you into the heart of engineering innovation. Through our Engineering programme, you will have the opportunity to explore and discuss these influential texts, gaining valuable insights into the world-changing power of engineering. Join us on this transformative journey, where you might just discover a newfound passion for Engineering and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Apply now to study Engineering at Oxford Summer Courses and elevate your education to new heights. Join a community of motivated learners from around the world and embark on a transformative experience. Apply here.

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Ignite your passion for engineering at Oxford Summer Courses. Immerse yourself in a carefully selected list of books that delve into engineering fundamentals, technological advancements, and the diverse branches of engineering. Gain valuable insights from experts in the field and embark on a transformative journey to enhance your knowledge of engineering.

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