man i need to start tagging these because i get asked this once a week at minimum.
my favorite language is C. i like it because it demands competence and forethought from the programmer in return for efficiency and minimum complication. if god himself came down to earth and forbade me from using C lest i suffer eternal torture, i suppose i could see myself using golang or erlang instead
i started using computers about the same time i learned how to talk. started programming maybe 8-9 (visual basic)
there are very few worthwhile (VERY FEW) books on programming but three stick out, which i conveniently and illegally provide you:
this book focuses on programming in the abstract sense and is the best first read if you have never dealt with programming at all in any context
this is a book written by two best programmers ever, who coincidentally happened to create the C programming language. if you want to start learning C start with this book. it is literally the model for technical manuals, you can read the 270 or so pages with little pain & understand and absorb more than thousands of pages of mcgraw hill crap could afford you. this book is basically my bible. there is a problem with it though, and that is it has become dated. if you read this and fall in love, and want to write actual post-1980s C code, you’ll want to read this next book:
this book is good because it provides lots of real world examples of people being stupid and writing bad C and what it got them. it will help you recognize the wishful and utterly human tendencies you will initially experience writing code, and force you to realize how stupid and dangerous they are. it’s a pretty good read