Programming Books

11 Best Free Books to Learn about Haskell

Haskell is a standardized, general-purpose, polymorphically statically typed, lazy, purely functional language, very different from many programming languages. It enables developers to produce software that’s clear, concise, and correct.

This is a mature programming language with the first version defined in 1990. It has a strong, static type system based on Hindley–Milner type inference. The main implementation of Haskell is the Glasgow Haskell Compiler (GHC), an open source native code compiler. Recent innovations include static polymorphic typing, higher-order functions, user-definable algebraic data types, a module system, and more. It has built-in concurrency and parallelism, debuggers, profilers, rich libraries and an active community, with thousands of open source libraries and tools.

Haskell offers many advantages to programmers. It helps rapid application development with shorter, clearer code, and higher reliability. It’s suitable for a variety of applications, and often used in academia and industry.

As at June 2019, Haskell ranks 42nd on the TIOBE Programming Community index, an indicator of the popularity of programming languages.

The focus of this article is to select the finest free Haskell books which help programmers master this language, and develop an in-depth understanding of the benefits that this programming language offers. Each book is available to download without payment. Some of the books are available to purchase too.


1. Real World Haskell by Bryan O’Sullivan, Donald Stewart, John Goerzen

Real World HaskellReal World Haskell is our recommended text for anyone wanting to learn functional programming with Haskell.

You’ll learn how to use Haskell in a variety of practical ways, from short scripts to large and demanding applications. Real World Haskell takes you through the basics of functional programming at a brisk pace, and then helps you increase your understanding of Haskell in real-world issues like I/O, performance, dealing with data, concurrency, and more as you move through each chapter.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License.

The book is also available to purchase in paperback.

Read the book


2. Learn You a Haskell for Great Good! by Miran Lipovača

Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!

Learn You a Haskell for Great Good! is an attractively illustrated guide to this functional language. Packed with the author’s original artwork, pop culture references, and most importantly, useful example code, this book teaches functional fundamentals in a very clear way.

You’ll start with the fundamentals: basic syntax, recursion, types and type classes. Then once you’ve got the basics nailed, the real black belt master-class begins: you’ll learn to use applicative functors, monads, zippers, and all the other mythical Haskell constructs you’ve only read about in storybooks.

There are also paperback, PDF, Mobi and ePub editions available to purchase.

The book is published under a Creative Commons license. The author is a computer science student in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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3. Developing Web Applications with Haskell and Yesod by Michael Snoyman

Developing Web Applications with Haskell and YesodDeveloping Web Applications with Haskell and Yesod teaches you how to create a production-quality web application with Yesod’s ready-to-use scaffolding.

You’ll also examine several real-world examples, including a blog, a wiki, a JSON web service, and a Sphinx search server.

Advanced sections of the book cover RESTful Content, Yesod’s monads, authentication and authorization, scaffolding and the site template, internalization, and more.

The book is also available to purchase in paperback.

Read the book


4. Yet Another Haskell Tutorial by Hal Daumé III

Yet Another Haskell TutorialThe goal of Yet Another Haskell Tutorial is to provide a complete introduction to the Haskell programming language.

It assumes no knowledge of the Haskell language or familiarity with functional programming in general.

The tutorial aims to be:

  • Practical.
  • Provide a thorough introduction to the Haskell language.
  • Explain the common pitfalls and their solutions.
  • Explain how Haskell can be used in the real world.

The book is released under an open source license. It’s an unpublished work, but is definitely worth reading for anyone looking to master Haskell. Hal Daumé III is a professor in Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Read the book


Next page: Page 2 – Happy Learn Haskell Tutorial Volume 1 and more books

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Real World Haskell and more books
Page 2 – Happy Learn Haskell Tutorial Volume 1 and more books
Page 3 – Parallel and Concurrent Programming in Haskell and more books


All books in this series:

Free Programming Books
AdaALGOL-like programming language, extended from Pascal and other languages
AgdaDependently typed functional language based on intuitionistic Type Theory
ArduinoInexpensive, flexible, open source microcontroller platform
AssemblyAs close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal
AwkVersatile language designed for pattern scanning and processing language
BashShell and command language; popular both as a shell and a scripting language
BASICBeginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
CGeneral-purpose, procedural, portable, high-level language
C++General-purpose, portable, free-form, multi-paradigm language
C#Combines the power and flexibility of C++ with the simplicity of Visual Basic
ClojureDialect of the Lisp programming language
ClojureScriptCompiler for Clojure that targets JavaScript
COBOLCommon Business-Oriented Language
CoffeeScriptTranscompiles into JavaScript inspired by Ruby, Python and Haskell
CoqDependently typed language similar to Agda, Idris, F* and others
CrystalGeneral-purpose, concurrent, multi-paradigm, object-oriented language
CSSCSS (Cascading Style Sheets) specifies a web page’s appearance
DGeneral-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax
DartClient-optimized language for fast apps on multiple platforms
DylanMulti-paradigm language supporting functional and object-oriented coding
ECMAScriptBest known as the language embedded in web browsers
EiffelObject-oriented language designed by Bertrand Meyer
ElixirRelatively new functional language running on the Erlang virtual machine
ErlangGeneral-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional language
F#Uses functional, imperative, and object-oriented programming methods
FactorDynamic stack-based programming language
ForthImperative stack-based programming language
FortranThe first high-level language, using the first compiler
GoCompiled, statically typed programming language
GroovyPowerful, optionally typed and dynamic language
HaskellStandardized, general-purpose, polymorphically, statically typed language
HTMLHyperText Markup Language
IconWide variety of features for processing and presenting symbolic data
JArray programming language based primarily on APL
JavaGeneral-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, high-level language
JavaScriptInterpreted, prototype-based, scripting language
JuliaHigh-level, high-performance language for technical computing
KotlinMore modern version of Java
LabVIEWDesigned to enable domain experts to build power systems quickly
LaTeXProfessional document preparation system and document markup language
LispUnique features - excellent to study programming constructs
LogoDialect of Lisp that features interactivity, modularity, extensibility
LuaDesigned as an embeddable scripting language
MarkdownPlain text formatting syntax designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write
Objective-CObject-oriented language that adds Smalltalk-style messaging to C
OCamlThe main implementation of the Caml language
PascalImperative and procedural language designed in the late 1960s
PerlHigh-level, general-purpose, interpreted, scripting, dynamic language
PHPPHP has been at the helm of the web for many years
PostScriptInterpreted, stack-based and Turing complete language
PrologA general purpose, declarative, logic programming language
PureScriptSmall strongly, statically typed language compiling to JavaScript
PythonGeneral-purpose, structured, powerful language
QMLHierarchical declarative language for user interface layout - JSON-like syntax
RDe facto standard among statisticians and data analysts
RacketGeneral-purpose, object-oriented, multi-paradigm, functional language
RakuMember of the Perl family of programming languages
RubyGeneral purpose, scripting, structured, flexible, fully object-oriented language
RustIdeal for systems, embedded, and other performance critical code
ScalaModern, object-functional, multi-paradigm, Java-based language
SchemeA general-purpose, functional language descended from Lisp and Algol
ScratchVisual programming language designed for 8-16 year-old children
SQLAccess and manipulate data held in a relational database management system
Standard MLGeneral-purpose functional language characterized as "Lisp with types"
SwiftPowerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language
TclDynamic language based on concepts of Lisp, C, and Unix shells
TeXMarkup and programming language - create professional quality typeset text
TypeScriptStrict syntactical superset of JavaScript adding optional static typing
ValaObject-oriented language, syntactically similar to C#
VHDLHardware description language used in electronic design automation
VimLPowerful scripting language of the Vim editor
XMLRules for defining semantic tags describing structure ad meaning
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