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The Five Best Books on MySQL

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Dominik Keller
Apr 10th, 2023

The Best Books on MySQL: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners and Experts

Relational databases are the electronic filing cabinets that store the terabytes of data that are created every day. Managing and analyzing data with SQL is an essential skill for software engineers or anyone working with large amounts of data.

If you are looking to master MySQL, the world’s most popular open-source database management system, you’ll need more than just online tutorials and forums.

To truly understand the capabilities and intricacies of MySQL, you’ll need to read the best books on MySQL that provide in-depth explanations, practical examples, and best practices. However, with so many books on MySQL out there, how do you choose the best ones? In this article, we’ll review the best books on MySQL for beginners and experts alike.

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MySQL Workbench or phpMyAdmin are standard solutions for administering MySQL databases, but they do not offer the right functionality to build a full-stack application on a MySQL database.

In fact, many back-end developers find the process of going from database to web app frustrating because of the different tools and technologies required. To build a full-stack application on MySQL, you will usually need to master PHP or the LAMP stack. Or you can try an online database builder, such as Five.

Five is a development environment that helps build web applications on a MySQL database. It provides functionality similar to a MySQL GUI in letting developers create and manage a MySQL database. Beyond the database, Five also lets developers write SQL queries, create forms, charts, and dashboards, or assign CRUD permissions to end-users.

Now let’s move on to the best books on MySQL. Here are our top five!

Five.Co - The Five Best Books on MySQL

1. “Learning MySQL: Get a Handle on Your Data” by Vinicius Grippa and Sergey Kuzmichev, O’Reilly Media

If you are new to MySQL and want to learn it from scratch, “Learning MySQL: Get a Handle on Your Data” is the book for you.

This book covers everything from installing and configuring MySQL to creating databases, tables, and views. You’ll learn how to query data, optimize performance, and secure your MySQL server. The book is written in a concise and easy-to-understand style, with practical examples and exercises to reinforce your learning.

The latest edition even has a chapter on MySQL in the cloud. It gives useful advice on how to deploy a MySQL database on AWS, Google Cloud, or Azure respectively.

For more information, visit the publisher’s website.

2. “MySQL Cookbook: Solutions for Database Developers and Administrators” by Sveta Smirnova, Alkin Tezuysal, O’Reilly Media

“MySQL Cookbook” is a collection of recipes for common MySQL tasks and problems, such as creating and modifying tables, importing and exporting data, and optimizing queries.

The book covers both basic and advanced topics, such as stored procedures, triggers, and full-text searches. You’ll also learn how to use MySQL with popular programming languages such as PHP, Python, and Perl. The book provides clear and concise solutions to common MySQL problems, as well as sample queries, along with practical examples and tips.

For more information, visit the publisher’s website.

3. “MySQL Explained: Your Step-by-Step Guide” by Andrew Comeau, OSTraining

“MySQL Explained” is a comprehensive guide to MySQL that covers all the essential concepts and techniques in a step-by-step manner.

The book is written for anyone new to MySQL, as well as those working with database designers or large amounts of information in their day-to-day jobs.

The book starts with an introduction to SQL and relational databases, then moves on to cover MySQL architecture, installation, and configuration. You’ll learn how to create databases, tables, and views, and use SQL to query and manipulate data. The book also covers advanced topics such as transactions, stored procedures, and triggers. The author’s clear and concise writing style, along with the numerous examples and exercises, make this book an excellent resource for beginners and intermediate MySQL users.

For more information, visit the publisher’s website.

4. “Murach’s MySQL” by Joel Murach, Murach

If you are at the start of your career as a database administrator (DBA) or data analyst, this is a book you would like to have in your library. Murach’s MySQL is a great resource to learn MySQL. It is easy to understand and introduces the basics of MySQL to its readers. It comes packed with useful exercises and code samples.

Its explanations of core concepts such as primary and foreign keys, Entity Relationship (ER) diagrams, or structured query language are straight to the point and prepare those aspiring to build a career in data effectively. It also introduces readers to MySQL Workbench, a free and popular database software used for administering a MySQL database.

For more information, visit the publisher’s website.

5. “MySQL High Availability: Tools for Building Robust Data Centers” by Charles Bell, Mats Kindahl, and Lars Thalmann, O’Reilly

This book, which is a little bit older, is a more advanced read for those in charge of ensuring high availability of MySQL databases. For example, if you are a MySQL administrator or developer responsible for ensuring high availability and scalability of MySQL servers, then “MySQL High Availability” is a must-read book. It is not a book for beginners.

This book provides a comprehensive guide to building robust and scalable MySQL clusters using various tools and techniques. You’ll learn how to set up replication, clustering, and load balancing for MySQL servers, as well as how to monitor and troubleshoot your MySQL cluster. The book also covers data sharding, backup and recovery, security, and performance tuning. The authors, who are MySQL experts, provide real-world examples and best practices based on their extensive experience, making this an excellent read for advanced MySQL users.

For more information, visit the publisher’s website.


MySQL is a powerful and versatile database management system that can be used for a wide range of applications, from small websites to large-scale enterprise systems. By reading the best books on MySQL we have reviewed in this article, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of MySQL’s capabilities and features, and learn how to use it effectively for your specific needs. Whether you are a beginner or an expert MySQL user, these books will provide you with the knowledge and skills to become a MySQL pro. So go ahead, pick a book, and start learning!

Further Reading

A good introductory guide to anyone unfamiliar with MySQL is this beginner’s guide on what is MySQL. If you are more of a hands-on developer, we recommend our tutorial on how to build a front end for a MySQL database. Or, of course, visit popular MySQL learners’ websites W3 School or Codecademy.

Last, if you wish to step out of the world of relational databases and SQL and delve deeper into databases in general, here is an expert guide on SQL vs NoSQL databases.

Expansion: How to Build a Full-Stack Web On Top of MySQL

Learn how to build an entire web app on a MySQL database by following our how-to guide: How to Create a Front-End on MySQL Database.

The guide starts with the creation of a database from scratch and finishes with a web app for users to interact with your data. You will learn how to combine all these front-end elements with your back-end database.

Best of all: it’s free to follow!

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