Being an engineering student myself, I understand that being a top expert in your field is not easy. However, it is surprising to observe that the best engineers, even the best students here in an engineering college, prefer books over google.
Speaking about mechanical engineering, there are thousands of books available in the market. So, it can be quite confusing to select the books that you want to keep using as reference for several years, or to study for an upcoming exam. Here is a list of a few books on the subject, most of them recommended by fellow students who are currently pursuing a degree in this field.
Shigley’s Mechanical Engineering Design (Mcgraw Hill Series)
This book is intended for students just beginning their study of mechanical engineering design. It gives scores of examples of the applications of properties and equations given in the text. It focusses on the basic fundamentals, while also stressing on practical specification of components. It offers a practical approach to the subject through a wide range of real-world applications and examples.
Not only does it have a huge number of problems for practice, it has problems linked across several chapters or topics. Through this, students are encouraged to connect all the topics together. Apart from this, the book is complemented by learning resources like FE Exam problems, machine design tutorials, MATLAB simulations etc.
This handbook is often rightly referred to as the ‘Bible’ of mechanical engineering. It is the most popular reference book in metalworking, design, engineering and manufacturing. It illustrates a large number of examples. It also includes a mathematics section, covering all the mathematical formulae required for the subject.
It includes a wide range of important formulae, concepts, equipment and important facts about other miscellaneous topics for reference. It is a comprehensive guide to solving the types of problems that are most often encountered in the real world- places like factories, drafting rooms etc.
A Textbook of Fluid Mechanics (R.K. Bansal)
This book covers the entire subject of fluid mechanics, and is often recommended for its easy to understand language and a step by step analysis of each topic. Almost all the topics are covered in a concise manner.
It is particularly useful for understanding basics and for preparation of exams like GATE, ESE etc, as well as for interviews. It has a great combination of theory and sufficient number of solved problems and illustrations to help you understand the concepts easily.
Theory of Machines and Mechanisms (P.L. Ballaney)
This book is a study of machine components and their movements. It is focused on fundamental concepts and theories used in the field. It also has ample number of illustrations and problems, both solved and unsolved to help understand each concept with clarity. It provides the methods necessary to study the motion of machines, while emphasizing the applications of kinematic theories to real-world problems.
It stands out mainly for its practical approach towards all topics. It also has a section of test papers in the end, and hence is useful for exam preparation as well. It mainly focusses on syllabus for UPTU and UTU.
Engineering Thermodynamics (P.K. Nag)
This book comprehensively covers the subject of thermodynamics. It is specifically designed for GATE and other competitive examinations preparation. It provides a study of modern applications of thermodynamics.
Each chapter includes a number of solved numericals as well as a short summary that highlights the important formulae, laws and important points to make revision simpler. A lot of unsolved problems are provided at the end of each chapter to test your knowledge. It also has several MCQ type questions to help in preparation for GATE.
Mark’s Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers
Like Machinery’s Handbook, this book is also referred to as the ‘Bible’ of mechanical engineering. It provides you with all the resources you need for problem solving. Over the years, it has become a favourite with engineering students and professionals alike.
It covers all topics ranging from mechanics of solids and fluids, heat, fuels and furnaces, power generation, material handling, transportation and manufacturing. It combines engineering theory with the most recent technologies, and the data and tables are updated with every new edition.
Vector Mechanics for Engineers (F.P. Beer and Johnston)
This book is particularly recommended for its systematic problem-solving approach. A large number of solved and unsolved numericals make this book very handy for GATE/ESE/PSU exam preparation. Since this text is designed for very basic course in dynamics, new concepts are presented in extremely simple terms and every step is explained in detail. Practical applications are introduced early, so that the student develops a problem-solving approach.
Optional sections offering advanced or speciality topics are also included. It also provides an introduction to the innovations in the teaching of engineering mechanics for the benefit of the instructors. Additionally, it mentions the resources which best complement the text.
Engineering Mechanics (Russel C. Hibbeler)
This book focusses mainly on statics. It offers basic engineering mechanics theory and applications in a clear, concise manner. The material has numerous examples to illustrate the concepts clearly.
As is the case with all best rated books, this book aims to develop the problem- solving skills of the reader. It provides a wide range of problems of different difficulty levels. These problems stress on practical and realistic situations, and also problems that require solution with the help of computers.
Autocad Workbook for Architects and Engineers (Shannon R. Kyles)
This is a basic instruction book for AutoCAD- the most widely used computer- aided drawing package in the industry. This workbook hands you the skills you need for computer- aided designing. It introduces all the commands and operations needed to use AutoCAD in an effective manner.
Each chapter gives a small introduction to the commands along with the explanation for how you use them, illustrations for depiction of each and every step and numerous exercises demonstrating each and every aspect.
Energy and the Environment
Although this is not a book about any of the technical subjects in the field of mechanical engineering, it attempts to address the pressing problem of environmental degradation due to the growing energy usage. It analyses fossil, nuclear and renewable energy technologies and explains their efficiencies in transforming their energy to usable mechanical energy.
It analyses the sources of toxic emissions to air, water and land that arise from excessive energy usage and their disastrous effects on the environment. It also focusses on recent or upcoming salient technologies to mitigate these effects. It develops the mindset of the students so that they use technologies in future that support sustainable development.
Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (Sonntag, Borgnakke, Wylen)
This is one of the best books for thermodynamics. It covers all the basics in a thorough and understandable manner and even covers some advanced topics which the reader can study with discretion. The material is enhanced with several examples to illustrate the topics and help the reader grasp the difficult concepts easily.
It also has a number of unsolved problems, which are helpful when you are preparing for competitive examinations. Moreover, it includes a section which highlights the web-based learning resources to complement the text. It also lays the groundwork for the reader to develop a problem- solving mindset and prepare them to effectively apply the concepts to solve real world problems.