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What is the Best Book For a Beginner to Start JavaScript With?

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What is the best book for starters in JavaScript? when i look on amazon it says some good ones where:

-JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual

-Modern JavaScript: Develop and Design

-Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML. CSS. JavaScript, and Web Graphics

-Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja


What are some recommendation from your hands on experience? something with exercises i can do at the end of the chapter that can tune my skills.

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I guess it depends if you just'd like to learn the JS for websites purpose or if it's about something else like Unity scripting.

 

I myself could recommend you the first one from the list of yours "JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual". It's not too advanced as well as requires some attention if you are beginner. Keep in mind that you can read the preview of most of books sold on Amazon. In most cases it's just the first chapter, but it's still something and might be helpful to make the decision if you find the book interesting and friendly enough to buy it.

 

Also keep in mind that reading a book is just a start. It gives you a solid foundation of the knowledge, but there is a lot of mind work needed to be done by your side as well.

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I recommend a tandem of books, for a variety of reasons I describe in detail in this review.

 

The first ( chronologically as well as order wise ) is JavaScript: The Definitive Guide.

 

That book is pretty much all you need.  It's timely, goes into a good amount of detail, is well written and comprehensive.  It goes into DOM programming, but isn't overwhelmed by it, like most JavaScript books tend to be.

 

 

The second is JavaScript: The Good Parts.

 

Half of this book is awful, the author is an arrogant prick and the examples are overly complex for the sake of making the author feel good.  It's an extremely short book, a few hundred pages, and like I said, half of it was crap.

 

Why then recommend it?  Because the other half will teach you more about JavaScript than a dozen other books combined.  It is as close as JavaScript has to Effective C++, one of the best computer texts ever written.  

 

 

Both of these suggestions are assuming your end goal is to use JavaScript to make games or applications.  If you are setting out to learn jQuery for example, thats a completely different fish.

Edited by Serapth
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If you're a beginner, I CANNOT recommend Object-Oriented JavaScript by Stoyan Stevanov enough. It starts you off easy, going through the basics like variables, arrays, etc.  It then goes into the more difficult concepts like closures and prototypes, doing a superb job of explaining the latter in great, easy-to-read detail over two chapters. Best of all, Stefanov holds your hand throughout the entire book, which is exactly what a beginner's book should do.  The book is a bit dated in its suggestion of using eval() with JSON (always avoid that if you can), but that's not enough to prevent me from claiming that OOJ is the best JS book for beginners.

 

Eloquent JavaScript is a free book at http://eloquentjavascript.net/ that lots of JS pros have been praising. Because it's free, you may want to peep that one first; however, I still recommend paying money for OOJ at some point.

 

I agree that The Good Parts is a must-read, but don't think that it's the first book that a JavaScript beginner should read as it's somewhat written in a way that assumes existing JS knowledge.  The Definitive Guide is also worth the money but since the recent edition is 1000 pages (not counting the index), I'm not sure if it's the book that will get your JS learning up and running very quickly. I do recommend having Definitive as a desktop reference and commend the new edition of the book for covering the new version of JavaScript, ECMAScript 5.

 

Since we're talking O'Reily books, I recommend reading JavaScript Patterns, Stefanov's other book, after reading both OOJ and Eloquent.  I would read The Good Parts after that.

 

I have to admit to not reading the other books but plan on buying Ninja shortly.

 

Just my $.02...

 

Edit: Forgot to directly, answer one of your questions...OOJ does come with exercises you can do at the end of the chapters that can tune your skills. And if you REAAAAAAAAALY want to hone your skills, take Rebecca Murphey's JS Assessment test at https://github.com/rmurphey/js-assessment.  No kidding on this one.

Edited by kaidez
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Oh yeah, certainly dont buy The Good Parts first.  It is certainly not a beginners text.  The Definitive Guide though ( at 1000+ pages ), is pretty well named.  That one two combo will serve you well.  OOJS is a good book.

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Just to reinforce the others, I'd say that your first three javascript books should be Object Oriented JavaScript, JavaScript: The Good Parts, and JavaScript: The Definitive Guide -- that's in no preferred order, except that The Good Parts should be second.

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Hey guys thank you for all of the suggestion. By the way do any of these books have any exercises that the end of the chapter. Would like to pick up a book that does.

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* Pro JavaScript

* Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja

Both by John Resig, but that's coincidence. The former begins with the only proper introduction to JS that I've ever read.

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Object-Oriented JavaScript has exercises at the end of each chapter. It also has exercises throughout the text that you can run via the browser console.

 

Save for my previous comments I made about this book in terms of using eval() with JSON, I highly highly HIGHLY recommend that you get it if you want your hand held through the more difficult parts of JavaScript application development. 

Edited by kaidez
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