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Best Javascript Books You Must Read

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1. A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript. The new tech-assisted approach that requires half the effort (2014)

Learning JavaScript is hell because of two problems.
I remove the problems, and you start having fun.

The first problem is retention. You remember only ten or twenty percent of what you read. That spells failure. To become fluent in a computer language, you have to retain pretty much everything.

How can you retain everything? Only by constantly being asked to play everything back. That’s why people use flashcards. But my system does flashcards one better. After reading a short chapter, you go to my website and complete twenty interactive exercises. Algorithms check your work to make sure you know what you think you know. When you stumble, you do the exercise again. You keep trying until you know the chapter cold. The exercises are free.

The second problem is comprehension. Many learners hit a wall when they try to understand advanced concepts like variable scope and prototypes. Unfortunately, they blame themselves. That’s why the Dummies books sell so well. But the fault lies with the authors, coding virtuosos who lack teaching talent. I’m the opposite of the typical software book author. I’ll never code fast enough to land a job at Google. But I can teach.

Anyway, most comprehension problems are just retention problems in disguise. If you get lost trying to understand variable scope, it’s because you don’t remember how functions work. Thanks to the interactive exercises on my website, you’ll always understand and remember everything necessary to confidently tackle the next concept.

“I’ve signed up to a few sites like Udemy, Codecademy, FreeCodeCamp, Lynda, YouTube videos, even searched on Coursera but nothing seemed to work for me. This book takes only 10 minutes each chapter and after that, you can exercise what you’ve just learned right away!” —Amazon reviewer Constanza Morales

Better than just reading. And more fun.

You’ll spend two to three times as much time practicing as reading. It’s how you wind up satisfied, confident, and proud, instead of confused, discouraged, and defeated. And since many people find doing things more enjoyable than reading things, it can be a pleasure to learn this way, quite apart from the impressive results you achieve.

“Very effective and fun.” —Amazon reviewer A. Bergamini

Written especially for beginners.

I wrote the book and exercises especially for people who are new to programming. Making no assumptions about what you already know, I walk you through JavaScript slowly, patiently. I explain every little thing in sixth-grade English. I avoid unnecessary technical jargon like the plague. (Face it, fellow authors, it is the plague.)

“The layman syntax he uses…makes it much easier to suddenly realize a concept that seemed abstract and too hard to wrap your head around is suddenly not complicated at all.” — Amazon reviewer IMHO

The exercises keep you focused, give you extra practice where you’re shaky, and prepare you for each next step. Every lesson is built on top of a solid foundation that you and I have carefully constructed. Each individual step is small. But, as Amazon reviewer James Toban says, when you get to the end of the book, you’ve built “a tower of JavaScript.”

If you’re an accomplished programmer already, my book may be too elementary for you. (Do you really need to be told what a variable is?) But if you’re new to programming, more than a thousand five-star reviews are pretty good evidence that my book may be just the one to get you coding JavaScript successfully.

“Mark Myers’ method of getting what can be…difficult information into a format that makes it exponentially easier to consume, truly understand, and synthesize into real-world application is beyond anything I’ve encountered before.” —Amazon reviewer Jason A. Ruby

Author(s): Mark Myers

2. JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development (2014)

This full-color book will show you how to make your websites more interactive and your interfaces more interesting and intuitive.

THIS BOOK COVERS:

  1. Basic programming concepts – assuming no prior knowledge of programming beyond an ability to create a web page using HTML & CSS
  2. Core elements of the JavaScript language – so you can learn how to write your own scripts from scratch
  3. jQuery – which will allow you to simplify the process of writing scripts (this is introduced half-way through the book once you have a solid understanding of JavaScript)
  4. How to recreate techniques you will have seen on other web sites such as sliders, content filters, form validation, updating content using Ajax, and much more (these examples demonstrate writing your own scripts from scratch and how the theory you have learned is put into practice).

As with our first book (the best-selling HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites), each chapter:

  • Breaks subjects down into bite-sized chunks with a new topic on each page
  • Contains clear descriptions of syntax, each one demonstrated with inspiring code samples
  • Uses diagrams and photography to explain complex concepts in a visual way

By the end of the book, not only will you be able to use the thousands of scripts, JavaScript APIs, and jQuery plugins that are freely available on the web, and be able to customize them – you will also be able to create your own scripts from scratch.

If you’re looking to create more enriching web experiences, then this is the book for you.

Author(s): Jon Duckett

3. JavaScript: The Good Parts (2008)

Most programming languages contain good and bad parts, but JavaScript has more than its share of the bad, having been developed and released in a hurry before it could be refined. This authoritative book scrapes away these bad features to reveal a subset of JavaScript that’s more reliable, readable, and maintainable than the language as a whole—a subset you can use to create truly extensible and efficient code.

Considered the JavaScript expert by many people in the development community, author Douglas Crockford identifies the abundance of good ideas that make JavaScript an outstanding object-oriented programming language-ideas such as functions, loose typing, dynamic objects, and an expressive object literal notation. Unfortunately, these good ideas are mixed in with bad and downright awful ideas, like a programming model based on global variables.

When Java applets failed, JavaScript became the language of the Web by default, making its popularity almost completely independent of its qualities as a programming language. In JavaScript: The Good Parts, Crockford finally digs through the steaming pile of good intentions and blunders to give you a detailed look at all the genuinely elegant parts of JavaScript, including:

  • Syntax
  • Objects
  • Functions
  • Inheritance
  • Arrays
  • Regular expressions
  • Methods
  • Style
  • Beautiful features

The real beauty? As you move ahead with the subset of JavaScript that this book presents, you’ll also sidestep the need to unlearn all the bad parts. Of course, if you want to find out more about the bad parts and how to use them badly, simply consult any other JavaScript book.

With JavaScript: The Good Parts, you’ll discover a beautiful, elegant, lightweight and highly expressive language that lets you create effective code, whether you’re managing object libraries or just trying to get Ajax to run fast. If you develop sites or applications for the Web, this book is an absolute must.

Author(s): Douglas Crockford

4. JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: Activate Your Web Pages (Definitive Guides) (2011)

Since 1996, JavaScript: The Definitive Guide has been the bible for JavaScript programmers—a programmer’s guide and comprehensive reference to the core language and to the client-side JavaScript APIs defined by web browsers.

The 6th edition covers HTML5 and ECMAScript 5. Many chapters have been completely rewritten to bring them in line with today’s best web development practices. New chapters in this edition document jQuery and server side JavaScript. It’s recommended for experienced programmers who want to learn the programming language of the Web, and for current JavaScript programmers who want to master it.

“A must-have reference for expert JavaScript programmers…well-organized and detailed.”
—Brendan Eich, creator of JavaScript, CTO of Mozilla

“I made a career of what I learned from JavaScript: The Definitive Guide.”
—Andrew Hedges, Tapulous

Author(s): David Flanagan

5. Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Set (2014)

A two-book set for web designers and front-end developers

This two-book set combines the titles HTML & CSS: Designing and Building Web Sites and JavaScript & jQuery: Interactive Front-End Development. Together these two books form an ideal platform for anyone who wants to master HTML and CSS before stepping up to JavaScript and jQuery.

HTML & CSS covers structure, text, links, images, tables, forms, useful options, adding style with CSS, fonts, colors, thinking in boxes, styling lists and tables, layouts, grids, and even SEO, Google analytics, ftp, and HTML5. JavaScript & jQuery offers an excellent combined introduction to these two technologies using a clear and simple visual approach using diagrams, infographics, and photographs.

  • A handy two-book set that uniquely combines related technologies
  • Highly visual format and accessible language makes these books highly effective learning tools
  • Perfect for beginning web designers and front-end developers

Author(s): Jon Duckett

6. You Don’t Know JS: Up & Going (2015)

It’s easy to learn parts of JavaScript, but much harder to learn it completely—or even sufficiently—whether you’re new to the language or have used it for years. With the “You Don’t Know JS” book series, you’ll get a more complete understanding of JavaScript, including trickier parts of the language that many experienced JavaScript programmers simply avoid.

The series’ first book, Up & Going, provides the necessary background for those of you with limited programming experience. By learning the basic building blocks of programming, as well as JavaScript’s core mechanisms, you’ll be prepared to dive into the other, more in-depth books in the series—and be well on your way toward true JavaScript.

With this book you will:

  • Learn the essential programming building blocks, including operators, types, variables, conditionals, loops, and functions
  • Become familiar with JavaScript’s core mechanisms such as values, function closures, this, and prototypes
  • Get an overview of other books in the series—and learn why it’s important to understand all parts of JavaScript

Author(s): Kyle Simpson

7. Murach’s JavaScript and jQuery (3rd Edition) (2017)

Today, you ll find JavaScript and jQuery used everywhere on the web, from small individual sites to the largest commercial sites like Google, Amazon, and Facebook. That s why every web developer needs to have at least a basic set of JavaScript and jQuery skills.

And now, this one book presents the JavaScript and jQuery skills that every web developer needs…whether you re a web designer who s coming from a background in HTML and CSS or a server-side programmer who s coded in languages like PHP, C#, Java, and Python. Due to its unique, self-paced approach, this book works regardless of your experience. And when you re through learning from it, this book will become the best quick reference that you ve ever used.

To make this all possible, section 1 presents a 7-chapter course on JavaScript that will get anyone off to a great start, with a special focus on the skills you need for getting the most from jQuery. Then, section 2 presents all of the jQuery skills that you re likely to need, including how to create slide shows, image swaps, carousels, and accordions…how to validate the data in forms…how to use plugins and widgets…and how to use Ajax and JSON to get data from a web server without reloading the web page.

At that point, you ll have a solid set of JavaScript and jQuery skills. Then, section 3 lets you expand your skill set as you learn how to work with date and time objects, browser objects, web storage, arrays, your own objects, regular expressions, and more. The last chapter takes your skills to the expert level as you learn how to use modules and IIFEs to build jQuery plugins.

Complete coding examples, practice exercises, and Murach s distinctive paired-pages format (each topic is presented in a 2-page spread with text and illustrations) all combine to let you tailor the pace and content to your personal learning style.

Author(s): Zak Ruvalcaba, Mary Delamater

8. Eloquent JavaScript, 2nd Ed.: A Modern Introduction to Programming (2014)

JavaScript lies at the heart of almost every modern web application, from social apps to the newest browser-based games. Though simple for beginners to pick up and play with, JavaScript is a flexible, complex language that you can use to build full-scale applications.

Eloquent JavaScript, 2nd Edition dives deep into the JavaScript language to show you how to write beautiful, effective code. Author Marijn Haverbeke immerses you in example code from the start, while exercises and full-chapter projects give you hands-on experience with writing your own programs. As you build projects such as an artificial life simulation, a simple programming language, and a paint program, you’ll learn:
–The essential elements of programming, including syntax, control, and data
–How to organize and clarify your code with object-oriented and functional programming techniques
–How to script the browser and make basic web applications
–How to use the DOM effectively to interact with browsers
–How to harness Node.js to build servers and utilities

This edition is thoroughly revised and modernized to reflect the current state of Java­Script and web browsers, with brand-new material, such as a chapter on code performance in Java­Script, and expanded coverage of recursion and closures. All source code is available online in an inter­active sandbox, where you can edit the code, run it, and see its output instantly.

Isn’t it time you became fluent in the language of the Web?

Includes an exclusive chapter, only available in the No Starch Press edition!

Author(s): Marijn Haverbeke

9. The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript (2014)

If you’ve used a more traditional object-oriented language, such as C++ or Java, JavaScript probably doesn’t seem object-oriented at all. It has no concept of classes, and you don’t even need to define any objects in order to write code. But don’t be fooled—JavaScript is an incredibly powerful and expressive object-oriented language that puts many design decisions right into your hands.

In The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript, Nicholas C. Zakas thoroughly explores JavaScript’s object-oriented nature, revealing the language’s unique implementation of inheritance and other key characteristics. You’ll learn:
–The difference between primitive and reference values
–What makes JavaScript functions so unique
–The various ways to create objects
–How to define your own constructors
–How to work with and understand prototypes
–Inheritance patterns for types and objects

The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript will leave even experienced developers with a deeper understanding of JavaScript. Unlock the secrets behind how objects work in JavaScript so you can write clearer, more flexible, and more efficient code.

Author(s): Nicholas C. Zakas

10. Learning JavaScript: JavaScript Essentials for Modern Application Development (2016)

This is an exciting time to learn JavaScript. Now that the latest JavaScript specification—ECMAScript 6.0 (ES6)—has been finalized, learning how to develop high-quality applications with this language is easier and more satisfying than ever. This practical book takes programmers (amateurs and pros alike) on a no-nonsense tour of ES6, along with some related tools and techniques.

Author Ethan Brown (Web Development with Node and Express) not only guides you through simple and straightforward topics (variables, control flow, arrays), but also covers complex concepts such as functional and asynchronous programming. You’ll learn how to create powerful and responsive web applications on the client, or with Node.js on the server.

  • Use ES6 today and transcompile code to portable ES5
  • Translate data into a format that JavaScript can use
  • Understand the basic usage and mechanics of JavaScript functions
  • Explore objects and object-oriented programming
  • Tackle new concepts such as iterators, generators, and proxies
  • Grasp the complexities of asynchronous programming
  • Work with the Document Object Model for browser-based apps
  • Learn Node.js fundamentals for developing server-side applications

Author(s): Ethan Brown

11. Head First JavaScript Programming: A Brain-Friendly Guide (2014)

What will you learn from this book?

This brain-friendly guide teaches you everything from JavaScript language fundamentals to advanced topics, including objects, functions, and the browser’s document object model. You won’t just be reading—you’ll be playing games, solving puzzles, pondering mysteries, and interacting with JavaScript in ways you never imagined. And you’ll write real code, lots of it, so you can start building your own web applications. Prepare to open your mind as you learn (and nail) key topics including:

  • The inner details of JavaScript
  • How JavaScript works with the browser
  • The secrets of JavaScript types
  • Using arrays
  • The power of functions
  • How to work with objects
  • Making use of prototypes
  • Understanding closures
  • Writing and testing applications

What’s so special about this book?

We think your time is too valuable to waste struggling with new concepts. Using the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory to craft a multi-sensory learning experience, Head First JavaScript Programming uses a visually rich format designed for the way your brain works, not a text-heavy approach that puts you to sleep. This book replaces Head First JavaScript, which is now out of print.

Author(s): Eric T. Freeman, Elisabeth Robson

12. JavaScript Absolute Beginner’s Guide (2016)

JavaScript Absolute Beginner's Guide

No experience necessary!

Make the most of JavaScript — even if you've never programmed anything before. This book is the fastest way to learn JavaScript and use it together with CSS3 and HTML5 to create powerful web and mobile experiences. Learn how to do what you want, the way you want, one incredibly easy step at a time. JavaScript has never been this simple!

This is the easiest, most practical beginner’s guide to programming JavaScript with simple, reliable instructions for doing everything you really want to do! Here’s a small sample of what you’ll learn:

  • Learn why JavaScript is awesome
  • Organize your code with variables
  • Understand how functions make your code reusable
  • Use the popular if/else statement to help make a decision in code
  • Learn about switch statements and when to use them
  • Work with for, while, and do…while loops
  • Learn how to use global and local scope 
  • Understand what closures are 
  • Learn about the various places your code can live 
  • Understand how to write comments and good commenting practices
  • Learn about the basic types of objects you'll run into in JavaScript
  • Find out that pizza has an educational value beyond just being deliciously awesome
  • Understand how text is treated in JavaScript 
  • Learn how to perform common string operations
  • Use arrays to handle lists of data
  • Learn to create custom objects
Purchase of JavaScript Absolute Beginner's Guide in any format includes free access to the online Web Edition, which provides several special features to help you learn:
  • The complete text of the book online

  • Short videos by the author introducing each chapter

  • Interactive quizzes to test your understanding of the material

  • Updates and corrections as they become available

This Web Edition can be viewed on all types of computers and mobile devices with any modern web browser that supports HTML5.


Contents at a Glance

1 Hello, World!
Part I: The Basic Stuff
2 Values and Variables
3 Functions
4 Conditional Statements: If, Else, and Switch
5 Meet the Loops: For, While, and Do…While!
6 Timers
7 Variable Scope
8 Closures
9 Where Should Your Code Live?
10 Commenting Your Code
Part II: It’s an Object-Oriented World
11 Of Pizza, Types, Primitives, and Objects
12 Strings
13 When Primitives Behave Like Objects
14 Arrays
15 Numbers
16 A Deeper Look at Objects
17 Extending Built-in Objects
18 Booleans and the Stricter === and !== Operators
19 Null and Undefined
20 Immediately Invoked Function Expressions
Part III: Working with the DOM
21 JS, The Browser, and The DOM
22 Finding Elements in the DOM
23 Modifying DOM Elements
24 Styling Your Content
25 Traversing the DOM
26 Creating and Removing DOM Elements
27 In-Browser Developer Tools
Part IV: Dealing with Events
28 Events
29 Event Bubbling and Capturing
30 Mouse Events
31 Keyboard Events
32 Page Load Events and Other Stuff
33 Handling Events for Multiple Elements
34 Conclusion

Author(s): Kirupa Chinnathambi