Which JavaScript Book has Taught me the Most?

I recently posed an interesting question to myself: Which JavaScript book has taught me the most?

Now I own many books on JavaScript. Some are specific to a framework, but most apply to vanilla JavaScript. But I didn’t limit my question to any subset of JavaScript. If it had anything to do with JavaScript, it was a candidate.

I enjoy books, so it was a fun exercise to go through each of my books and try to make a decision about which ones have taught me the most. Now to be fair, there are a few books I own that I have not finished reading. One I just purchased and haven’t even started yet. Now the whole process was very subjective, but the results were interesting; at least they were interesting to me.

In the end Douglas Crockford’s book JavaScript: The Good Parts didn’t make the cut for the final three. It was close, but I felt I needed to go with another book. Also, none of Kyle Simpson’s books made the top three. I have really enjoyed his books, but I was looking for the books that have taught me the most.

So here are the top three…

David Flanagan’s book JavaScript: The Definitive Guide was probably my top choice, not because I have sat down and read this book cover to cover, but just because how much I have referred to this book. This book is usually one of the first locations I go to when I have a question. It is a book I trust, so I usually weigh information on the internet with the information contained in this book. I’ve owned more than one edition of this book throughout the years. I think it was probably the first JavaScript book I purchased. Anyway, I’m pretty certain I have spent a good deal of time in this book and it has taught me a lot.

Next I chose JavaScript Patterns by Stoyan Stefanov. This book expanded my view of JavaScript and what it can do. Everything in this book is very practical. It is a concise book, but has a lot to offer. Some of the most important patterns I use, I first learned from this book.

My third choice was a bit of a surprise. I’ve been interested in functional programming of late, and I think that interest may have affected my choice. The third book is Functional Programming in JavaScript by Luis Atencio. Functional programming is a different paradigm from what I am used to, so obviously there is a lot to learn. Though this book is not the only source I have learned functional programming from, it has provided a good deal of information.

So there you have. My top three. Are there books you would add to the list? Which book taught you the most?


Author: Steven Hancock

Steven has 20+ years experience in product development and 15+ years using JavaScript. He started learning JavaScript when it was a niche language used for minor affects on a web site. The growth and ubiquitous nature of JavaScript both excites and inspires him. Currently he is President and lead Trainer at All Things JavaScript, a resource for anyone and everyone that hopes to increase their JavaScript skills. Steven was the co-owner of Rapid Intake, an eLearning Authoring firm. While there he managed all development and professional service related activities. He was heavily involved in the initial development of Rapid Intake's main product, which eventual lead to its acquisition in 2011. In addition to JavaScript, Steve has also dabbled in other web technolgies such as ActionScript, ASP, PHP, HTML, and CSS.