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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learn to Program with Java
Publisher: Osborne/McGraw-Hill
Authors: John Smiley
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Book, Easy to Understand

I took an intro to programming course with Java at my university a few years ago. The professor was really bad (barely spoke English) and needless to say, I hardly got anything out of the class. I was feeling a little anxious about future programming classes so I picked up this book at the recommendation of a friend. I was truly impressed with it. I really liked the classlike setting in the book which made you feel like you were actually participating in a course, not just reading another programming book. The explanations are worded in everyday terms so you don't have to be a software engineer to figure out what is going on. In fact, Smiley actually goes way more in depth than most first semester Java courses, yet presents the information so well that you don't even notice how much you are learning. This is probably the best book I have seen to teach yourself Java and would recommend it to anyone.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs - 2nd Edition (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Harold Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book for theory and ideas - not a 'C' book

This book is for people who like their theory as much as they like practical books. It will *not* make you immediately able to command great money as a programmer (as opposed to spending time becoming a Microsoft or Sun certified engineer).
What it will do is make you think about the structure of your programs in ways that 'C' & 'C++' community have great difficulty in doing because of the inherent complexity of their environment.
Get if from the library - if you like it buy it as a reference - if you don't you won't have wasted your money!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes, Third Edition
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Ben Forta
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
even for the faint of heart

Okay, let me start by saying that I don't think that SQL is that difficult. I originally learned it by copying the code from someone and seeing what happened when I tried changing it around. I picked this book up as a quick reference and it has proven invaluable for the quick and dirty 'sneak peek'. If you read through coding/programming books by scanning the example and tend to skip the long text blurbs, this book is definitely for you.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This Book Is It!

This book is the one to get! After spending many frustrated months looking for the perfect book to learn HTML, this book finally came through for me! It is PERFECT for the absolute beginner who knows nothing about HTML -- including stuff like what the difference is between the "HEAD" and the "BODY" in your HTML code, and how to reference a web page that's UP multiple levels in your web site. And this book is also perfect for intermediate users, teaching you how to make your GIFs and JPEGs perfectly in Photoshop, and then integrate them into your HTML code. And this book is even great for advanced users, who want to learn CSS (cascading style sheets). But the most amazing thing about this book is how CONVERSATIONAL the text is! You will swear on your life that you are having an interpersonal conversation with the author, Elizabeth Castro. I can't believe that Elizabeth can take a dry subject like HTML and actually make it FUN and ENTICING to learn. I'm telling you, after looking through all the other HTML books on the market, THIS ONE IS THE ONE TO GET!