6 Best JavaScript Programming Books Ranked by Reviews  by@hackernoonbooks
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6 Best JavaScript Programming Books Ranked by Reviews

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The 6 best JavaScript programming books ranked by Amazon reviews. Head First JavaScript Programming by Eric Freeman and Elisabeth Robson is a self-described “learner’s guide” to the programming language. Eloquent JavaScript (3rd Edition) by Marijn Haverbeke is meant to be difficult yet in-depth, covering the language alongside how it works with browsers and the Node.js environment. This is not a book meant for beginners, but it's meant to help those who are already familiar with HTML.
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When it comes to programming on the web, very few languages can measure up to the immense popularity of JavaScript. Countless websites make use of JavaScript for the user experience, making its appearance on the Internet almost universal. Even if programmers never learn another language in their life, they can still make incredible use out of this one. Both newcomers and experienced programmers will want to check out these 6 best JavaScript programming books ranked by Amazon reviews.

This list will include books with positive ratings based on how many reviews they received. It will also only cover books with a specific focus on JavaScript, as many other “compilation” resources might not give as much coverage. Additionally, be mindful of alternate editions and publication dates! Some resources with fantastic ratings might not be as useful today.

The 6 Best JavaScript Programming Books Ranked by Amazon Reviews

6. Head First JavaScript Programming by Eric Freeman and Elisabeth Robson

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Head First JavaScript Programming is a self-described “learner’s guide” to the programming language. It provides a hands-on approach to teaching, with games and puzzles located within the book to make grasping JavaScript easy for anyone. Reviewers note that the book is a fantastic introduction to the language. Some even say it’s a great resource for advanced programmers as well.

One thing to note about this book is that it’s a bit out-of-date, having been published all the way back in 2014. As such, there might be some information that can’t measure up to today’s standards. Head First JavaScript Programming is still a useful resource, but considering its release date and its high price point, you might want to find other avenues for learning JavaScript.

Reviews: 796 total, 78% 5-star average

List Price: $59.99 Paperback, $50.99 Digital

Buy now on Amazon (Digital) or AbeBooks (Paperback)

5. JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford

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Douglas Crockford’s offering on JavaScript is even older than Head First JavaScript Programming, being published all the way back in 2008. In exchange, JavaScript: The Good Parts offers a close look at the programming language in the eyes of an expert. Some reviewers aren’t quite sure who the book was written for, but thanks to this unique lens, those already familiar with JavaScript found this resource to be very enlightening. This book makes for a great resource for experts to look into while being a fine supplementary piece to other books more suited towards beginners.

Reviews: 1,006 total, 71% 5-star average

List Price: $29.99 Paperback, $23.99 Digital

Buy now on Amazon (Digital) or AbeBooks (Paperback)

4. JavaScript: The Definitive Guide (7th Edition) by David Flanagan

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JavaScript: The Definitive Guide is another resource meant to be used for beginners and experts alike. This book covers many different aspects of JavaScript, from arrays and generators to alternate environments like Node.js. To top it all off, the book is extremely recent, having been published in 2020.

Reviewers were very pleased with the publication quality, with the most common complaint being that it could have covered an even wider array of topics. They also note that more examples could be given for other topics, but it’s still stated to be a great book in spite of these problems. Beginners might have a bit more trouble with this one, but David Flanagan’s offering should be given some serious consideration for any JavaScript enthusiast.

Reviews: 1,113 total, 79% 5-star average

List Price: $59.99

Buy now on Amazon (Digital) or AbeBooks (Paperback)

3. Eloquent JavaScript (3rd Edition) by Marijn Haverbeke

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Eloquent JavaScript wears its purpose on its cover. This book is meant to be difficult yet in-depth, covering the language alongside how it works with browsers and the aforementioned Node environment. This is not a book meant for beginners to programming in general. Rather, it seems as though it’s meant to help those who are already programmers. If you’re familiar with other languages like C++ and HTML, this book will be one of the best introductions to JavaScript you can find.

While almost every other book on this list has a digital version alongside their physical copy, it’s particularly notable for this one. Many reviews note that their copy of the book has fallen apart in a very short amount of time. The difficulty of this material will only be exacerbated if this happens to you, so consider investing in the digital version if you’re able to.

Reviews: 1,500 total, 79% 5-star average

List Price: $39.95

Buy now on Amazon (Digital) or AbeBooks (Paperback)

2. JavaScript & jQuery by Jon Duckett

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Depending on your definition, JavaScript & jQuery is actually the top-rated JavaScript book on Amazon — if you include it in a bundle with another one of Duckett’s books. It’s not at all difficult to see why, as Duckett’s offerings are stated to be the ideal books for beginners. This particular resource gives readers a grasp of the programming language while also providing them with knowledge of jQuery, a library that helps simplify the creation of scripts. There’s plenty to learn here for programming newcomers and plenty to look back on even for JavaScript experts.

Unfortunately, this book is another that has arguably become outdated, being published all the way back in 2014. It can still be another great supplementary resource, but it really depends on which parts of JavaScript you need to learn the most.

Reviews: 2,085 total, 77% 5-star average

List Price: $39.99

Buy now on Amazon or AbeBooks

1. A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript by Mark Meyers

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A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript rounds out this list with one more unique take on learning the programming language. The book itself is very short, instead providing technology-based resources online to allow readers an easier time in figuring out JavaScript personally. Even as reviews acknowledge it as another out-of-date resource, they can’t help but praise the ease of access it provides. The pure accessibility of this offering by Mark Myers is almost certainly what led it to the top spot of this list. There’s rarely a better way to learn than by doing, and this book will give you the exact things you need to take advantage of that.

Reviews: 2,651 total, 78% 5-star average

List Price: $19.95 Paperback, $7.99 Digital

Buy now on Amazon (Digital) or AbeBooks (Paperback)

What to Look For When Choosing the Best JavaScript Programming Book Based on Reviews

When choosing programming books with such a long history behind them, it’s important to find a balance between great writing and up-to-date material. Even the best-written resources will be useless if they only cover the earliest methods of programming. When it comes to JavaScript, you might also be surprised at how many resources are targeted towards advanced users rather than beginners. This is partially thanks to its widespread use, allowing more complicated material to be more widely covered while unfortunately leaving newcomers in the dust. Balance is the key when it comes to learning JavaScript, and perfecting that balance will make your resume look more attractive than ever!

If you want to enhance your coding skills even further, also check out the best HTML and C++ books based on reviews!

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