JavaScript Series: Two Online Book Recommendations

If you’re learning JavaScript from the ground up you should know there are some great JavaScript books available online for free. You can order their printed versions as well if you prefer it that way.

Even though there are hundreds of JavaScript books and resources available online, I found these two to be especially well written.

1. Eloquent JavaScript (read online)


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Chapter 1. Values, Types, and Operators

You’re going to learn about basic JavaScript types with some great, easy to understand examples.

Chapter 2. Program Structure

Once you learn about basic types, you’re going to learn what a program in JavaScript is. This chapter covers variable assignments, basic functions and conditionals and more.

Chapter 4. Data Structures: Objects and Arrays

You probably understand how to construct a simple program now. If you’re willing to learn in depth about functions, you can read the third chapter but my recommendation is to skip it for now and learn about basic data structures like Objects and Arrays. Remember to try things out in the JavaScript console! This is the best way to learn programming.

Chapter 10. Modules

Often when we learn new programming language, we don’t really know to to structure out programs. Shall we write a hundreds lines of code or should we split it to smaller chunks? What are the recommendations? These questions are addressed in tenth chapter of the book. Namespacing, Decoupling, Using Functions as Namespaces, Objects as Interfaces are a good read for the beginning. The other sections can be skipped until you get confident writing JavaScript programs.

2. Speaking JavaScript: An In-Depth Guide for Programmers (read online)


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Chapter 1. Basic JavaScript

In the first chapter you’re going to learn about the difference between JavaScript and ECMAScript (ES), find syntax reference in one place, find out about expressions and statements in JavaScript, learn about variables and basic types in the language (Numbers, Arrays, Strings, Objects etc.). What’s more, some good recommendations about handling exceptions are also included. Then you’re going to learn about strict mode and most common methods in the standard library.

Chapter 7. JavaScript’s Syntax

This chapter pretty much wraps up what we learned in the first chapter. Basic syntax, strict mode plus some quirks.
You can learn more in depth about Math functions, working with Regular Expressions and Array methods in chapters 18, 19 and 21 but they’re a good addition once you grasp the very basics of the language.

That’s it! The recommendations are short on purpose. I don’t want long books to overwhelm you. Now please launch your JavaScript REPL and try things out on your own!