JavaScript and Books

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10 Best JavaScript Books for Beginners & Advanced Developers

Posted in JavaScript, Books

JavaScript is one of the leading names when it comes to front-end web development. Moreover, it is one of the best programming languages to learn and earn in 2021. There are several ways of learning JS, ranging from books to tutorials.

Best JavaScript Books

Books are an excellent way of learning almost anything, including programming languages. So, here is our pick of the 10 JavaScript books that web developer of any skill level, including aspirants, need to skim in 2021:

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

A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript: The new tech-assisted approach that requires half the effort

Author Mark Myers
Latest Edition 1st Edition
Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

According to Mark Myers, the author of the A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript, there are two important problems faced by those willing to learn JavaScript. These are retention and comprehension. As such, the JS book is written while especially addressing the two issues. It is the best book to learn javascript.

The entire 256-page long JavaScript book is judiciously divided into brief chapters. Each of the chapters is followed by 20 absolutely-free sample exercises available at the author’s website. You can do them over and over again to completely digest all the information you just read.

Practicing is the key to learn to program. As per the author of the A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript book, a typical reader will spend only about 1/3rd of the total time invested for practicing in reading. Moreover, the JavaScript book is written especially for beginners.

You can buy this book from here.

2. Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming

Eloquent JavaScript

Author Marjin Haverbeke
Latest Edition 3rd Edition
Publisher No Starch Press

Probably the biggest standout of Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming is its heavy usage of practice exercises. Unlike other books on programming and JS, this book is a work of pure art.

Eloquent JavaScript lets the reader digest all its knowledge easily thanks to an easy to understand and relatable language. Though not essentially a JavaScript book, it offers an introduction to programming using JavaScript.

You can buy this book from here.

3. JavaScript & JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development

JavaScript & JQuery

Author Jon Duckett
Latest Edition 1st Edition
Publisher Wiley

Interested in learning JavaScript & jQuery side-by-side for getting started with web development? JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development is the top recommendation.

Mind you, JavaScript & JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development is not yet another 1200-page book. On the contrary, the content of the book is not just pretty but well-organized.

Progressing to the next concepts is not random and follows a logical way in JavaScript & JQuery. The transition to jQuery from JavaScript is a great example of how to do it the right way.

You get to hit two birds with one stone with the JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development book.

You can buy this book from here.

4. JavaScript: The Good Parts

JavaScript: The Good Parts

Author Douglas Crockford
Latest Edition 1st Edition
Publisher O’Reilly

With the JavaScript: The Good Parts, author Douglas Crockford focuses on the basics of some of the lesser-known yet desirable aspects of JavaScript. It’s only recently that these hidden features are getting the appreciation they deserve from the programming community.

At the time of the original write-up of JavaScript: The Good Parts, JavaScript was a newborn programming language, considered as a tiny scripting language in browsers. At that time, browsers were starting to be explored for serious application development.

Before that, it was a rarity to witness real applications running in a browser. The browser wasn’t anything like the one we have today. It was un-interactive, heavily relied on page reloads, and didn’t have any built-in storage capacity.

From that time to now, JavaScript: The Good Parts traces the development of JS as well as its features going mainstream and gaining hundreds of thousands of eyeballs from around the world.

The most important thing about JavaScript: The Good Parts is that it has the potential to renew the appreciation given to the high-level, interpreted programming language even by the veteran practitioners. Also, the book is just 175 pages long. Hence, making it a quick read.

You can buy this book from here.

5. Learn JavaScript VISUALLY

Learn JavaScript VISUALLY

Author Ivelin Demirov
Latest Edition 1st Edition
Publisher Nai Inc.

For newbies wishing to quickly grasp the basics of JavaScript, Learn JavaScript VISUALLY the ideal book to go for. The book makes understanding the basic JS concepts easier by means of a visual approach, hence the name.

Because Learn JavaScript VISUALLY is aimed at greenhorns, there isn’t anything about the deeper and complex topics pertaining to JS. Also, the book is quite concise as compared to other beginner JavaScript books.

You can buy this book from here.

6. JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

JavaScript The Definitive Guide

Author David Flanagan
Latest Edition 6th Edition
Publisher O’Reilly

Another beginner-friendly JavaScript book is the JavaScript: The Definitive Guide. Anyone interested in building powerful web applications must go through the comprehensive JS book. It explores several JS and web platform API features aimed at web application development.

In order to get an in-depth understanding of the workings of closure, graphics, and prototyping, JavaScript: The Definitive Guide is the definite pick. The page count for the book reaches well over 1000 pages, divided into thorough chapters full of examples.

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide presents a detailed overview of a lot of language features mixed with warnings about using older versions of Internet Explorer. For anyone who seeks knowledge beyond the basics, the book serves as an excellent reference guide.

You can buy this book from here.

7. Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript

Effective JavaScript

Author David Herman, Foreword by Brendan Eich
Latest Edition 1st Edition
Publisher Addison Wesley

Anyone who has an ample understanding of the JS basics qualifies to gain the most out of Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript. The JavaScript book takes its readers on an in-depth tour of the high-level, interpreted programming language.

David Herman, the author of Effective JavaScript, is a seasoned programmer. He shares his technical experience in the book via realistic and elaborate examples. Regardless of the skill level, any JS developer is likely to learn something out of this excellent JavaScript book.

Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript introduces the readers to several fortes of the dynamic, prototype-based, and weakly-typed programming language, ranging from floating point number precision to semicolon insertion and type coercions.

The JavaScript book further explores best practices to keep in mind while working with API design, arrays, concurrency, functions, library, and objects.

You can buy this book from here.

8. JavaScript for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming

JavaScript for Kids

Author Nick Morgan
Latest Edition 1st Edition
Publisher No Starch Press

The name of the book kind of puns on those that are new to the world of programming. JavaScript for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming offers a fanciful exploration of the various basic programming concepts.

For those who haven’t ever tried programming before, beginning with JavaScript for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. The entire book is divided into three parts, which are:

  • Part I: Fundamentals Covers basic elements of JS, including conditional statements, data types, functions, and loops. Details on creating simple HTML web pages as well as a text-based version of the Hangman game.
  • Part II: Advanced JavaScript Introduces advanced techniques building upon the basics provided by Part I. Contents of the section include jQuery, object-oriented programming, responding to browser events, and running code at intervals with timers. The entire section boils down to building the Find the Buried Treasure! Game.
  • Part III: Canvas Details about the HTML5 canvas element, how to draw to the canvas, how to animate the drawings, and how to control animations using the keyboard. Sums up with an exercise section for creating the classic Snake game.

You can buy this book from here.

9. Programming JavaScript Applications: Robust Web Architecture with Node, HTML5, and Moderns JS Libraries

Programming JavaScript Applications

Author Eric Elliott
Latest Edition 1st Edition
Publisher O’Reilly

Unlike other JS books that answer the question, “How do I use JavaScript?” Programming JavaScript Applications: Robust Web Architecture with Node, HTML5, and Modern JS Libraries answers, “How do I use JavaScript to build a real-world application?”

Programming JavaScript Applications is an excellent book that offers a precise overview of the JavaScript app architecture. It covers basic concepts of functional programming, JS best practices, introduction to prototypes, and object composition.

In addition to expanding JS understanding, Programming JavaScript Applications by Eric Elliott covers authentication and authorization, feature toggle systems, logging, Node basics, and RESTful APIs.

You can buy this book from here.

10. High-Performance Browser Networking

Author Ilya Grigorik
Latest Edition First Edition
Publisher O’Reilly

Application performance is something that everyone, ranging from independent developers to full-fledged organizations, crave for. High-Performance Browser Networking is the ultimate guide for building a successful JavaScript application with highly optimized performance.

High-Performance Browser Networking covers high-impact performance considerations to the likes of data streaming, DataChannel, HTTP2, WebRTC, and WebSockets.

You can buy this book from here.

Few Bonus Javascript Books

11. You Don’t Know JS

You Don’t Know JS

Author Kyle Simpson
Latest Edition 1st Edition
Publisher O’Reilly Media

Unlike other names on the list, You Don’t Know JS is a book series. All books of the series share similarity in style and scope. The JavaScript book series help readers get acquainted with the most subtle technical aspects of the high-level, interpreted programming language.

Anyone post reading the You Don’t Know JS is sure to develop a deep understanding and appreciation for the JavaScript. To put it simply, You Don’t Know JS is literally a deep-dive into JavaScript from the author Kyle Simpson.

Spanning a total of 6 books, the You Don’t Know JS series start with the basics of the JavaScript and then moving to closure, objects, scopes, and finally ES2016 changes. Each book of the series is almost 100 pages. Hence, the complete series is shorter than an average detailed JS book.

You can buy this book from here.

12. JavaScript Allongé, the “Six” Edition

JavaScript Allongé, the “Six” Edition

Author Reg “raganwald” Braithwaite
Latest Edition Sixth Edition
Publisher Leanpub

Building flexible software from small, decoupled units and thinking in terms of functions is all about the JavaScript Allongé, the “Six” Edition. The JavaScript book aims at making the reader think deeply and out-of-the-box about functions, and it succeeds in doing so. This is also the best book for javascript learning.

After giving a good demonstration of partial applications and curried function expressions, Reginald introduces simple concepts, such as const. By means of the slow-building via intermediate function scope topics like closures and IIFE, learning gets simpler and effective.

JavaScript Allongé needs to be picked up once the reader has built enough working familiarity with JavaScript. Moreover, the readers need to be ready for exploring the know-how of building JS applications with the combination of functional and object-oriented programming techniques.

You can buy this book from here.

13. Beginning JavaScript

Beginning Javascript

Author Jeremy McPeak and Paul Wilton
Latest Edition Fifth Edition
Publisher Wrox

Beginning JavaScript by Paul Wilton and Jeremy McPeak is the excellent beginning point for complete greenhorns. The book is written especially in a beginner-friendly teaching style to allow the reader to get onboard the JavaScript ride.

With a total of just under 800 pages, Beginning JavaScript is a massive guide on the JS ecosystem and covers almost all essential basics of the programming language. The entire book is divided into easy-to-follow lessons, complete with easily understandable code snippets.

You can buy this book from here.

14. Composing Software

Composing Software

Author Eric Elliott
Latest Edition 1st Edition
Publisher Leanpub

Software design is basically breaking down of a larger, complex problem into smaller problems and then developing solutions for these individual smaller problems. Composing Software is a JS book that revolves around this opinion on software designing.

By discussing the foundations of functional programming and object-oriented programming, Composing Software allows the readers to effectively understand building and structuring complex applications by means of simple building blocks of software design.

In Composing Software, Eric Elliott explores functional programming and object composition pertaining to JavaScript. The book stresses the importance of compositional techniques for a software developer.

Composing Software educates readers about the fundamentals of composition, both function composition and object composition, and discusses them in the context of JavaScript.

You can buy this book from here.


So that’s all for the list of top 10 JavaScript books that a web developer can read in 2021. Learning JavaScript can be further be accelerated with The Complete JavaScript Course: Build Real Projects JavaScript course. Feel free to check our learn JavaScript quickly blog post for quick tips and tricks.

Other JavaScript Books

Here are some additional books to enhance JavaScript learning even further:

  • Building JavaScript Games for Phones, Tablets, and Desktop by Arjan Egges
  • Functional Programming in JavaScript by Luis Atencio
  • High-Performance JavaScript: Build Faster Web Application Interfaces by Nicholas C. Zakas
  • JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland
  • JavaScript Enlightenment by Cody Lindley
  • Maintainable JavaScript: Writing Readable Code by Nicholas C. Zakas
  • Object-Oriented JavaScript: Create scalable, reusable high-quality JavaScript applications, and libraries by Stoyan Stefanov
  • Professional JavaScript for Web Developers by Nicholas C. Zakas
  • Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja by Bear Bibeault and John Resig
  • Testable JavaScript: Ensuring Reliable Code by Mark Ethan Trostler
  • The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript by Nicholas C. Zakas
  • Understanding ECMAScript 6: The Definitive Guide For JavaScript Developers by Nicholas C. Zakas

Happy learning!

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Shruti Kaushik

Shruti Kaushik

Shruti is a professionally accredited content specialist and works closely with brands to identify their disconnect in content marketing, then further strategizing the same. She started pursuing her independent journey as a consultant after leaving her decent 9 to 5 job with Google News as an editor, and have worked withSony, Ministry of Skills and Entrepreneurship Ma Foi Group, TOI, Indochine International, Kakaku, Inc in the past. View all posts by the Author

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