8 JavaScript Books Every JavaScript Developer Should Read

There are ample JavaScript books in the market and if you are a long-time learner of JavaScript, you will have pleasure reading most of them. However, it will not be wrong to say that this is a strange time for JavaScript books.

The reason is that the JavaScript language just got a major update in ES6. The new JavaScript syntax and style appears to very different from the ES3-ES5 versions of JavaScript, which is discussed in most of the books. However, that is not much of a concern, because ES6 is just a superset of ES5 and most of the books contain valuable chunks of learning that still apply.

Therefore, if you are new to JavaScript, you might have fun to explore and discover all the hacks that the old-timers used just to use array methods on arguments. In this article, we will take you through a list of JavaScript books that will help you get familiar with the basics of the language.

Although there are  JavaScript books available that intend to teach you ES6, we suggest reading them after you have a grasp of the basic JavaScript.

The list of books we recommend below is roughly in learning order.

The Books

JavaScript for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming – by Nick Morgan

Consistent with the title, this book is an offbeat exploration of the fundamental programming concepts. However, do not let the title you. Books for children are not only for children always. If you are completely new to coding, this is a decent book, to begin with; does not matter if you are a grown up. Diving in the deep ocean even before you know the craft of swimming can become frustrating. Therefore, It is wiser to begin your practice with something simple.

Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming – by Marijn Haverbeke

This book is a masterpiece. It takes you through all the important concepts with a lucid roadmap utilizing simple, intelligible language. It is comprehensively researched, composed and edited. The book is loaded with activities for you to practice, unlike most of the programming books.

JavaScript: The Good Parts – by Douglas Crockford

This book was written when JavaScript was still a young language, just started as a tiny scripting language in browsers. It was the time when browsers were just beginning to be explored for serious application development. It was prior to 2004, and finding real applications running in a browser was a rare sight.

During that period, JavaScript was majorly used to create minor user interface effects such as mouse hover states. Programmers who coded in compiled languages like Java, C/C++, and C#, targeted many jokes at JavaScript, back then.

However, Douglas Crockford shunned all the ridicules that were directed towards JavaScript and recognized that Brendan Eich, creator of the JavaScript language, hid some important facts in the language that are being truly appreciated by the programming masses only recently.

This book explores the basic features of JavaScript and gives you some new avenues to appreciate JavaScript for how special and cool the language really is.

Programming JavaScript Applications: Robust Web Architecture with Node, HTML5, and Moderns JS Libraries – by Eric Elliott

This book talks about how to harness JavaScript for building robust application architecture. The book covers some of the JavaScript best practices, introduction to prototypes, object composition, and touches upon the basics of functional programming. You will also get ideas to apply the concepts to build a few of the common concerns that come up in most of the applications, no matter what the application business domain is.

Although technology has changed a lot since the book was released, it is still the best overview of JavaScript app architecture on the market today. Once you dig into this book, you will also learn about RESTful APIs, basics of Node JS, feature toggle systems, authentication and authorization, logging, and much more.

Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript – by David Herman

After you gain some basic exposure to JavaScript, this book guides you to some advanced concepts of the language. The book will introduce you to the traits of JavaScript, ranging from floating point number precision to the eccentricities of type coercions and semicolon insertion, right away.

The entire book continues to explore the best practices for working with objects, functions, arrays, library, API design, and concurrency. This book has something to offer to everyone, regardless of your level of proficiency.

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide – by David Flanagan

The Definitive Guide explores JavaScript and web platform API features deeply. It looks at the language from the perspective of building web applications. It offers a thorough overview of several language features, along with warnings concerning old versions of IE. The book has six editions with every edition offering something new to learn.

You Don’t Know JS – by Kyle Simpson

This comes as a series of books . All of them are similar in style and scope. In this book, Kyle explores all the little nooks and corners of the language and manages to uncover many secrets about JavaScript that are not yet discovered or explored by many.

This book will take you to a deep dive to such a level that you would get the sight of some JavaScript species that no programmer has ever encountered before (I mean, before this series of books were written).

However, this series does not talk much about software architecture, software design principles and programmer wisdom. But, those are easily available in the books for a lot of other programming languages. One thing is certain, this series will help you gain a new perspective to appreciate JavaScript and will also render a deeper understanding of the language.

JavaScript Allongé: The Sixth Edition – by Reginald Braithwaite

This book talks about building flexible software from small, decoupled units. If you are a beginner, this should definitely not be the first book on JavaScript that you read.

In this book, Reginald introduces simple concepts like `const` but he flips the beat to make your brain dance. Reginald discusses the concepts by demonstrating partial applications and curried function expressions followed by slow building using intermediate function scope topics like IIFE and closures.

The book helps you think deeply about the JavaScript functions. You should read it once you have a working knowledge of JavaScript and when you are ready to explore the scopes of combining functional and object oriented programming techniques for developing JavaScript applications.

These list of books will take you on a pleasant journey through the land of JavaScript. Whether you are a novice or a pro, we are certain that you will enjoy the ride.

About Natasha


Natasha Manuel is an information analyst at SpringPeople. In her 7+ years of experience in the edu-tech industry, Natasha has led many corporate learning projects and delivered several high impact training programs. She is passionate about technology and its role in effective learning solutions

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