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A jQuery Reading List by Jay Blanchard

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Jay Blanchard shares a few of his favorite jQuery books.
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Trying to find good, solid technical books can drive me crazy. I can stand in the computer books section of the local book store for hours trying to find a book that I think will help me to learn a particular language. The search for good books online can be more perplexing because you are often exposed to only a sample chapter of just a few pages. If the contents don’t catch your fancy right away you’ll be left to wonder if you should spend your hard earned dollars—a lot of them—and take the risk that the book is right for you.

Having developed a passion for jQuery soon after it came out, I started searching for books on the subject. The list of jQuery books has grown over time, and I have picked a few favorites. I hope this reading list will make your search easier.

jQuery  in Action, 2nd Edition jQuery in Action, 2nd Edition by Bear Bibeault and Yehuda Katz

This is the first jQuery book that I decided to purchase once it hit the shelves. It provides clear, concise information about the jQuery library and goes into some depth on the jQuery UI library.

The code examples are easy to follow, although there are not enough code samples in the book for my liking. The writers of jQuery in Action have also included a couple of “labs,” downloadable code that allows you to explore jQuery’s selectors and methods without having to create web pages to experiment with. These labs provide a way for the reader to learn the language’s syntax easily and without fear.

jQuery  Cookbook: Solutions & Examples for  jQuery Developers jQuery Cookbook: Solutions & Examples for jQuery Developers by Cody Lindley

Here is a jQuery book that is chock full of examples! The contributors wind their way through nearly every facet of the language along with practical methods of applying jQuery to solve particular problems.

The code examples are divided into groups covering items like jQuery effects and events, working specifically with forms, creating jQuery extensions and developing jQuery plugins that you can share with others. All of the examples are explained well and provide enough depth to add to your overall understanding of the jQuery library. I keep this book close by and reach for it often when developing web applications.

Applied  jQuery, Develop & Design Applied jQuery, Develop & Design by Jay Blanchard

I’ll admit that including Applied jQuery is a bit of shameless self-promotion, but it is also worth putting on your reading list if you are just getting started with the jQuery library as a developer or a designer.

Applied jQuery strives to show how you combine jQuery with the typical web stack of markup languages and scripting languages in an easy-to-understand way by creating jQuery widgets that you can use in your web projects right away. The reader will learn how to use jQuery’s selectors and methods to create animation and effects, beef up their forms with validation and use AJAX methods to get and store information in databases.

JavaScript: The Good Parts JavaScript:The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford

You may be asking, “What is a JavaScript book doing on a jQuery reading list?” right about now. jQuery is JavaScript, and as you become a more seasoned jQuery developer you will undoubtedly use many JavaScript methods and techniques that are not covered in the jQuery library.

To that end you will want to use the best parts of JavaScript to enhance your jQuery coding and JavaScript: The Good Parts is exactly the book you should read to learn and understand the best things that the JavaScript language has to offer.

Each chapter describes and teaches the many facets of good JavaScript in an exceptional manner. The best part of The Good Parts may be the appendices—The Awful Parts and The Bad Parts. The appendices of the book clearly explain not only what you shouldn’t do, but why you shouldn’t do something. That alone is worth the price of admission!

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