Advanced JavaScript Book Choices
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Monday, 18 December 2017
Article Index
Advanced JavaScript Book Choices
JavaScript Beyond the Essentials
Clever JavaScript

JavaScript is the most popular language for open source projects, but it is one that suffers from its very name. It is often misunderstood simply because of the inclusion of "script" in its name. Yes, it can be used as a scripting language - but that's just part of its role. It also doesn't do objects in the way that its namesake Java does, and this makes it even more missunderstood.

In general if you are looking for a book on JavaScript you are spoiled for choice. There are plenty of books on this language and many of the books are good or excellent. Having sifted through over 80 I Programmer reviews, we've picked out those books rated at least 4 out of 5.

As there are so many JavaScript books which were highly rated, we've split them into three piles. This is our selection of JavaScript books for experienced developers in JavaScript. If you're starting out using JavaScript, check out our selection in JavaScript Beginners Book Choice. Next time, we'll look at books on jQuery, Node, and Ajax.

In this selection, we give an edited highlight of what our original reviewer thought. If you want to read more of the original review click in the link in each title.Where a newer edition is available, we've given its details. Clicking on the book jacket in the side panel will take you to Amazon. If you just want to find out more about the book click in the top portion of the thumbnail to open the book's product details page. If you do decide to make a book purchase accessing Amazon from a link on I Programmer means that we are credited with a few cents - so thanks to all of you who support us in this way.


javascript image


Core JavaScript

These are the titles that our reviewers chose either because they cover the heart of JavaScript, or because they are so well written they get our top recommendation of 5 stars.


JavaScript Programmer's Reference

Author: Alexei White
Publisher: Wrox, 2009
Pages: 1032
ISBN: 978-0470344729

Despite its age, our first recommendation has to be for JavaScript Programmer's Reference, rated 5 by Mike James who described it as:

"one of the best books on Javascript available [that] should be on your bookshelf. It is a reference work but it is very readable and the author presents as logical an account as is possible with a language as strange as Javascript."



The book covers the basic structure of Javascript and its "interesting" features such as weak typing, closures and dynamic evaluation and is that reference work that you will use repeatedly not only clarify some point of syntax but to understand how it should work.

JavaScript Cookbook (2nd Ed)

Author: Shelley Powers
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2015
Pages: 634
ISBN: 978-1491901885

In reviewing this book, Ian Elliot observed that "Generally cookbooks aim low and are largely of use to beginners needing to put boilerplate code together to get something that works. In this case however the cookbook seems to be aimed higher. It covers a very wide range of topics but they all seem to be challenging rather than introductory"

The recipes tend to try to do things that the beginner just wouldn't consider, such as using IndexDB to persist data.

Awarding it 4.5 stars, Ian concluded: "This book isn't perfect but it is very useful - recommended"

JavaScript Patterns

Author: Stoyan Stefanov
Publisher: O'Reilly/Yahoo Press, 2010
Pages: 240
ISBN: 978-0596806750

This is another title that was given a 5-star rating, and was summed up by Mike James as

my official number one intermediate to advanced Javascript book - highly recommended.

Having told us the book is

short, easy-to-read and you are likely to learn something from every page

the review continues

this book is about is the best way to use Javascript and, because Javascript is such a flexible language, it informs you about lots of bad ways to avoid as well.

High Performance JavaScript

Author: Nicholas C. Zakas
Publisher: Yahoo Press,2010
Pages: 240
ISBN: 978-0596802790

This slim book is recommended for the intermediate-level JavaScript programmer who wants to learn how to write efficient Javascript.


Ian Elliot said that

"Most of the advice it gives is well known to Javascript experts but it could be better known by every JavaScript programmer. Many of the chapters the introduce and discuss the ideas in depth could really be reduced to a single recommendation or at most a set of bullet point of do and don'ts. The fact that things are explained in so much detail might irritate some users but personally I enjoyed reading about the inner workings of the language."

The book takes an in depth approach to optimisation and will be appreciated by the reader who wants to know about the inner workings of the language.

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

Author: David Flanagan
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2011
Pages: 1100
ISBN: 978-0596805524

This is the sixth edition of The Definitive Guide, and although our review criticised it for being "too big to carry and too big to read"and described the presentation as "very dry", it also concluded that it is pretty close to being a JavaScript Bible and as such it is recommended to the reader who is:

"sophisticated about programming and prepared to put work into decoding the text of the book".


<ASIN: 0470344725>

<ASIN: 1491901888>


<ASIN: 0596806752>


<ASIN: 059680279X>

<ASIN: B0043D2F62>

<ASIN: 0596805527>




Last Updated ( Monday, 18 December 2017 )