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

Great books beyond the essentials

The books in this category are still highly recommended, but cover particular aspects of JavaScript rather than the language as a whole.

JavaScript:The Good Parts

Author: Douglas Crockford
Publisher: Yahoo Press, 2008
Pages: 176
ISBN: 978-0596517748 

This is an old publication, but still worth a read, according to Ian Elliot, who described the book as "a fresh and insightful account of high-level Javascript".



Although this is a short book it is the "distilled wisdom" of JavaScript expert Douglas Crockford and should be considered a classic:

"This is not a book for the Javascript beginner - it's an eye opener for Javascript programmers who think that the language is obvious or not very sophisticated. Javascript is in fact revealed to be a dynamic language with a unique approach to many conventional things such as objects and functions."

Effective JavaScript

Author: David Herman
Publisher: Addison-Wesley, 2012
Pages: 240
ISBN: 978-0321812186 

JavaScript can be difficult to get right if you don't understand it, according to Ian Elliot, reviewing a book that provides 68 specific examples of how you can get it wrong and how to get it right.

Effective JavaScript attempts to put right the misunderstandings that arise from developers having 'picked up' JavaScript or learned it from sources that treat the language as a substandard version of Java or C.

Giving the book a 5 star rating, Ian concludes

if you simply want to patch up your existing knowledge of JavaScript to avoid making mistakes and to adopt best practices then this book will help. Did I mention it is also a fun read? Highly recommended.


JavaScript with Promises

Author:  Daniel Parker
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2015
Pages: 94
ISBN: 978-1449373214 

Promises are a way of simplifying asynchronous behaviour in JavaScript but, and here is the paradox, many programmers struggle to understand what it is all about. JavaScript with Promises aims to clear up the mess and leave you confident in your use of Promises.  

However, as Ian Elliot concludes, giving the book 4 stars,

"If you want to know how Promises work and how to use them then read this book very carefully, think hard about what it says and them think really hard when you start to use Promises in any sort of creative way. Or you could just wait for async and await which you will understand immediately and write good code without even trying. A good book but not a good technology." Given the fact that async and await are now here, a point worth bearing in mind.


JavaScript Async: Events, Callbacks, Promises and Async Await

Author: Ian Elliot
Publisher: I/O Press
Date: Nov 2017
Pages: 164
ISBN: 978-1871962567

Now that async and await have arrived with JavaScript/ES Ian Elliot has written his own book on Promises and Event handling using these new features. 



As Ian is a member of the I Programmer team impartiality means we don't have a full review, but I can share the comments I made having read it from cover to cover:

This is a really good book but the topic is boggling. You should add the strap line "Ian Elliot has fried his brain so that you don't have to". Or perhaps put it: "If you are confused by Async/Await" Ian Elliot has worked through the complexities and presented a really clear account of how to program JavaScript event handling.

Higly recommended to any programmer really wanting to master the language.

Maintainable JavaScript 

Author: Nicholas C. Zakas
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2012
Pages: 242
ISBN: 978-144932768

It is commonly stated that you can write a big JavaScript program but you can't maintain it. So a book that claims that maintainable JavaScript is possible sounds like a must read. Or is it?

Ian Elliot awarded this book 4 stars, but concluded that the book doesn't tell you how to create maintainable JavaScript. However, he said:

You still need to know the ideas it expresses and you need to take JavaScript development as seriously as it does.

His advice is that if you don't know about good style and good programming practices that mostly apply to other languages then you should read the book because you need to know this.

Modern JavaScript: Develop and Design

Author: Larry Ullman
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Pages: 624
ISBN: 978-0321812520

This book is an in-depth look at JavaScript, though it doesn't take a particularly modern approach to JavaScript. Ian Elliot said that while it doesn't duck the issue of modern ideas like object-oriented programming, neither does it make it the central idea.

He said:

"It is, in fact a fairly traditional approach to JavaScript as a procedural language. It is, however, modern in the sense that it is up-to-date with the current situation. It is fairly strong and realistic on the irregularities you will encounter in the implementation of JavaScript in the real world."

The review concluded that if you are a JavaScript expert then move on by as there is nothing much for you here, but if you already know a little JavaScript this book will help you know it better and know more.

Third Party JavaScript 

Author: Ben Vinegar & Anton Kovalyov
Publisher: Manning., 2013
Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-1617290541

By third party JavaScript, the authors of this book mean the creation of JavaScript widgets that can be inserted into other websites. Used in this sense, third party JavaScript is everywhere from advertising scripts to voting buttons. This book attempts to formalize this otherwise ad-hoc approach to delivering services to websites and it is a very interesting read, according to our reviewer Ian Elliot, who awarded the book 4.5 stars


He concluded:

"Many of the topics covered are relevant to the creation of web apps and general JavaScript based pages, so you might well get something out of it even if your main concerns turn out to be something other than third-party JavaScript. A good book - go and read it."















Last Updated ( Monday, 18 December 2017 )