Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML
I first noticed the covers of the “Head First” book series from O’Reilly a while ago, and I thought they looked unprofessional and simplistic, so I never really looked into them. Interestingly, I try to be careful about not being biased by nice book covers, but I think I’m more susceptible to dismissing books with “bad” covers.
I researched HTML books recently to help my aesthetically gifted wife get started designing web pages and the Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML title got great reviews on Amazon, so she picked up a copy.
I thought I’d flip through the book, and I ended up reading the entire thing 🙂 I really wish this book was available years ago when I started coding HTML; it’s an incredibly well written tutorial. It has a very unique style which the authors spend quite a few pages explaining:
Based on the latest research in cognitive science, neurobiology, and educational psychology, learning takes a lot more than text on a page. We know what turns your brain on.
After reading the book, I tend to agree with their approach. It was a very fun and informative read. Most of the book was review for me since I’ve spent years learning this stuff the hard way, but there were a handful of excellent points I learned from the book, and I understand a lot of the foundational aspects of XHTML & CSS much better than I did before. Expecting a newbie to get through a typical HTML reference book is unrealistic IMO.
For anyone wanting to learn the basics of (X)HTML & CSS, or would like a good review, I highly recommend this book. I don’t know if the other books in the “Head First” series are as good, but I’ll certainly consider them in the future based on my experience with this one.
UPDATE: I have found one thing to criticize about the book. The index leaves a lot to be desired. This is a particularly grievous deficiency with this book since it is organized as a tutorial as opposed to a reference book.