Web Design/Useful Books
Please update this page with books that you have also found useful, but only if you have used them yourself (and are not the author!). Please describe why the book was helpful to you and include a link to the book on Amazon so we can read other reviews.
Creating a Web Page with HTML - Elizabeth Castro
Level: Introductory HTML/CSS
This book is by the same author as "HTML for the WWW with XHTML and CSS" - Elizabeth Castro - but differs in that it aims to introduce the tools of the Web (HTML and CSS) without overwhelming the reader with detail.
And it does this really well by stepping you, the learner, through a small web project from beginning to end. This includes everything from creating the HTML, CSS files and images yourself, through to publishing your site on the web.
The straight-forward simplicity of the book is its greatest asset, leading you through all essential tasks related to creating a simple web page the right way. The book does not pretend to be a thorough guide to HTML and CSS, nor does it go into much depth about each step - but this is a strength not a weakness (each chapter does include a section called extra bits at the end). Instead, this is a book that tells you just what you need to know to get going but, importantly, it gets you going in the right direction!
CSS Specific books
Stylin' with CSS by Charles Wyke-Smith - an excellent follow up to Elizabeth Castro's HTML, XHTML & CSS 6th ed. This book really fills in the blanks with clear explanations of the box model & construction of selectors.
The author provides a clear explanation of the difference between the cascade & inheritance so you can track down style rules that are incorrectly affecting your elements. Combine this with an excellent section on specificity & you'll be constructing selectors much more effectively.
The book also shows you how to use universal selectors to level up cross browser behaviors & to eliminate the need to duplicate styling rules.
If you can't figure out why your elements are getting all fujumbled - the author clearly explains absolute & relative positioning & floats so you can relatively position yourself in the design community AND still remain in the flow.
After reading this book you will look at page elements in a different way. You'll see how they relate to one another depending on whether they're inline or block level - how padding & margins cause them to react to each other & how they'll present themselves in different browsers. As a result you'll have a much easier time laying out your designs.
My review is not near as lucid as the explanations in this book...
After learning CSS - I burned my FrontPage 2003 CD!
Server-side Scripting books
Designing Web Usability, Nielson, Jacob - New Riders, ISBN 1-56205-810-X