Best JavaScript Books that you can’t ignore while learning JS!

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If you are an aspiring web developer, then you have to learn JavaScript. It focuses on frontend work and it is the fastest-growing language powering dozens of free tools and libraries like Node.js. Before you dive into anything complex, you will have to study the basics of JavaScript from JavaScript books for beginners.

The following is the massive collection of JavaScript books to master the language. If you are willing to put in time and practice, then these JavaScript books will help you improve faster with fewer obstacles.

Top JavaScript Books for Beginners and Experienced Developers

The list of best JavaScript books to master the client-side scripting language include:

1. JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

JavaScript - The Definitive Guideby David Flanagan

If you are new to JavaScript and want a reliable introduction, then go with JavaScript: The Definitive Guide. It is a massive book with tons of information, but it’s well-formatted for beginners. The writing style is fairly technical but also detailed enough that you will take away everything about JavaScript Development.

This book is suggested for experienced programmers who are keen to learn the programming language of the web, and for present JavaScript programmers who want to excel in it.

2. Professional JavaScript for Web Developers

Professional JavaScript for Web Developersby Nicholas C. Zakas

It provides an extensive guide into the wild world of JavaScript Development. It starts at the very beginning explaining what a scripting language is and how it works for in an HTML file.

Typically, you will see JavaScript manipulate the page somehow by restyling elements or removing or adding content to the page. This book clarifies the purpose of JavaScript using an example to show it can work in the real world.

Later, in this book, you will learn about AJAX and XML HTTP request method that makes Ajax possible.

3. JavaScript: The Good Parts

JavaScript - The Good Partsby Douglas Crockford

The author Douglas Crockford, is well regarded in the JavaScript community. His writings are considered to be very easy to understand while also being technical enough to get into the real details of the language. Many Developers recommend JavaScript: The Good Parts because it details all the necessary stuff in JavaScript.

It is pretty short with only 175 pages but it teaches you all the fundamentals with a clear tone. You will learn the basic syntax of JavaScript for namespaces, functions, operators, loops, and even the basics of OOP.

But, this book is not just an intro guide. It covers JavaScript, explaining what makes it so great, and why developers should spend their time in learning it. It is a highly recommended book for beginners and experienced coders.

4. You don’t know JavaScript

You Don't Know JavaScript Seriesby Kyle Simpson

This is a series of books diving deep into the core mechanisms of the JavaScript language.

This entire book series is mind-blowing for the details inside the book and for how much you can learn. The updated version of ECMA Script 2016 grants more power to JavaScript developers, and this is the main object of interest in this series.

With this book, explore into the nature of JS objects, and why we need to point to them; understand how developers utilize the mixin pattern to fake classes in JavaScript, evaluate how JS prototype mechanism create links between objects and understand the concept to move from class/inheritance design to behavior delegation.

5. Beginning JavaScript

Beginning JavaScriptby Paul Wilton and Jeremy McPeak

For something a little easier to dive into, check out Beginning JavaScript by Paul Wilton and Jeremy McPeak.

This book is a great guide to JavaScript ecosystems from the perspective of a complete novice. The lessons are easy to follow, regardless of your skillset and they are a practical code snippet. Unfortunately, the Kindle/ digital version is almost unusable because the code snippets have irregular spacing.

Then too, for a complete beginner, this teaching style provides an excellent way into the deep ocean of JavaScript.

6. JavaScript and jQuery

JavaScript & jQueryby Jon Duckett

Jon Duckett’s books are typically recommended for beginners who are not sure how to start. He is an expert front end developer with a keen eye for explaining critical concepts in detail.

His book JavaScript and jQuery looks into the JavaScript language from a practical perspective. The goal of this book is not to help master everything about JavaScript; it is structured around how you can use JavaScript in the real world to create applications that work and provide value to the user.

7. JavaScript and jQuery: The Missing Manual

JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manualby David Sawyer Mc Farland

This book covers the basic concepts of JavaScript and a lot more. Currently, in its third edition, this book is a goldmine of exercises and scripts that make learning JavaScript easier. Each chapter gets straight to the point, and there isn’t much filler or theory involved in the teaching process.

You will find a lot of time punching in the code to understand loops, methods, parameters, variable scope, and other common features of JavaScript. Through practice, you will also pick up some best coding habits and a better introduction to practical web development.

8. Effective JavaScript

Effective JavaScriptby David Herman

This book is written for intermediate to advanced level coders who want to ultimately write better codes. It offers 68 unique ways to tackle certain problems and organize your code to run more efficiently.

You will learn about the OOP technique along with prototyping your applications. Most of these 68 types revolve around common idioms and best practices for writing JavaScript. If you are a complete beginner, you might keep this book nearby as a reference and as further learning materials. But, you should already know the basics of JavaScript before thinking about how to improve your code.

9. The Principle of Object-Oriented JavaScript

The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScriptby Nicholas C. Zakas

This book is a fairly short book with 120 pages with a good writing style. It is a concise and very thorough kind of book covering all the OOP principles like (inheritance, constructors and dev patterns).

This guide acts like the OOP guide using JavaScript as the base language. It provides a solid introduction to OOP development, but it really helps if you are fluent in JavaScript before starting this book.

10. High-Performance JavaScript

High Performance JavaScriptby Nicholas C. Zakas

High-Performance JavaScript by Nicholas C. Zakas is the best JavaScript book among the list of JavaScript books available on the basis of page speed and quality development. You will find tons of techniques on how to eliminate a bottleneck on the code and reduce complex logic.

Zakas works as a front end developer at Yahoo, therefore he spends a lot of time optimizing code to run fast. But, this book also talks about deployment and testing your web apps that are highly performant no matter what phase of development you are in.

Some of the biggest factors include HTTP requests/ Ajax requests along with complicated DOM manipulators that can slow down the browsers underlying engine. This book is a must-own for any serious front-end developer, and it is one of the best-detailed books in the performant JavaScript code.

11. Functional Programming in JavaScript

Functional Programming in JavaScriptby Luis Atencio

This book talks about code extensibility, modularization, and unit testing to determine performance issues. The author Atencio shares ideas on when functional programming works best and which applications benefit most from FP design patterns.

You don’t have to learn functional programming to become a web developer. But, if you want to push yourself into this popular programming paradigm, then Atencio’s book is an excellent means to start.

12. Object-Oriented JavaScript

Object Oriented JavaScriptby Stoyan Stefanov

It is a fairly older book, yet the lessons are extremely relevant. It spans 330+ pages with a few dozen of chapters on best practice for OOP scripting.

You should already be very comfortable with JavaScript on your own before moving onto this book. It does not hold your hand or guide the readers as if they are a complete beginner to the language. Instead, it dives right into OOP best practices and what sort of tools you will need for testing.

13. Maintainable JavaScript: Writing Readable Code

Maintainable JavaScriptby Nicholas C. Zakas

This book teaches you how to build your websites properly so that your JavaScript code is not just readable but also easy to extend and customize over time.

The author Nicholas .C. Zakas has penned a few JavaScript books, and they are phenomenal, especially this one. It teaches you how to think about projects before writing a single line of code and how planning can make a huge difference in any project you start. You are encouraged to think about function/ variable, names and how you add spaces into your code.

14. jQuery in Action

jQuery in Actionby Bear Bibeault

This is one of the best jQuery books for action-oriented developers. Currently, in its 3rd edition, this book span 500+ pages of exercises teaching jQuery syntax and best practices. You will learn how to manipulate the DOM and handle the user input, along with running AJAX requests to your server or through third-party APIs.

It is a great book for complete beginners and experienced developers alike with plenty of tips and tricks to go along.

15. Learning React

Learning Reactby Alex Banks & Eve Porcello

This is the front end library that works on virtual DOM to manipulate elements and shares them through an MVC architecture. It doesn’t assume any prior knowledge of react.js.

The whole library does seem wacky at first. It also comes with a steep learning curve, so it may be a few weeks before you even understand why react.js is so crucial to modern front end development. With the total 350 pages and loads of exercises to work through, you will pick up all the basics of react.js through this book.

16. Building JavaScript Games

Building JavaScript Gamesby Arjan Egges

With fundamental JavaScript knowledge, you get massive knowledge in game development with Building JavaScript Games by Arjan Egges. The book has a lot of information about game programming for mobile devices and browsers.

You will learn all about the many JavaScript libraries for adding audio, game controls, graphics, and payable assets onto the screen. Much of these rely on HTML5 Canvas element, but you can also build a native application using JavaScript libraries too.

Since game development is such a detailed topic, you can’t expect to master it just by reading this book. However, this book is the best starting point for JavaScript game developers who want a serious introduction to this field.

17. JavaScript Enlightenment

JavaScript Enlightenmentby Cody Lindley

Working with vanilla JavaScript urges you to learn the operation of real syntax and what you can perform with this language. JavaScript Enlightenment takes this idea to another level as a guided tour into the insights of this language.

Do you want to know, how to run complex mathematical functions or know the details of different variable scopes? Are you confused about how objects works? Then, this is the only book you will need and is guaranteed to bring your JavaScript knowledge up a couple of notches.

JavaScript can be the most frustrating language to fix because it doesn’t throw errors like a normal compiled language. You will learn how to go beyond typical JavaScript frameworks and how to solve debugging errors on your own.

18. Understanding ECMA Script 6

Understanding ECMA Script 6by Nicholas C. Zakas

Many developers confuse JavaScript with the ECMA Script language. Actually, they both are similar, and JavaScript is based on the ES6/ES2016 ruleset.

This book is perhaps the best guide to get started without getting lost in all madness. All chapters are loaded with example codes that run in any JavaScript environment so you’ll see new features in action.

You don’t need any prior knowledge to read through this book, although it helps if you can write some basic JavaScript codes.

19. Testable JavaScript: Ensuring Reliable Code

Testable JavaScriptby Mark Ethan Trostler

If you are willing to read through this, you will realize code testing can actually be a lot of fun. It all depends on how you test your code and understand why you are running tests.

This book covers a whole bunch of complex topics from linting to multi-file debugging, unit testing and event-based JavaScript architecture. You will learn about load testing and how to use tools like Selenium to cut down the hassle of testing.


20. Secrets of JavaScript Ninja

Secrets of the JavaScript Ninjaby John Resig & Bear Bibeault

It is one of the best-advanced JavaScript books out there just from the level of details and the topics covered.

Those who want to make a career in web development needs a copy of this book. You will find a ton of great tips on topics like asynchronous development and closures. This is the ultimate book for any serious developers.

21. Reginald Braithwaite’s “JavaScript Allongé”:

This book’s functional programming techniques in JavaScript emphasis will enable you to create code that is both expressive and elegant.

22. Kyle Simpson’s “Functional-Light JavaScript”:

In order to help you design code that is clearer and easier to maintain, this book introduces functional programming concepts in JavaScript.

23. Marijn Haverbeke’s “Eloquent JavaScript”

This well regarded book for beginners covers JavaScript from the fundamentals to more complex ideas. To encourage learning, it has coding challenges as well as applicable tasks.

24. Eric Elliott’s “Programming JavaScript Applications”:

Building complex, maintainable JavaScript applications is the major topic of this book. It covers subjects including modular development, design patterns, and functional programming.

25. By David Herman, author of “Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript”:

This book provides 68 detailed guidelines and methods for producing efficient and idiomatic JavaScript codes.


Since there is so much to do with JavaScript, it can feel like an intimidating language. But, never let this stop you from learning. Beginners who have just started have many good options. JavaScript: The Definitive Guide is very much recommendable in the list of JavaScript books because it is very vast and works well as a reference guide too. You might also like the book series – You Don’t Know JavaScript, for its simplicity and practical approach to the subject.

No matter what your skill level is, there are plenty of JavaScript books in this list to bring you from a novice of JavaScript to an expert in everything related to JavaScript.

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