SaltyCrane Blog — Notes on JavaScript and web development

Recommended books

I love having a subscription to Safari Books Online. Currently my company provides a free subscription, but if I get a new job, I might consider subscribing myself. Since I get to browse a number of books at no cost, I thought I'd note which books are my favorites. (Note, I am not being paid by Safari Books Online.)

General Software

  • Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Second Edition, Harold Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman, MIT Press, ?year?
    I learned about this book through a job posting. It might bring you to tears if you get it. I'm only in the second chapter. It is used in an introductory Computer Science course at MIT. It uses Scheme (Lisp) to demonstrate concepts.
    Available free online at:
    A free video lecture series is also available.


  • The C Programming Language, Second Edition, Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie, Prentice Hall, 1988
    The definitive C book.


  • Core Python Programming, Second Edition, Wesley J. Chun, Prentice Hall, September 18, 2006
    Usually I like O'Reilly books best, but I slightly prefer Chun's text to Learning Python.
    Available at Safari Books Online
  • The Django Book, Apress, December 2007
    I think this is the first official Django book.


  • The Definitive Guide to SQLite, Mike Owens, Apress, May 2006
    I browsed a few SQL books but liked this one better than most. It has a good theory section.
    Available at

Linux or related

  • X Power Tools, Chris Tyler, O'Reilly, December 15, 2007
    Lots of good information on the X Window System and more; easy to understand. I wish the basic Ubuntu or Linux books had some of this information.
    Available at Safari Books Online
  • SSH, The Secure Shell: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition, Daniel J. Barrett; Richard E. Silverman; Robert G. Byrnes, O'Reilly, May 10, 2005
    Available at Safari Books Online



  • Javascript: The Good Parts, Douglas Crockford, O'Reilly, May 2008
    This is the first Javascript book I read as I switched to Javascript and Frontend development. I was debating whether to read it since it was so old but I found it to be good and recommend it.
  • You Don't Know JS: ES6 & Beyond, Kyle Simpson, O'Reilly, December 2015
    This is the primary way I learned ES6. It is very detail oriented.
    Available free online on github
  • JavaScript Allongé, the "Six" Edition, Reg "raganwald" Braithwaite, Leanpub, 2016
    This was the third Javascript book I read and it was the most fun. It teaches functional programming concepts such as closures, shadowing, higher order functions, combinators, decorators, etc using ES6.
    Available free online at:

Non technical

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
  • Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

See also


#1 patx commented on :

Not an expert at all here, but another good book for Django (other then the one listed, because it is also very good) is called Web Development With Django. For more information you can go to

Good, useful post as always :)

#2 Eliot commented on :

hey patx, thanks for the input! withdjango looks like a good resource.