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My five favourite web design and development books

Posted on by Clive Walker in Books

I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.

Recently, @MikeStreety wrote a blog post called My Favourite 5 Books, started a #bookstobuy hashtag on Twitter, and suggested that a few other folks could write blog posts with a similar theme. Here’s my contribution to that.

I found it quite difficult choose only five from my bookshelf so I’ve chosen five books that I found easy to read. My concentration span for reading seems a lot less these days so if I find a book easy to read, that’s quite a compliment! Anyway, without further ado, here are my #bookstobuy book suggestions.

The books

1. Flexible Web Design [New Riders] {CSS, web design, layout} by Zoe Mickley Gillenwater. Long before responsive web design was used as a term that embraced a variety of different methods for making your website responsive on different devices, there were liquid and elastic layouts. In this book, Zoe Mickley Gillenwater clearly explains how to create flexible layouts with CSS. I’d used fluid layouts on a few occasions before and this book really cemented my thoughts on the subject. It’s a great read!

2. Stunning CSS3: A Project Based Guide to the Latest in CSS [New Riders] {CSS, web design}. A second book by Zoe Mickley Gillenwater but it’s another easily readable and incredibly useful book for a front end developer. Each chapter describes a practical example, for example, styling speech bubbles, responsive web design for a case study website, using pseudo-classes etc. I love this type of practical book!

3. Introducing HTML5 [New Riders] {HTML5, web development} by Bruce Lawson and Remy Sharp. This is a great book if you are wondering where to start with HTML5. The authors have an easy knack of explaining each concept very clearly, from new HTML5 elements through to the geolocation API and more, and they seem to have a sense of humor. How else would you explain their ‘promotional’ photos

4. HTML and CSS Web Standards Solutions, A Web Standardistas’ Approach [Friends of Ed] {HTML, CSS} by Christopher Murphy and Niklas Persson. A step-by-step guide to building hand-crafted websites with structured mark-up and CSS. I was really impressed with this book when I read it. It’s aimed more at web standards and web design beginners and students but I like the sequential HTML and CSS approach that the authors take.

Previously: Review of HTML and CSS Web Standards Solutions

5. Microformats Made Simple [New Riders] {microformats, web development} by Emily Lewis. There are several approaches these days for adding semantic data to your HTML and I’m not quite sure where microformats stand in the grand scheme of things. However, this is a book that made a lot more sense to me than my previous reading on the same subject. It’s also a very practical book with nicely explained code examples.

Previously: Review of Microformats Made Simple

Why these books?

I bought these books over the last 2-3 years and I’ve chosen them because I found them easy to read, I learned a lot from each, and they’re very practical. I’ve used examples from all of them in my day job as a front end developer.

On Amazon UK: Stunning CSS3 · Flexible Web Design · Introducing HTML5 · HTML and CSS Web Standards Solutions · Microformats Made Simple

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