My Favourite 5 Books - A smashing story

Recently I've been going through a fad of buying web related books. I love the feel of books, I love reading books. I love sitting on the train reading about web design and development. With a book you're forced to read, rather than skim. With a book you can slide in a bit of paper and bookmark your favourite snippet of code. With a book you can have them sitting pretty on a book shelf. With a book you can pass it to your neighbour, or have it sitting on your desk, giving you something to flick through when you want to rest your eyes from the screen.

With books come magazines. The .net magazine is my bible. I will sit and read it from cover to cover, soaking in the news, the stories, the interviews and the hints and tips. I just love being able to open a page and turn it to my developer. My .net mag gets whored around like a lady of the night in my office and thats because its easy to read and easy to digest. Its not like sitting in front of a computer reading a long article. Web articles never look pretty. Books and magazines look stunning.

The irony is not lost on me that I am writing a blog post about how good books are. I have not lost the fact that I am writing a long piece of ugly text for you to sit and read. The fact i'm merely typing is because I cannot afford to publish my blog posts.

Anyway, I digress. The purpose of my boast was not to ramble on about the greatness of books, but to recommend a few. I would like to start some sort of #bookstobuy club. The idea being that you list your favourite 5 books, or recent web related book or magazine purchases and you explain in a few words why its a good book. Write a blog about it and put the link in the comments. Hopefully this will be good to the world. So onto my list:

Just a note - you'll find the title of the book and a link, followed by the [publisher] and the {topics} of the book. All I ask is that you follow suit.

  1. .net magazine {HTML, CSS, PHP, General Knowledge} - It goes without saying that this magazine has taught me an astonishing amount of things. The greatness it brings to life is good.
  2. jQuery - Novice to Ninja [Sitepoint] {Javascript, jQuery} - this book, on its own, got me into jQuery. Made me realise the most complex of animations and effects are just a .animate() away.
  3. The CSS Anthology [Sitepoint] {CSS} - A brilliant book that gives you the low down on all the CSS selectors and what they do and cover. An amazing reference book
  4. HTML5 and CSS3 for the real world [Sitepoint] {HTML5, CSS3, Semantics} - (seeing a trend here?) This book educated me into the wonders of HTML5. It is what I have built this site and written this blog post. The things I learnt from the book have put me in good stead for the next few years.
  5. The Smashing Magazine Books [Smashing Magazine] {Everything} - (I know strictly this is numbers 5 & 6, but they were a bundle!) I bought the bundle (books one and two) and they are absolutely fantastic. Brilliant. They cover tons of topics and give you a good overview of so many topics. I have, in fact, just ordered the third book despite not even being halfway through the first. They are just teasers of topics, which allows you to gauge what that subject is and what you're interests are.

They are my favourite 5 books - what are yours?