I am not sure what you mean by using Vs referencing the API. Two good books are Ivor Horton's Beginning Java 2, and Thinking in Java by Bruce Eckel. ------------------ Bosun SCJP for the Java� 2 Platform
Bosun (SCJP, SCWCD)
So much trouble in the world -- Bob Marley
Actually I think that that is a valid point. Sun assumes that from their lovely documentation it will be obvious to all out here how to go about trying to code using their classes. Not always the case, especially if you are just starting out. You can get The Java Class Libraries, Volume 1 and Volume 2 which have all the classes in the 1.1 release complete with examples etc. But they are OLD and expensive. Also - once you get the hang of using existing APIs the doco really does make sense. Therefore you might be just as well off buying a newer book that covers some of the more recent API but not the older stuff. For instance you might get Java Collections by John Zukowski. The topic material is excellant and upto date. Once you get a handle on Collections (everyone SHOULD) you will be better at figuring out how to use what they publish by yourself.
"JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
Joined: Sep 29, 2000
PS you can check out other books in the BunkHouse and find other stuff too.