This week's book giveaways are in the Refactoring and Agile forums. We're giving away four copies each of Re-engineering Legacy Software and Docker in Action and have the authors on-line! See this thread and this one for details.
I learnt Java with the help of Core Java series by Horstmann and Cornell. Based on that, I would definitely recommend it.
You can also find lots of online information along with code samples like here http://download.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/ Another learning resource is the Ranch itself! Reading the questions, discussions and answers is extremely helpful. And of course you can post your own questions too
PS. You can also check out the discussions at the Bunkhouse Porch and Book Reviews forums where other ranchers share their opinions and reviews on books.
This topic would be better suited on the beginner forum. Moving.