<pre>Author/s : Doug Lowe, Joel Murach, Andrea Steelman Publisher : Murach Category :Beginning Java Review by : David O'Meara Rating : 8 horseshoes</pre> This book is aimed at someone learning to use Java for the very first time starting with version 1.5. There are sections that will be useful to people moving to Java 1.5 from a previous version, but there are probably better books if this is what you need.
Murach's "Beginning Java 2, JDK 5" is set out like a text book, where it is mainly designed to be read cover to cover, possibly skipping a couple of chapters on the way. It starts very slowly, guiding you through your initial steps and spends the first few chapters building a basic knowledge of the Java language. As long as you bother to do the exercises after each chapter you should have a solid foundation to work on.
I was disappointed that (possibly due to the library size) the javadocs weren't included; it's just my preference, but I spent hours flipping pages while learning the language.
However, it is nice that the 'required reading' is extended by devoting a chapter each to topics such as collections, threads and Swing to name a few.
Unfortunately it is not set out like a reference book so it may be harder to find topics when you need to refer to them later, but the book will certainly give you a solid beginning and be a valuable resource in your first year of programming Java. More info at Amazon.com More info at Amazon.co.uk