I too am starting out in XML too and I am finding "Java & XML" by Oreilly very good. While it is an introductory book in XML, it is NOT an introduction to Java. Once you get to the Java code, it takes off. I have the second edition and the book is a good read for me. I would reccomend you check it out. I think they have the second chapter for free at Amazon. Well worth a look if you are confident with your Java.