Ryan Bishop wrote:What books, articles, or websites do you recommend for a deep understanding of java and coding in general?
This one. It's not for complete beginners so, depending on where you are, you might not be quite ready for it yet; but it is, bar none, the best "why to" - as opposed to "how to" - book I've ever read about any language.
For a deeper understanding of code in general, you might also look at books on Object-Orientation and Design Patterns, however I hesitate to recommend the ones I read (this one and this one), since they are quite old now and may well have been superceded by better/more targeted books.
And, as Sergey says, nothing succeeds like trying and failing, so write lots of Java.
"Leadership is nature's way of removing morons from the productive flow" - Dogbert
Articles by Winston can be found here