This is a title that brings to the world of introductory programming books what Ruby brings to Object Oriented Programming (OOP): A huge breath of fresh air. It is simple, clear, well-explained, well thought out and should be the first book you read when learning Ruby. Especially recommended to the novice programmer, or those wishing to acquire a good grasp of OOP. A perfect blend of tutorial and explanation gently introduces both concepts and code at a pace that is easily manageable and dare I say, fun.Agile Web Development with Rails (Pragmatic Programmers)
won awards for being an influential programming text, but this was probably as much linked with the ability and success of Rails as a development framework than as a text in its own right. The Pickaxe (Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide, Second Edition: The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide
) is good as a reference but not for getting your feet wet. For those who want a solid introduction to Ruby for it's own sake, or want to build a solid foundation for Rails, this is the book to buy.