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The Single Best Book for the Beginner
on 21 November 1998
As a full-time computer trainer, I have reviewed nearly every book out there on the basics of HTML. Far and away, this book is the single volume you should purchase when you are starting out.
This book has a lot going for it. First of all, you can't beat the price. How many times have you spent $40, $50 or more for a less-than-ideal computer book? This one is really a bargain! When you buy it you'll want to get started right away. Be sure to check out the portion of the Introduction called "How to Use This Book." Based upon what you want to do, this section outlines which lessons to focus on and how to proceed.
The writing lives up to Mr. Oliver's promise of a "good-humored, plain-English, beginner-friendly style." The format of 24 one-hour lessons is easy to live with and increases retention of each topic. I especially liked that fact that Mr. Oliver doesn't teach you HTML in a vacuum. He includes great introductions to graphics, the art of web design, and interactive web pages, and web site maintenance and management.
This book is rich with examples, and each lesson includes a summary (very useful for reference later on), Q&A, a quiz, and activities. The quiz and activities are aimed at adults, so you won't feel like you just bought a college textbook. Give them a try. You'll quickly see how much you've learned from the quiz and the activities will build both your skills and confidence.
My students ask for book recommendations from me every day. Many times I have to tell them that the book they heard was so great is only good if you need a doorstop. That's not the case with Dick Oliver's book; I highly recommend this one to all my students.