Best HTML5 Books: My Top 5 Choices

March 7th, 2011 Leave a comment
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HTML5 BooksIntroducing HTML5The Essential Guide to HTML5HTML5 and CSS3: Develop with Tomorrow's Standards TodayPro HTML 5 Programming: Powerful APIs for Richer Internet Application DevelopmentHTML5 24-Hour TrainerDefault

HTML5 is, in many ways, a sort of a “Wild West” in the HTML realm; no one is quite sure how to use it, its standards haven’t been truly finalized, and everyone is rushing to cash in on its freshness. Part of that cashing in craze means that the market has been glutted with all sorts of HTML5 books; some good, some great, others not worth the paper they were printed on. In this article, we’ll sort through the muck and pick out the top 5 HTML5 books to add to your library!

Introducing HTML5

Introducing HTML5 Book By Bruce Lawson & Remy Sharp

Introducing HTML5 is a great book for anyone who’s delving in to HTML5. This book is jam-packed with practical examples and theory, covering a wide range of the new elements incorporated into HTML5: Lawson and Sharp go into detail about such things as video, geolocation, canvas, and many, many more. Each section is quite densely packed, making sure that you’ve got both the theoretical application and the practical examples well under your belt; many of the examples are specifically related to migration issues to HTML5, which is a huge help to any web designer looking into the subject.

With such a dense book, one might expect it to be dry and boring; it isn’t, however, which is a credit to its authors. They keep the material light throughout the book, making sure to throw in a joke here and there and occasionally lightening the mood so as not to lose their readers. All in all, Lawson and Sharp’s book is a must-read for any current web designers looking to get into HTML5 and understand how to incorporate it into their websites! We’ve recently posted a more in-depth review of this book, which you can find here.

Publisher: Introducing HTML5
Amazon: Introducing HTML5

The Essential Guide to HTML5: Using Games to learn HTML5 and JavaScript

The Essential Guide to HTML5 Book By Jeanine Meyer

This book is a little off the beaten path, as far as instructional manuals go; it’s not a strict reference, no-nonsense manual like most of the other HTML 5 books out there. Instead, in what is arguably the most fun HTML 5 book on this list, Jeanine Meyer sets out to you the brave new world of HTML5 using everybody’s favorite internet past-time: browser games! Through the context of these games, Meyer introduces the reader to new technologies present in HTML5, like canvas, video, handling mouse events, local storage, and much more, using the idea of games as a practical yet fun way to implement these concepts.

This book’s biggest draw is that it’s not just for the experienced programmer. Novices and beginners are also welcome, though the book’s not going to hand-hold an absolute beginner; it is just accommodating enough to benefit all sorts of experiences. While this means that seasoned HTML4 veterans might be a little bored, they can skip ahead easily enough while the beginners grasp the more fundamental concepts!

All in all, Meyer’s book is a great, fun way to introduce people to the world of HTML5. It comes recommended for a spot on your tech shelf!

Publisher: The Essential Guide to HTML5: Using Games to learn HTML5 and JavaScript
Amazon: The Essential Guide to HTML5: Using Games to learn HTML5 and JavaScript

HTML5 and CSS3: Develop With Tomorrow’s Standards Today

HTML5 and CSS3 Book By Brian P. Hogan

This book is a wonderful marriage of HTML5 and CSS3; while the other books on this list are geared mostly towards HTML5, this one actually has CSS3 included to give the reader a practical idea as to how to build a functional, user-friendly site using these new technologies. While the other books on this list are methodical and strive to teach you HTML5, Hogan’s main goal is to help you develop and build a functional, usable website that adheres to modern standards and design aesthetics.

Hogan’s book is not as in-depth as the others as far as straight-up HTML5 goes, but that’s to be expected; his book is more about the marriage of the two technologies instead of going into HTML5 completely. He also is very compatibility-minded, showing you tricks and techniques to keep your website compatible with older browsers that may not have support for HTML5 and CSS3. This book is a fantastic resource for practical HTML5 and absolutely deserves a place on your bookshelf!

Publisher: HTML5 and CSS3: Develop with Tomorrow’s Standards Today
Amazon: HTML5 and CSS3: Develop with Tomorrow’s Standards Today

Pro HTML 5 Programming: Powerful APIs for Richer Internet Application Development

Pro HTML 5 Programming BookBy Petter Lubbers, Brian Albers, and Frank Salim

This book is most certainly not for beginners; the authors clearly intend their audience to be web developers / designers with a clear, firm knowledge of prior web technologies. They delve into the evolution of the new standard, how it can be implemented, and they cover all the new HTML5 APIs to introduce the web developer into a modern standard.

Make no mistake: this book is not for the faint-of-heart. The authors pack lots of information into the book, and it can be dry at times, but it’s informative, perfect as an HTML5 reference manual, and definitely deserving of a spot on your bookshelf! The great thing is is you really are the intended audience for this book, you’ll find that it cuts to the chase pretty darn quickly. You’ll start learning new concepts right from the get-go.

Publisher: Pro HTML 5 Programming: Powerful APIs for Richer Internet Application Development
Amazon: Pro HTML 5 Programming: Powerful APIs for Richer Internet Application Development

HTML5 24-Hour Trainer

HTML5 24-Hour Trainer Book By Joseph W. Lowery & Mark Fletcher

This book, part of the Wrox programmer-to-programmer series, is definitely aimed at a less experienced crowd than the other books in the list; though it’s made to be programmer-to-programmer, much of the book seems like it’s geared to someone unfamiliar with the HTML authoring process; it has step-by-steps and detailed guides as to how to link CSS style sheets, add meta tags, and other very basic HTML steps that an experienced web developer would know.

That said, this book is on this list because of that very same ease-of-introduction. The book is fantastically easy to follow, and it’s very hard to get lost through the different examples. The book’s title promises a 24-hour trainer, and it’s not kidding; beginner or experienced, this book can get you up to speed in the use of HTML5 very, very quickly, and for that it deserves a space on your shelf!

Publisher: HTML5 24-Hour Trainer
Amazon: HTML5 24-Hour Trainer


HTML5, as a new technology, suffers the bandwagon approach; many books are put out about it, and unfortunately the quality suffers occasionally from the publisher’s desire to have a cutting-edge technical book on the market. This loss of quality is not always the case, however, and hopefully these books will help you get up to speed on HTML5 and its use in your own web ventures!

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