Book Review - The Java Programming Language, Fourth Edition
If you're looking for a more academic approach to learning Java, as well as one written by *the* authorities in the Java world, you'll be interested in this title... The Java Programming Language, Fourth Edition by Ken Arnold, James Gosling, and David Holmes.
Contents: A Quick Tour; Classes and Objects; Extending Classes; Interfaces; Nested Classes and Interfaces; Enumeration Types; Tokens, Values, and Variables; Primitives as Types; Operations and Expressions; Control Flow; Generic Types; Exceptions and Assertions; Strings and Regular Expressions; Threads; Annotations; Reflection; Garbage Collection and Memory; Packages; Documentation Comments; The I/O Package; Collections; Miscellaneous Utilities; System Programming; Internationalization and Localization; Standard Packages; Application Evolution; Useful Tables; Further Reading; Index
From a content standpoint, this book is very comprehensive. If it's something you need to know to learn Java, you'll find it covered. Given that the authors were deeply involved in building Java, that's not surprising. There's not an overabundance of coding samples, but the discussion of features and concepts is extensive. I got the feeling I was reading a college level textbook on the Java language instead of a more mainstream version that would talk to people of lesser skills. I don't necessarily consider that a bad thing, as there are some people who don't like their material doled out in a "Head First" fashion. If that describes you, then this might be a better choice. I also consider this to be an excellent choice for someone who wants both a tutorial and a reference book rolled into a single volume. In fact, this almost tends more towards the reference side than the tutorial side.
Good coverage of material and subject matter. It may not be the most entertaining read, but you'll be well equipped to go forth into the world of Java development when you finish.