I've fallen completely in love with The Pragmatic Programmers.
Well, not literally in love with them. But I've really turned into a complete fan of their work in very little time. Obviously, my first foray with their work was the first edition of their awesome Ruby On Rails book, Agile Web Development with Rails, as I mentioned in a previous post. I didn't get much time to read that book, but I did take time a couple of weeks ago and purchased the second edition. And let me tell you, there hasn't been a programming book that I've understood so quickly, nor have I've immersed myself in so deeply.
The laid-back tone Dave Thomas uses in the book makes for easy reading and comprehension. Also, the method the authors choose to help the reader learn, which is explain things while actually building a fully-functional application, is simply great. I have so many programming books at home that I never got around to reading, due to the seemingly forced way they try to shove information about classes, methods and other nuances. This is quite the contrary. I've learn so much about Rails this past week, that I'm just about finishing a personal project I was building for quite a while in PHP. And that's just in a week.
Anyway, the reason why I say I'm in love with these guys is because their books are simply the best. Before picking up the second edition of the Rails book, I picked up the good ol' Pickaxe book (Programming Ruby), it has the same concept of teaching you the Ruby language. I was hesitant to buy this book due to its sheer size. But really, it teaches a lot without overwhelming the reader. It's also helped me along in my Ruby learnings.
After seeing that these two books were great and that I was actually learning a lot in such a short time, I went on ahead and bought another Pragmatic book this weekend: Pragmatic Version Control: Using Subversion. I set up a Subversion server at my job, but only used it simply for having a log with the source code changes. I didn't use it for anything else. After reading this book (I'm almost done after three days!), I now know that Subversion can do so much more. I was totally ignorant to things like branching, tagging and merging, and now that I have this knowledge I'm sure I'll be using it every week.
After these three books, I know I'll be buying many more from them. After I learn a bit more about Rails, I'm definitely going to buy the Rails Recipes book. Also, since I manage the servers at work, I'm thinking of getting the newly released book, Everyday Scripting With Ruby. And if I ever get a Macbook, I'll surely buy their Textmate book.
So really, if you haven't checked The Pragmatic Programmers or their books out, you really should. They're the most easy to read and understand books available on programming topics. I guarantee you that you won't regret shelling out the cash.