When I start to learn a new language, I look for a manual with short, accurate examples and how NOT to do things (and the reason why not) along with the optimal way. Both save me time. Javascript: The Definitive Guide has both of the above. I'm learning Javascript now, and would recommend this book to others. I can't say I'm thrilled with Javascript as a language (lack of elseif, weakly typed variables), but this book gave me the insight I needed to come to this conclusion. If I decide to use Javascript, odds are Javascript: The Definitive Guide will be on my bookshelf.

Bits I was especially happy with:

Something I would like to see in the next edition would be a full working example of a small website using various parts of Javascript. I appreciate being able to see how everything fits together in a larger framework.

I give Javascript: The Definitive Guide a solid 7.5 out of 10.