If you are learning MySQL, a large reference book may not be what you are looking for. This book, however, may be just the ticket. It's a well organized tutorial that can take you from the basics of relational databases to SQL applications programming, and all of the administration in between.

First, get a good grounding in relational databases, a bit of MySQL history, and the design and features provided by MySQL. Next, learn how to install MySQL (even on non-Unix systems). Then, get a general understanding of SQL and database administration.

Second, tackle the specific MySQL Administration tasks of performance tuning, security, and database design. There is a practical illustration of normalizing your database.

What is your language of choice for programming database applications? There are lots of examples for Perl, Python, PHP, C, and Java. Do you want to extend MySQL? You can add your own functions directly to the database.

Most of the remainder of the book is devoted to a reference of the MySQL language, including examples and API references.

If you could have only one MySQL manual, this might be a good choice. The information is very practical and well presented, and the examples are reasonably easy to follow.