Bear Bibeault wrote:Speaking of errata: Java, not JAVA. It's not an acronym.
I know it sounds crazy, but that's how they stay so secret; the only people that know about it are members themselves and people with no credibility.
On topic: My beginner book recommendations based on where you're at::
Trying to get and stay motivated about programming: Headfirst series (Java, design patterns
Need a dry book just for reference when you get stuck: whatever is available at the library
Want to learn new features of Java 7 that relate to beginner programmers: Java 7 a beginner's guide
Need a good book on enterprise development with an emphasis on database programming: you might not be a beginner, you probably just need a book on self esteem or confidence.
Note that there is no golden ticket when it comes to learning Java or anything else for that matter. In fact, reading is probably the only subject in which a book is the only thing you'll need to learn it.
Another tip when shopping for a book is to look at the contents to gauge how much material the book covers. Sometimes baby steps are best and there are books that cater to that, whereas some are just mega-stacks of information that want to take you from beginner to guru in a week. Not to say those aren't useful as well. If you want an overview of the language you could buy a mammoth book and skim the introduction of each chapter to get an idea of every aspect of Java. Or you could do that while in the book store and put the book back on the shelf once your head starts to hurt and you realize that there's way too much to grasp all at once.
Finally, one thing to keep in mind is that you're working against nature when you try to learn something new. Your prefrontal cortex is like the RAM in your brain and it actually sends out discomfort signals when it starts reaching capacity. But it is capable of insight which is when you convince it that the new stuff is important enough to send to long term memory while you sleep. Once you've done that you're golden; learning Java won't make your head hurt and your pleasure centers will be activated which will in turn make you more motivated to keep practicing and learning. That's why I suggested the Headfirst book; it gets you past the initial growing pains your brain has so that you can move to the higher levels of learning.