Book Review: CSS Mastery

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As a web developer I’ve had to do a certain amount of CSS development over the years but never really felt like I understood it. CSS can be a bit of an esoteric beast and I wanted something to clear the fuzz away.

CSS Mastery was the solution I had been looking for. Andy Budd writes in a clear and engaging manner and the book is extremely readable for a technical text. Andy starts by getting right back to basics covering the Cascade and the Box model in the first two chapters.

The book covers most aspects of CSS with concise and easy to understand examples used through out. Andy also spends a good amount of time on cross browser compatibility issues where appropriate, as well as including a whole chapter of hints and hacks on this topic at the end.

If you are just starting out with CSS, or like me have used it for years but never really understood it at a visceral level then I urge you to give CSS Mastery a try.

Book Review: Iron Man: Extremis

This is the first Iron man comic I’ve read (Extremis is actually a 6 part series grouped into a single volume) but I absolutely loved it. I got inspired to give Iron man a go after seeing the recent movie which I also really enjoyed.

Extremis covers the genesis of the modern Iron Man character, although it is slightly different to the movie version. The comic doesn’t dwell on the back story but drip feeds the reader with a series of flashbacks. This makes it interesting without feeling contrived.

The artwork is simply excellent; the storyline is compelling and well written with the exception of a couple of pieces of weak and slightly mellow dramatic dialogue.

I particularly like the modern references to both technology (Bluetooth, WI-FI, 3G phones) and people (Dean Karmen, Edward Teller and Clive Sinclair). It helps to anchor the story in a contemporary setting and prevents the dated feeling you get from some comics (although that will go against it in years to come!).

All in all I really enjoyed Extremis and am looking forward to reading “Iron Man: Execute Program v. 2” next!