Book Review : "CSS Secrets" by Lea Verou

Book Review : "CSS Secrets" by Lea Verou

(tldr; If you are a Front End Web Developer, BUY THE BOOK 😀 )

Last year, Lea Verou, acclaimed front-end developer, released one of the most anticipated books, "CSS Secrets". It received so much love from Web Development/Design community that it quickly went "out of stock" in most of the stores.

Thankfully, Amazon US did have the book in the stock and I placed my order with International Shipping.

Lea is a CSS magician & a Font-end Wizard. She has amazed the world with possibilities of HTML5, CSS, and SVG through her "CSS Secrets Talks". She is also an invited Expert in CSS Working Group.

With this book, she pushes the boundaries of what could be possible with simple CSS properties.

The Book starts with how the CSS standards are developed. Then, Lea goes on to reveal 47 CSS secrets spread across various chapters. Although some chapters do require a prerequisite (sometimes another chapter from the same book),the chapters can be read in a non-linear way.

Lea Verou CSS Secrets

The book focusses on the possibilities of achieving a CSS problem with various innovative ways. For instance, she presents 6 ways of vertically centering an element. It also explains the process of finding a solution and draws light on the most suitable solution.

What really sets this book apart from the other books is the "casual conversational" tone she maintains throughout the book. Not only language, but the content motivates the reader to read more without getting bored.

CSS Secrets Review

Sometimes, it's practically impossible to include a design element without the use of empty div or span elements. Lea cleverly accomplishes eliminating some of these scenarios using CSS properties like background-gradients, pseudo-class,etc. The most unconventional solution described in the book involves the use of Pythagoras theorem to calculate a value.

This is a book that eats its own dog food. The book itself is written using HTML, CSS, and SCSS. More information on this technology can be found at O'riley.

The target audience for the book is intermediate to advanced level CSS developers. A basic level understanding of core CSS concepts & HTML is required before reading this book.

Needless to say, the book is well laid out. Each page has a dedicated content area for images and/or notes. I found this section useful to make my own notes.

CSS Secrets Cover

For a book this amazing, which needs to be preserved, I found the paper quality a little substandard.

SPIDer Rating 10/10