I recived a pm today from a fellow phpfreaker regarding php books, i replied with the following, it may be of help to php peeps that are looking for a good book but are unsure of what to buy...
no problem, heres my current list of books:
1. Sams teach yourself php in 24 hours (excellent book with some fundamental things we need to know, taught me a lot and i still occasionally look at it now).
2. peachpit press, 'php and mysql' quickstart guide (not as good as the others, they use old syntax etc)
3. sams php and mysql web development (this IS what i classed as my bible, its on its third edition now, id strongly recommend this book, absolutely great, taught me an awful lot of what i know today)
4. developers library advanced php programming (this book is quite hardcore, not too many php examples etc but has a wealth of information avout design patterns etc, 'a practical guide to developing large scale php applications' - damn good read!)
5. sybex (php freaks' eric rosebrocks book) 'creating interactive websites with php and web services' (i brought this solely because it was erics first book, to be honest its not the best book i have, but has some great chapters, plus a lot of it is familiar beacuse i have been a phpfreak for a few years now..)no disrespect to Eric what-so-ever!
6. oreilly php pocket reference - nice little 'pocket sized' (!) book outlining all f the php functions etc - nothiing that cant be found on the net but for £7 its a must have, i keep it in my laptop bag (along with apache pocket ref and mysql pocket ref - good books)
I would recommend sams or oreilly, you can guarantee a quality book from them. 99% of the books i have are by these guys and 95% of them are excellent books. stay away from the 'visual quickstart guides' (peachpit press) - it seems they write books a few years behind everyone else!
hope thats enough info for you mate,
Stuart / theverychap.