I recently finished reading Microsoft Visual Basic 2010 Developer’s Handbook, by Sarika Calla Purohit and Klaus Loffelmann and published by Microsoft Press. I found it to be a good reference for anyone who is unfamiliar with the .NET framework.
The book is written for beginners, and the authors say that you should have a basic understanding of computer programming before reading it. But the book covers enough of the basics that you could probably learn enough to get by.
Developer’s Handbook is broken into 6 sections. You can easily jump between sections, depending on what you already know. The first section goes over some basics; data types, conditional branching, variables, Windows forms, even a brief taste of WPF. It goes into the .NET framework and how to use Visual Studio 2010. There’s some good info here if you’re not familiar with the VS2010 IDE yet.
After getting familiar with the VS2010 environment you’ll move on to Object Oriented Programming. I found this section to be especially helpful in my case as I haven’t worked with OOP much yet. I thought I understood polymorphism, but only in theory. Chapter 10 described inheritance and polymorphism in a way that I now understand it better.
The rest of the book is similar. Advanced topics, like LINQ and WPF are covered but not in great detail. However there is enough information to give you more than a basic understanding and to move forward on your own.
I feel the authors did a good job with this book. Their explanations are clear and easy to grasp. Most of the examples were easy to follow. I did have an issue with some of the code snippets but none that I couldn’t fix on my own. Indeed, I probably learned more that way.
All in all, this is book is a good starting point for new Visual Basic .NET developers. Programmers with more experience would be better off with a different book, of which there are plenty.