Core Java, Volume I: Fundamentals — Cay S. Horstmann & Gary Cornell, Prentice Hall (Oracle) 2012 (9th ed. for Java SE 7), ISBN 978-0-13-708189-9
Core Java, Volume II: Advanced Features — Cay S. Horstmann & Gary Cornell, Prentice Hall (Oracle) 2013 (9th ed. for Java SE 7), ISBN 978-0-13-708160-8
These books have been superseded by the 10th edition for Java SE 8.
The Well-Grounded Java Developer — Benjamin J. Evans & Martijn Verburg, Manning 2012, ISBN 978-1-617290-06-0
A strange hodge-podge of chapters on wildly different subjects, this book isn’t outright bad as much as mistitled and unfocused. Read Horstmann & Cornell’s Core Java and Joshua Bloch’s Effective Java if you want to become a “well-grounded Java developer.” What Evans & Verburg offer instead is a brief tour of Java 7 innovations, low-level JVM features, alternative JVM languages, and some popular frameworks.
There’s no discernible rhyme or reason to the selection of chapter topics, giving the strong impression that the authors simply pooled whatever articles they had already lying around. Those articles themselves are quite readable and informative, but due to the random spread of topics only a few may be useful to any particular reader. You’ll want to get this book at a discount, if at all.
(See Developer Books for my complete review archive.)