Speaking of Patterns, I picked up a book called Head First Design Patterns at Borders. It’s written to be very informal, and has something of a conversational cheeky tone compared to most programming books; it’s part of their educational philosophy. Sort of like a Mr Bunny book that is actually teaching programming technique. Instead of being a turn-off, I ended up learning something about better Object Oriented Programming design in the first few pages, so I grabbed it. I’d heard about these Pattern thingies, but didn’t think much of them at the time. But they’re useful approaches that work. Like many newbie-ish OOP coders, I’ve implemented / rediscovered many of these principles in isolation; programming patterns have codified the behavior to some degree so you don’t make the kind of conceptual missteps I’ve made in even a relatively simple game. Good stuff.
Hardcore macho programmers probably won’t like this book much, but if you’re looking for a lighter introduction to just the concepts, it’s not bad. The downside is the book is $44.00, which I think is a little pricey for a CD-less book even if it is 600+ pages.