As the HTML5 specification is hammered into its final form, books on the subject have some utility. Up-to-date information is best derived from technically informed sites such as WHATWG and HTML5 Doctor, but if you want to learn the basics of HTML5 from the beginning, these books are a very good start:
Also published by O’Reilly, HML5 Up And Running has a more technical approach that assumes some familiarity with HTML. What may not be obvious is that the core text of the book is derived from one of the first, and best, HTML5 evangelist sites, Dive Into HTML5; the author of the site, Mark Pilgrim, largely took the original site text and edited it into dead-tree format.
If you have a more visual style of learning, I would strongly recommend HTML & CSS, for which I have a separate review.
When purchasing any HTML5 books it’s important that you take into account the fact that some details will change (for example, none of these recommendations mention the
<main> element, due to publishing lead times). To the best of my knowledge, the canonical “from scratch” HTML5 manual has yet to be written. If you think you’ve found one, please let me know in the comments section below.