Long version: Less than a month ago, I knew very little about web design, much less any sort of programming. I'd tried to teach myself HTML from a rather dry text perhaps ten years ago, but nothing stuck. But I had a desire to give it another go, and set about finding another HTML book. I settled on HFHTML -- while it took many more pages to explain concepts which other books treated succinctly, the writing was much better in the Head First volume and I guessed I'd retain more from it.
When it arrived, I eagerly began from the beginning, skipping nothing (just as I'd done w/HFHTML). Did the quizzes, the crosswords, but from the beginning, things were a little off. In HFHTML, the authors show you where and how to introduce new code in your example pages, but in HFJS, it wasn't even clear whether you were supposed to be coding along, or merely just reading the book's examples. And while HFHTML proceeded very logically from basic to more advanced concepts, HFJS appeared to be veering all over the place. I persisted for 250 pages, but had to admit to myself that none of it was sinking in.