Speak, O Guru: What books should I study? Are the O'Reilly "Nutshell" guides a good place to start?
O, Nobly Born: know that the Nutshell Guides are but the outermost Portal of the True Enlightenment. Worthy are they (and praise to the Name of O'Reilly, whose books show forth the Hacker Spirit in numerous pleasing ways), but the Nutshell Guides are only the Beginning of the Road.
If thou desirest with True Desire to tread the Path of Wizardly Wisdom, first learn the elementary Postures of Kernighan & Pike's The Unix Programming Environment
; then, absorb the mantic puissance of March Rochkind's Advanced Unix Programming
and W. Richard Stevens's Advanced Programming In The Unix Environment
Immerse thyself, then, in the Pure Light of Maurice J. Bach's The Design Of The Unix Operating System
. Neglect not the Berkelian Way; study also The Design and Implementation Of The 4.4BSD Operating System
by Kirk McKusick, Keith Bostic et. al.
For useful hints, tips, and tricks, see Unix Power Tools
, Tim O'Reilly, ed. Consider also the dark Wisdom to be gained from contemplation of the dread Portable C And Unix Systems Programming
, e'en though it hath flowed from the keyboard of the mad and doomed Malvernite whom the world of unknowing Man misnames "J. E. Lapin".
These tomes shall instruct thy Left Brain in the Nature of the Unix System; to Feed the other half of thy Head, O Nobly Born, embrace also the Lore of its Nurture. Don Libes's and Sandy Ressler's Life With Unix will set thy Feet unerringly upon that Path; take as thy Travelling Companion the erratic but illuminating compendium called The New Hacker's Dictionary
(Eric S. Raymond, ed., with Guy L. Steele Jr.).
(In this wise shalt thou travel the Way of the Camel.)