The main advantage though is that code written for the front-end can be duplicated for the back-end and data passed between the two without having to do any form of processing.
Node: Up and Running starts form the beginning (i.e. how to install Node) and then how to master its capabilities and interface it to various services like databases and of could build (web) servers.
Node is also highly extensible and comes with a package manager than can both build packages and get packages locally or from the central Node package system.
The book is laid out as follows: -
Chapter 1 A Very Brief Introduction to Node.js Installing Node.js First Steps in Code Why Node?
Chapter 2 Doing Interesting Things Building a Chat Server Let’s Build Twitter
Chapter 3 Building Robust Node Applications The Event Loop Patterns Writing Code for Production Deep Dive and API Reference
Chapter 4 Core APIs Events HTTP I/O
Chapter 5 Helper APIs DNS Crypto Processes Testing Through assert VM
Chapter 6 Data Access NoSQL and Document Stores Relational Databases Connection Pooling MQ Protocols
Chapter 7 Important External Modules Express Socket.IO
Chapter 8 Extending Node Modules Package Manager Add-ons
Anyone thinking of having a go with Node should definitely have a read of this book, it may save hours of time in looking up stuff on the Internet (though Node does have a very comprehensive documentation site).
A new service Valobox allows users to read books on-line (paying for the whole book or only the bits they need), they support the O'Reilly catalog and here's the link to Node: Up and Running.