This book is a great introduction to microcontrollers. I particularly like it as there is a good accompanying website, and now a free online course on edx.org called "Embedded Systems - Shape the World" that follows the book closely.
If you are used to using the arduino then that board is great at getting started because it allows a lot to be done relatively easily as a lot of details are hidden. This book goes into a lot more of the details. This is good if you are generally interested in understanding these details or you want to have more control over programming a chip, and you want to be able to do it more efficiently.
It is very practically focussed which I like as I find that it helps me to understand the material better. All the material uses the Texas Instruments TM4C123 series which uses an M4 Arm processor. I guess as part of the practical focus it helps to focus on one chip as more practical details can be covered more effectively. You can buy an evaluation board containing the chip directly from TI and it is also good value.
While the book doesn't cover other chips such as the Atmel series which is what is used in the Arduino I believe that a lot of the ideas transfer over, particularly as you can use the C programming language in both. Obviously details about how to directly address registers etc will be different.
When you put the whole package together: book, free course and website this is a great way to learn about microcontrollers and great value. The course is running from early Feb 2014 to mid May. I am not sure about it's availability beyond this time frame.
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