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Experiment on your own and learn all that you can. After you read enough books, you're going to discover that there are multiple books on particular subjects and they may contradict one another. Try the one you think is best and try both if you have the time or want to compare/contrast.

Dealing with your boss is an entirely different subject and approach. If I wanted someone to do something the exact way it was in a book, I'd tell them. That's just me because I don't associate with mind readers. Your boss makes this a habit, just ask if he recommends any books or references when you get a new project.

Whatever you do, don't stop working on new projects. I know it is easy for all of us to give tips on how to deal with this situation and they may or may not work, but you're the one who has to live with it and suffer the negativity. You're going to get better, but that usually comes from writing more code on new things, learning from the sucesses and failures.