The reason I recommend this method is because it covers the fundamentals, and there is no need to have a local installation on your laptop. Moreover, the book will help you understand the basic concepts. If you already know the basics, trying Hortonworks sandbox is more suitable.
1- Open an account with Amazon Web Services
Click here to go to the site
2- Register for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Simple Storage Service (S3)
Watch this video for the instructions:
Click here to watch the video
3- You’d need the book: Hadoop the definitive guide. Follow the instructions in “Hadoop in the cloud”