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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: C# and the .NET Platform, Second Edition
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Andrew Troelsen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Cornerstone to C#

I purchased several other C# books from SAMS, Wrox, O'Reilly and Apress, and this is by far the best book I have bought. I just picked it up at TechEd where it was released, and have yet to put the book down. Andrew and Apress have done an outstanding job with this book. If your looking for a C#/.NET book, you only need one, C# and the .NET Platform by Andrew Troelsen and Apress. This looks to be the first in a a series by Intertech-Inc, and looking forward to other books by Andrew and his team.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Bruce never ceases to amaze me

I'm rather surprised at some of the reviews. One says that it's for experienced and another for non-experienced programmers. I'd say that this book could be used for both. In fact, Bruce never claims that this book is for beginner programmers. A pre-requisite is that you should have some programming experience. True, not necessarily Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), but some experience. The book even includes a CD on programming in C. I believe the intro to objects chapters were great. Since, I had a solid background in OOP already, I asked a number of non-OOP to read it. Most understood the concepts. Also, I don't know many peoople who understood OO concepts just from a book. When some colleagues (new to OOP) had trouble with these chapters, we reviewed a few topics and then the chapters made sense. In addition, the book reiterates those intro topics throughout the book in order to drive the OO concepts home.
All that aside, Bruce seems to make the most difficult subjects so clear that I slap myself on the head and go "Why didn't I see that in the first place?". This book provides the best breadth of the Java language. I believe the book explains all concepts of a Java topic in great detail. I also like how he contrasts Java to C and C++ for those that have that background. If you're new to a topic in Java, I'd suggest starting with this book. You'll understand the concepts and be able to go elsewhere (other books, Java docs, etc.) for more detail. To me that's the key -- understand the concepts. If you understand the concepts from a language's perspective, you'll be able to easily delve into the details and because of that, be more productive. And that's what this book is all about -- Thinking in Java.
One more comment. I would highly advise getting this book and his CD. It's just like being at one of his seminars, except not being able to ask questions. Plus, the CD is a bargain.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Painter IX Creativity: Digital Artists Handbook
Publisher: Focal Press
Authors: Jeremy Sutton
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Painter IX Creativity

Jeremy Sutton's Painter IX Creativity is a course on secrets of the great masters of digital art. I have been working with Painter for years and yet the descriptions of working with the brush creator and backing up brush libraries was so well documented and explained that I felt I had peeled back another layer of comprehension hitherto hidden from me. This book is the result of years of on-line courses, master seminars, and research for previous books as well as many years of extraordinary digital art making and Jeremy Sutton has put it all together in an elegant and insightful manner. He illuminates the technical complexities of Painter and is incredibly generous in sharing his process with his readers. It is a delight to use.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ken Henderson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The only SQL book that doesn't read like a reference!

Here are some reasons to buy this book if you wish to become proficient in SQL:
1) This book does not read like a reference. It is the only SQL book that I have found that does not.
2) This book is full of practical examples, all of which start by creating new tables with SQL statements (i.e. they are self-contained).
3) This book contains a lot of context in each chapter.