CiviCRM like many open source tools is a blank canvas and a set of paints that different implementers will take in many different ways based on their myriad uses and requirements.
This is why the cookbook concept always works so well, most implementers, developers and users will carry around their own sets of recipes, tips and tricks to accomplish particular results that may or may not be anything like someone else's.
Tony Horrocks has done a great job bringing together many of these into one easy to read volume, sitting alongside the official manual as more of a "how to" rather than a "what is". Some of the recipes I am familiar with, others I am not, which is always a great outcome that has you reaching for the "to try" list. Some I think I may even be responsible for, but hey, it is a community!
There are times when you wish a recipe would go just that little bit further, it leaves you asking "yes and...", but there are generally plenty of links to further resources.
Whilst they are my platforms of choice, I feel that the almost overly exclusive focus on a Mac and Drupal may alienate a few people and there are a couple of places where I wonder if the advice really is the easiest or best.
All in all its a great book and whilst some of the information within it isn't new, often targeting an audience through more mainstream and approachable means is often the best way to bring a topic out of the niche and into the foreground, so let's hope the book achieves just that for the writer and the CiviCRM community.