I'm Pretty new to Drupal. But having gotten a sense of the application starting out, I quickly came to understand that it involves working with a lot of components (modules, etc.) on a very granular level. I learned that the Drupal community refers to "recipes" for Drupal sites as a set of instructions--laying out which combination of modules and node/block configuration one might use to build this or that kind of site. Its really a wonderful program in that you can begin with one core installation and then "cook up" any number of very complex and feature-rich websites.
That is what led me to purchase this book, "Drupal 6 Site Blueprints." I had learned the basics with one book already (more on that later), but now I felt that a book that offered a collection of "recipes"--or blueprints, as the title suggested--would provide me with more depth in understanding how to use it.
I was extremely disappointed with this book, though. It was broken into chapters for building 12 different kinds of website, but it was lacking in any real depth. But the worst part about it--the part that makes me actually want my money back--was that it wasted time , ink and paper on mindless redundancy.
The book would present a simple outline for the components/modules for a given site and then explain how to activate and configure the modules to achieve the desired effect. However, in subsequent chapters the book repeatedly referenced many of the same modules that had already been covered, and then proceed to repeat the same set of instructions that they had before...almost verbatim! This would often involve whole pages of repeated copy and screenshots to say the same thing.
Naturally many sites would share some common modules that are basic to certain kinds of usage, so they would want to be referenced again. But why not simply use a citation to the previously covered material? ("see module x instructions on page xx") Then the rest of the new chapter/site could cover the new material in greater depth to provide greater understanding.
I haven't gone through the book and done an actual count, but it felt to me that if you removed all of the obvious redundancy, the book might have had a quarter to a third fewer pages. That's just lazy writing, and even worse editing.
If you are looking for a book to learn Drupal and try out a number of site blueprints, I have to recommend that you not buy this book. A book I can wholeheartedly recommend is "Using Drupal" from O'Reilly Press. I was the first book I read and provided not only an excellent introduction to the application, but also had a number of very thorough, in-depth recipes for a number of pretty diverse sites.
This is my first product review on Amazon, and I'm sorry that it had to be so negative. Unfortunately, my feelings were so strong about the way it was written, that I felt I had to post something.