The shelves are groaning here at our Book Bytes library, with all the new fall and winter titles arriving every day via UPS, FedEx, U.S. Mail, and carrier pigeon. Consequently, I decided to offer capsule comments on these eleven books, which you can consider as â€œstocking stuffersâ€ for the holiday gift season. If you require a complete review, let me know, and Iâ€™ll conjure it up as soon as possible.
We will have a second â€œstocking stuffersâ€ bonus section, with another set of books, in our December issue of My Mac. Keep reading, and tell a friend.
THREE TITLES ON FREEHAND-8
Real World Freehand 8
by Olav Martin Kvern
ISBN 0-201-87485-7, 784 pages
$34.99 U.S., $48.95 Canada
An encyclopedic quantity of material is covered in this dense and informative book, yet it is written in an easy-going, friendly voice. I expect that this title will set the standard for books on Freehand. The author invites personal comments from his readers. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for intermediate/advanced users.
Macromedia Freehand 8 Authorized
from Macromedia Press: Karen Tucker, Producer
ISBN 0-201-69691-6, 423 pages, plus CD
$39.95 U.S., $55.95 Canada
A step-by-step tutorial-approach to the application, this book is loaded with helpful screenshots and illustrations. Fourteen hours of hands-on projects are explained in detail. Definitely RECOMMENDED, especially for beginner/intermediate users.
FreeHand 8 for Windows and Macintosh,
Visual Quickstart Guide
by Sandee Cohen
ISBN 0-201-69697-5, 287 pages
$18.95 U.S., $26.95 Canada
Though a relative lightweight when compared to the two previous titles, this book packs a tremendous amount of valuable material into page after page of well-written text and useful graphics. A side-by-side comparison with the â€œauthorizedâ€ book, just above, will help you decide which one to obtain. RECOMMENDED for beginners and intermediates.
FIVE BOOKS ON THE NEW AOL4
Using America Online 4
by Gene Steinberg
ISBN 0-7897-1424-8, 620 pages
$29.99 U.S., $42.95 Canada, Â£27.49 U.K.
Gene Steinberg is my personal AOL guru, and his latest book is a gem. New and experienced members of America Online will appreciate this well-designed and attractive book on the worldâ€™s most popular online service. RECOMMENDED, particularly for new and intermediate users.
Samsâ€™ Teach Yourself America Online 4 in 24 Hours
by Bob Temple
ISBN 1-57521-327-3, 306 pages
$19.99 U.S., $28.95 Canada, Â£17.95 U.K.
This hour-by-hour book is best-suited for beginners to AOL, and for them I can RECOMMEND it.
AOL in a Nutshell
by Curt Degenhart and Jen Muehlbauer
Oâ€™Reilly & Associates
ISBN 1-56592-424-X, 510 pages
$19.95 U.S., $28.95 Canada
The Nutshell series takes itself seriously, which I applaud, because this book is geared for more experienced participants in America Online. RECOMMENDED for intermediate/advanced users.
AOL Companion, Second Edition
by Jennifer Watson, AOL Guru
MIS Press/IDG Books Worldwide
ISBN 0-7645-7501-5, 349 pages
$12.99 U.S., $19.99 Canada, Â£11.99 U.K.
This slim volume is a cozy, first-person guide to America Online. I have read every word, learned quite a bit, and can certainly RECOMMEND it personally, especially for new and casual users of AOL 4.
America Online 4 Bible
by Erfert Fenton
IDG Books Worldwide
ISBN 0-7645-3154-9, 736 pages
$34.99 U.S., $49.99 Canada, Â£33.99 U.K.
This one is the biggest, but have I saved the best for last? Once again, the IDG Bible series delivers the goods. In a shoot-out between this book and the first one, by Gene Steinberg, it will be a close call, but Iâ€™ll probably lean toward Geneâ€™s book. Just the same, if you want to get the very most out of AOL, compare this bible to Using America Online 4, then decide for yourself. RECOMMENDED for all serious users.
THREE BOOKS ON PHOTOSHOP 5
Photoshop in a Nutshell
by Donnie Oâ€™Quinn and Matt LeClair
Oâ€™Reilly & Associates
ISBN 1-56592-313-8, 584 pages
This book is dense and comprehensive, and plows through Photoshop in a systematic manner. The authors aim to â€œgo deepâ€ and appeal to the â€œsophisticated user, providing the knowledge that typically comes only with years of experience.â€ RECOMMENDED for intermediates.
Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop 5 in 21 Days
by T. Michael Clark
ISBN 0-672-31300-6, 504 pages plus CD
$39.99 U.S., $56.95 Canada, Â£37.50 U.K.
Utilizing a â€œweek-by-week, day-by-dayâ€ series of lessons, this well-crafted book serves as an excellent tutorial for new users to Photoshop. I can HIGHLY RECOMMEND it, especially for beginners.
Photoshop 5 for Windows and Macintosh,
Visual Quickstart Guide
by Elaine Weinmann and Peter Lourekas
ISBN 0-201-35352-0, 350 pages
$19.95 U.S., $27.95 Canada
Visual QuickStart Guides are poised to break through the $20 U.S. barrier, and they are worth every penny. For beginner and intermediate users of Photoshop, this book is as good as it gets. Compare this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED title to the previous one from Sams, then get busy!
See you next month!