Book Bytes – MyMac Magazine #43 – part 2

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 “stocking stuffers” for the holiday gift season. If you require a complete review, let me know, and I’ll conjure it up as soon as possible.

We will have a second “stocking stuffers” bonus section, with another set of books, in our December issue of My Mac. Keep reading, and tell a friend.


Real World Freehand 8
by Olav Martin Kvern
Macromedia/Peachpit Press
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
Macromedia/Peachpit Press
<> or
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
Peachpit Press
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 “authorized” book, just above, will help you decide which one to obtain. RECOMMENDED for beginners and intermediates.


Using America Online 4
by Gene Steinberg
Que Publishing
ISBN 0-7897-1424-8, 620 pages
$29.99 U.S., $42.95 Canada, £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 world’s most popular online service. RECOMMENDED, particularly for new and intermediate users.
Sams’ Teach Yourself America Online 4 in 24 Hours
by Bob Temple
Sams Publishing
ISBN 1-57521-327-3, 306 pages
$19.99 U.S., $28.95 Canada, £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
O’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, £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, £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 I’ll probably lean toward Gene’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.


Photoshop in a Nutshell
by Donnie O’Quinn and Matt LeClair
O’Reilly & Associates
ISBN 1-56592-313-8, 584 pages
$19.95 U.S.

This book is dense and comprehensive, and plows through Photoshop in a systematic manner. The authors aim to “go deep” and appeal to the “sophisticated user, providing the knowledge that typically comes only with years of experience.” RECOMMENDED for intermediates.
Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop 5 in 21 Days
by T. Michael Clark
Sams Publishing
ISBN 0-672-31300-6, 504 pages plus CD
$39.99 U.S., $56.95 Canada, £37.50 U.K.

Utilizing a “week-by-week, day-by-day” 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
Peachpit Press
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!



Leave a Reply