Get it Done with MySQL 5&6. By Peter Brawley and Arthur Fuller. Self-published, 2009. Page count: about 615 pages. I asked the authors for a print edition to review, but it is also available as an e-book.
The right word to describe this book falls somewhere between “tome” and “lunker.” You could beat back an unwelcome salesperson with it. You could also beat back any number of stubborn database problems. It’s kind of like a MySQL Manual plus a ton of practical how-to-use-MySQL information.
This is an unusual book in that it is useful for a very broad audience. I’d say you can get a lot out of it if you are a) new to databases b) new to MySQL c) in need of reference material d) looking for practical examples of installing or using MySQL e) trying to figure out how to design and optimize queries for MySQL f) trying to hook MySQL up to a popular programming language including PHP, Perl, Java, .NET, or C g) administering MySQL h) working with complex queries such as graphs or date and time queries i) using MySQL together with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005. Wow.
The material is generally timely, relevant, and correct. It’s also well organized and quite complete. There are cases where an extra-deep level of detail is lacking, but there’s certainly enough for a moderate to advanced user in most topics, and lots of topics go extra-deep.
On the minus side, the book is a bit hard to read at times due to a crowded layout. The table of contents is hard to scan because it doesn’t use the traditional outline format. The margins are small and the headings are bulky and intrusive. There aren’t many illustrations, and those aren’t great quality. Tables are inconsistently formatted. The index is not very comprehensive. The binding and printing, however, looks great. (Not at all like the MySQL Cluster certification guide, which looked like it’d been printed on recycled newsprint.)
So in general, I’m complimenting the content and criticizing the typesetting. Overall, it’s a great one-stop-shop for MySQL knowledge. I think this is a very good value in comparison to books from traditional publishers targeted at the same types of users, especially since you can buy the e-book and get free updates, which are frequently released.