I have quite a few James Beard books. If you like his style, you won't be disappointed with this one-as usual, the instructions on technique and so on are very clearly presented, and the illustrations are attractive. However, you may find some of the recipes overly endowed with fat content (well, this is James Beard after all!) and somewhat biased against some very popular categories of bread, such as sourdough or wholemeal types of breads. For a more comprehensive bread book, I would recommend Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads over this one; and if you're a real beginner when it comes to hand-kneaded (non-bread machine) bread, you can't beat the bread technique section of Julia Child's The Way to Cook. But it's still a book well worth having on your cookbook shelf, together with its sister book, Beard on Pasta (which I would rate a bit higher than this one.