After reviewing the book using Look Inside feature of Amazon.com and the sample chapter presented in Wiley.com, I decided to buy the Kindle edition. The organization of the content seemed (and really is) nicely laid out with a process group (PG) order in mind. Just like Kim Heldman's book this one too follows a process group order rather than an order based on knowledge areas (KA), which is the order seen in the books by Andy Crowe and Rita Mulcahy, other popular PMP self-study aids.
I started to study Mrs Stackpole's book just to see an incorrect reasoning in the "project selection methods" section minutes later. Table 1.1 of the book states clearly that a lower PV (present value) is better and a higher NPV (net present value) is better. How can such a ridiculous statement be made? NPV is just another way of stating PV, with costs being dropped. If a higher NPV is better then a higher PV should be better too, or vice versa.
Also the name speaks itself: "present value", if the present value of x is higher than that of y then the project x will be a better choice with all other things being equal. How can you say that a lower pv is better? How? How is it better?
And this is the case while the book actually gives a good definition for PV: "PV is the current value of future cash flows." cites the book.
Apart from Table 1.1, this [misleading] information ("lower pv representing a better investment") is also highlighted with a "remember" icon and an exclamation mark in one of the previous pages.
Things get worse when the author tries to give an example regarding a pv calculation. In the example, project alpha and project beta are compared. The calculation is correct but the concept and definitions are so misunderstood that the author does not seem to notice that the the project alpha is a better choice since it has a lower investment cost, not because it has a lower pv.
Didn't anybody review or proofread the book?
You might find my criticism a bit harsh and argue that anybody preparing for PMP exam should be able to differentiate or notice such errors and you might be correct but I still believe this does not grant a right to anybody to write a book that irresponsibly. The exam and the prep process are hard enough with detailed situational cases and sometimes hard to grasp concepts and PMP aspirants should not be exposed to silly mistakes in fundamentals.
After losing some time digging around these pages and trying to understand the message or the concept that the author tries to endow us with, I gave up. I do not trust the book anymore and will hardly be using it from now on. I might be wrong and the rest of the book might be very high quality, I do not know. But I simply do not trust it anymore.
Last but not least, this is a personal choice but I believe a process group order is a bit better compared to a KA-based order assuming you are also following and / or referencing PMBOK. PMBOK is already organized around KAs and to me it makes more sense having a second self study source which is laid out by PGs. This way it would be easier to grasp logical relations between or a better understanding of KAs and PGs. By the way, whichever self study guide you depend on, make PMBOK your real source when dealing with the concepts. It might be a dull or boring read but it's still the most correct information when it comes to details. Self study books on the market will be supporting and enhancing your journey towards becoming a PMP but be aware that they might be including errors. Even if you do not read PMBOK end to end (if you do, this will help you greatly in the exam) do not ignore it completely and use it as a solid reference tool for its glossary, use of terminology, concepts, etc.