Guy Cook's "Discourse" is a very practical book that not only deals with discourse theory, but also applies some of it to the classroom with some activities that teachers can use in very practical ways.
The book is divided into three broad sections. Section one deals with discourse in a very "bottom-up" way, working with structural elements such as cohesion, principles in conversation analysis, (including the Co-operative and Politeness principles), schemata, information structures and much more.
The second section deals with discourse from the other direction: "top-down". It is here that you start getting into the information we bring to discourse from our own knowledge of the world, such as what we know about the sender and receiver, discourse types and parts, and more. It is in this section that the activities start to come with suggestions on how to promote student awareness of different aspects of discourse. Of course, Cook emphasises the "top-down" aspect of it in this section.
The third section explores discourse in the classroom, which is almost entirely activities that can be done in class. They are fairly interesting and add an extra element to a neglected aspect or two in English teaching.
This is book that is more practical than theoretical, and provides an excellent insight into discourse and how that impacts on students who are learning English. It is a great introduction to the complexities that students of language have to deal with, and what we can do to alleviate the difficulty and promote deeper skills.
I really found this book interesting and inspiring for my own development, and recommend it for others in the field. A great book that keeps it relatively simple, and keeps it relevant. In that, it definitely follows the Co-operative Principle: keep it relevant and keep it brief. Though, it is not too brief.
Simply put: a great book all round.