(Full disclosure: This book was provided for review at no cost to me)
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
* To borrow another's phrase, this is NOT a "small form linux (sic) for dummies" title, and assumes you are a fairly knowledgeable about computers.
* Even though the front cover mentions Fedora, the coverage is minimal; whether that is good or bad is up to you.
* The majority of the book covers command-line applications, although there are GUI applications mixed in the later half of the book.
* While the command-line suggestions the book gives are solid, many of the GUI applications are no longer maintained and in my opinion should not have been anything more than a footnote.
* READ the errata pages for this book.
The book opens with a brief primer on what commands are, what they look like on the command-line and covers the fact that they're not standardized. The book also makes good use of the space provided by making a point, but doing it well the first time instead of trying multiple approaches to explaining it (much like I might do). The coverage of the system directories was the best I've seen so far, breaking the paths into scope, category and applications. These are not standard terms as the author mentions, but they work great for the explanations.
From there you continue to explore commands in the context of a particular purpose. Some of the topics covered that I really appreciated were options to display non-printable characters like carriage returns, file/directory permissions, text manipulation and the shell scripting primer. While the scripting primer isn't enough to answer every question, it covered the common uses well enough that I'll be referring to this book whenever I need to remind myself of the syntax.
* Lots of useful tips
* The popular distros mentioned seem to be current
* Easy to read, both with the style of writing and the length of the book
* Commands are organized by purpose
* Insecure commands like telnet are covered, and sternly warned against
Instead of updating the content from the first edition to remove unmaintained software and include actively developed software (that has taken its place), the content was presumably unchanged.
Gaim was mentioned as an Instant Messaging client, but the project has been known as Pidgin for 5 years. I'm shocked that this made it's way past the author and the technical editor(s).
The inclusion of xv as a light-weight alternative to Gimp seems to be an odd choice, as it has a shareware license and is no longer supported or included by any current distros; installing the rpm on Fedora 16 didn't go well. Another light-weight editing application under active support (like Pinta) seems like it would have been a better choice to mention, even if it too isn't included by default.
grip was covered, but it hasn't had any updates in 6 years, so another ripping/encoding application should have also been covered. For example, Sound Juicer is provided for Gnome installations, while KDE has support for audio ripping built-in via Konqueror. KaduioCreator is also provided for KDE installations.
Ubuntu has a really good wiki page on this topic for further reading. Search for "CDRipping" on their wiki page and you should find it.
To be fair I really like grip and still use it in an Ubuntu 10.04 LTS VM, but let's face it, unless another maintainer steps up its days are seriously numbered. Much like grip, xmms has been discontinued for a while, but thankfully succeeded by various community forks. Like a few others, Audacious is still maintained and supported and would have been a much better application to mention in place of xmms.
For reprints or future editions, replace outdated software suggestions with actively supported software. Many suggestions were very dated (grip, xv, xmms) and no longer maintained.
In closing, this is a great book for anyone just starting out with GNU/Linux, and anyone who needs a solid refresher of the basics. Even though I did not rate this book with the highest marks, it is a good value for the money and worth picking up for the current price.