Dino Esposito's book, "Programming Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0, Applications," is best described as a second volume of "Programming Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0, Core Reference" (also Microsoft Press, 2006). Opposing industry trends in computer books, Microsoft Press does not publish a table of contents for potential readers. Unless readers can inspect a copy at a bookstore, as I did, they will have difficulty deciding whether the book has content useful to them.
The two volumes combined are about equal in coverage to "Professional ASP.NET 2.0" from Bill Evjen and four others (Wrox, 2006). Esposito's strategic emphasis is not as significant for the "Applications" volume as it was for the "Core Reference" volume. The second volume mainly covers additional class libraries, such as those for "web parts," that are more likely to be of use in commercial portals and sales sites than in professional, Web-enabled applications. However, it is in this "Applications" volume rather than in the "Core References" volume that Esposito presents such critical topics as the ASP.NET 2.0 resource, role and image management services and the tree and menu controls.
In Esposito's two volumes combined one gets about 1,550 pages at twice the price of about 1,250 pages from Evjen, et al. Besides about 300 more pages, what one gets in return for the extra cost is coverage of some extra topics, such as resources, and generally clearer and more consistent descriptions of ASP.NET 2.0, free from gushing enthusiasms. Esposito also provides tables of properties and methods for the major classes. The items in these tables are the same as those in Microsoft's documentation, as furnished with the Visual Studio tools and available without charge on the Web, but often Esposito's explanations are both clearer and more detailed than Microsoft's opaque and perfunctory style.