This is a truly outstanding book and is surely a "must-read" for any serious Java programmer.
The authors are touted as "two genuine Java gurus". Admittedly, I am unfamiliar with one (James Holmes), but the other - Herbert Schildt - I well remember from University days as having written the most in-depth and definitive tome on C programming I had ever seen (and has since moved on to do the same for C++ and C#).
This is not a "how-to" Java programming book or an introductory work. Those new to Java will be out of their depth here.
Instead, "The Art of Java" is a brilliant guide to producing intensely useful and technical Java applications, ranging through parsing numeric expressions, building a Web crawler (adhering to well-defined protocols), implementing an actual computer language, building a complete e-mail subsystem, constructing a streamlined download manager, and more.
These are sophisticated and fascinating Java programs reflecting deep concepts in computer science. The chapters - and their applications - are not merely individual, isolated, programs with no bearing on what has gone before. Rather, each chapter seeks to demonstrate particular features and technologies of Java, with the applications really only being to illustrate the concept - it just so happens they are highly significant and real-world applications, and not simply trite pieces of code as would be found in lesser programming works.
Where this title excels is in its masterful respect and love of the Java language. This is where the "art" in the title comes in; the authors clearly have a passion for Java and its capabilities. The very first chapter even strives to expound on this, where the authors wax lyrical on the pure "genius of Java" itself.
If you love Java, this is a must buy!