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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Non-Designer's Design Book, Second Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Robin Williams
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This is the best that I've seen....

If you are a professional, this book serves as a great refresher. If you are a novice, you can painlessly learn more from this book than any other that I've seen. In addition, it is a great typography reference. Someone with no previous knowledge can read the book, then immediately apply the principles. I highly recomend it!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Designer Sin No More

Jakob Nielsen's Designing Web Usability is a highly readable look at a wide variety of issues affecting usability of web sites. While I didn't agree with every single thing in the book, it does a great job of raising many usability issues that may not come to mind for many designers. In the future, when designing a site, I plan to skim through the book again as a check to make sure I have considered various usability concerns.
One thing I have to say, though, get ready for that pang of panic when Jakob points out various usability issues that may just never have crossed your mind and you think of all the site you've got out there right now that violate his "rules." I admit I don't sleep quite as soundly now that my eyes have been opened to all the evil I've done.
If you are designing web sites for a living, you need this book just as much as you need a book on the rules of grammer and punctuation if you write for a living. You may not follow every rule on every occasion, but you need a good reference to know what the rules should be.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: An Introduction to Database Systems, Eighth Edition
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Authors: C.J. Date
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A "must have" for data management professionals

As one of E.F. Codd's closest associates Chris Date has long provided the world with some of the most insightful writings on the relational model of data management. Much to their proponents chagrin, he also writes incisively about the various "improvements" to the relational model.
Those who are looking for a cookbook approach to any specific DBMS platform will be sorely disapointed. This book will not help you obtain your MCDBA, OCP, or any other alphabet-soup certification. However, for anyone looking for a firm foundation of data management fundamentals and the practical implications of such, this is THE book to read.
Chris' style of writing tends to be a bit academic and precise. This quality does turn some folks off, but it is this quality that makes his writing so valuable. Read it, re-read it and learn this stuff! No one can seriously consider themselves a data management professional without a good grasp of the material in this book. This is the book that other authors refer to when they want to get their facts straight.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Hibernate in Action (In Action series)
Publisher: Manning Publications
Authors: Christian Bauer, Gavin King
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent reference for Hibernate users

This is the perfect book for Hibernate users of all levels. For beginners, it walks you through the O/R impedance mismatch and basic ORM concepts and terms. The book then moves on to examples and rounds it all off with extensive discussions about advanced configurations such as caching, lazy instantiation, session management, etc. Throughout the book you'll find tons of tips about best practices that you won't get in the free reference doc that comes with Hibernate. I had over 12 months of intensive experience with Hibernate before getting this book and still learned enough to pay for itself in a couple days' time. Highly recommended!