I read Mastering Magento almost two years ago, as part of my research to write “Lojas Virtuais com Magento” (my book in Portuguese, whose name in English would be like “Virtual Stores with Magento”) and as I published in my main blog, Mr. Williams’ book is the book I’d like to have written.
The goal of Mastering Magento is simple. Old Magento books usually went through basic concepts like installation, product catalog, theme basics and so on. It’s perfectly acceptable as most of readers are not masters in Magento and should be presented to these concepts before getting in touch with advanced ones. So, to accomplish that, dozens and dozens of pages are wasted. If you read four books about Magento, the fifth will add only few pages of new content.
But Bret Williams has an advantage: when he wrote his book, there was already a lot of books about Magento and who buys his book already knows Magento. Then, he could foccus on new things, taking a new look over old subjects and adding a lot of new concepts. It’s an easy-to-read book and when you finish it, you have that sensation of “wow, there is a lot of things that I didn’t imagine”.
He writes about different areas of Magento, like server decision, themes concepts, planning, defining products but always in a different approach. So, even if you are an advanced user of Magento, I think this book deserves your try.