I, personally, was delighted with this book.
The book starts strong, with lucid prose, and is packed with diagrams. The variety of realistic examples of bearings is wonderful. The author shares many rules of thumb that sound like hard won wisdom, wisdom you wouldn't find in a proper engineering text, nor on the Internet.
As the author wrote about different bearing variations, I felt like I was on a wonderful and educational tour of practical machinery. I've occasionally seen such machinery in museums, but in this book, I felt like I actually learned something about these machines for the first time, in the context of a discussion about their bearings.
One of the things I valued most was discussion of bearings in machines of antiquity. Machines, up until the early-1900s, were still rudimentary enough to seem comprehensible. Today, a skilled amateur with a good income could reasonably expect to reproduce similar machines. So this book is more accessible than a typical engineering text, which might might inspire with examples of jet turbines or 20-ton leviathans (which are awesome, but difficult to manufacture at home).
Thanks to comfort inspired by this book, I recently disassembled, cleaned, lubricated, and reassembled the gurgling and growling cooling fan on my aging, but costly laptop. The brushless fan turned out to involve a steel shaft in a bronze bushing, a common bearing scenario discussed in the book. So this book, and a microscopic drop of light bearing oil, just spared me the not-insignificant replacement cost of a specialized fan assembly. The book paid for itself already!
Given the preceding virtues, why have I rated the book only 3 of 5 stars?
In order to profit from this book, the reader must have prior knowledge about a remarkable diversity of topics. The author's expectations/omissions seemed to align, serendipitously, with my prior knowledge, such that the book seemed perfect for me, personally. A broader audience might not enjoy such serendipity. It's easy to imagine this book receiving a 5-star review from an old machinist and a zero-star review from an aspiring teenager.
A random and incomplete list of concepts with which you might want prior acquaintance before reading this book: cutting, turning, milling, smelting/alloying, casting, welding, brazing, soldering, grinding, lapping, tapping, lubricating, and probably a few things I've forgotten. Unless the reader has spent time wandering around hardware stores, junkyards, auto garages, or boat yards, there's probably a lot of other stuff that will be unfamiliar, too. A certain degree of worldliness is necessary with this book.
Although the author was so generous with illustrations, there were a few places I wished for more. In particular, the side view of the swash plate pump with slipper bearings left me with doubts. Some of the engine diagrams, shown from one perspective only, forced me to stop and visualize for a long time. My recollection is that there is no illustration of practical, primitive bearings designed for both radial and thrust loads; although the book describes specialized, modern bearing geometries for such applications.
The quality of writing deteriorates toward the end, becoming increasingly vague and repetitive. I presume writer's fatigue set in, and the decision to stop and publish at that point was the correct one.
I'll be keeping this book for posterity and I'm grateful to have it. The book needs editing and elaboration to be commendable to a broader audience.