I love this book. It has been my sole companion during long nights of telescope observation.
Most amateur astronomy guides have been written by people living in the Northern Hemisphere, thus neglecting the wonderful objects available to Southern observers. We have access to the Magellanic Clouds, Carina, the best globular clusters, the center of the Milky Way, etc. I have known amateurs that, misled by Northern guides (which are a lot cheaper), venerated the Orion nebula but knew nothing about Eta Carinae ! Or the Magellanic Clouds. What a shame !
The book begins with a very concise and to the point theoretical exposition of the main objects of observation for amateur astronomers. Although I had already read quite a few astronomy books before this one, this section proved insightful and useful.
The guide then presents a large list of astronomical objets available from the Southern Hemisphere, with the usual characterizarion by popular and catalogue names, kind, visual magnitude, etc. and giving the exact RA-DEC coordinates for epoch 2000 (my other guide, the venerable Burnham's Celestial Handbook is based on epoch 1950 coordintes).
A beautiful collection of photographs by the magician of astronomical photography (David Malin) embellishes the book, but is somehow disconnected from the rest of the content, in the sense that it presents astronomical objects as they are recorded by film and not the human eye at the eyepiece, and is thus not very hepful for finding and appreciating them.
But the core of the book is the description of astronomical objects, organized by constellation. This has proved to be a key resource for me in the planning of my observing sessions. A selection of "best objects" is always subjective, so you have to rely on the good judgement of the author. Besides, you cannot base your choices just on the scientific value or the interest to research observatories: the relative value of objects can never be the same to an amateur with a 10 inch telescope than it is to a professional astronomer with access to a 5 meter scope. A galaxy that looks wonderful on a Palomar, Keck or HST photograph, can be no more than a source of frustration for amateurs with standard equipment.
A handbook for amateur astronomers has to be a very different thing than an Astronomy handbook.
It is in this sense that the book excels. The advise, from the standpoint of amateurs, on the best objects to point your scope to, and on what to expect at the eyepiece has proved to be right again and again. It is like having with you a very experienced friend with your same equipment. Given the very limited dark-site time I have, I greatly appreciate the possibility of making the best use of it.
If have a moderately large amateur telescope and you live in the Southern Hemisphere, this book, ...is a very good investment. Especially considering the cost of all the equipment you already own! Think of it as the software for your hardware...