I seem to remember that the 1.0 version of Lightroom was really simple, with many fewer options than Photoshop. Even though it's still a lot easier to learn and use than Photoshop, the number of sliders, buttons and panels has increased tremendously, although generally that's been to meet the needs of photographers to control the post-processing of digital images.
Besides chapters on the main Lightroom modules of Library, Develop, Map, Book, Slideshow, Print and Web, this book has separate chapters on Getting Started, Import, Export and Catalog. Each chapter begins with a brief look at what's new since the last major version of Lightroom, and a brief overview of the function's workflow. (The "what's new" can prove extremely useful for one familiar with Lightroom, even though it may require flipping back-and forth between the index and the explanation. Lightroom has matured enough that it is time for publishers to consider putting out a short book or pamphlet for new versions dealing with just the new functions.) Next the author tells you what each of the panels, buttons and sliders for a function do. They don't miss a step. This is a great refresher for somebody who may be using Lightroom, but not utilizing every possible function. It can also be a good reference for someone who doesn't remember the in and outs of a particular tool. Unfortunately, the book is less useful for a total beginner.
The images shown in the book can be downloaded from a website. But even with the available images, and even if the reader followed along with the book at the computer, as the authors recommend, the book would still not be very useful to a beginner. Most beginners benefit from being shown a series of steps to use the Lightroom tools necessary to develop an understanding of procedures to transform a file from the camera into an effective photograph, and this book doesn't show you that. Being told that the highlight slider can be used to lighten tones in the upper range of tonality is not much use if a person can't see what this means.
Moreover, the author usually follows the Lightroom order of presentation, without suggesting alternatives. For example, in the basic panel of the Develop module, the highlights and shadows sliders precede the white and black sliders and the authors recommend following this sequence. However, some authorities suggest that if one's object to get the fullest range of light in an image, the white and black sliders should be adjusted first. Many of the books that can serve as a reference will explore the considerations of this kind of issue, but Sylvan and Coalson just continue down the sliders from top to bottom.
The book is well written, and were it not for the availability of other sources that take better aim at a user's skill level, could be extremely useful. This book is a poor choice to learn Lightroom. For experts, there may not be anything new and it may be more useful to consult one of the more specialized books that explain how to adjust images to create one's vision, or how to get the most from the Print function. Intermediate users will probably benefit most from this presentation.