We used this book as a textbook in an introductory NLP course. The author is aware of a beginner student and his/her capabilities. Obviously, he has written this book with empathy, always putting himself in place of the reader and writing having understood the student. The characteristics are as follows: (1) The organization is well designed. Topics are ordered well and no prerequisite is ahead of the chapter you are reading. (2) The topics are cut in manageable pieces. Every chapter has been divided in sections and every section in subsections. A subsection is at most 3 pages. This arrangement motivated me a lot and made me think that I made a progress every time I finished a section or subsection. (3) The narrative text is very explanatory, friendly, simple and pure. There is no unnecessary detail. Everything you read contributes to your understanding of the subject matter. (4) The book is full of figures, examples, and illustrations. This gives you chance to follow some explanations of the author concretely and some are put there in case you want to master some details, often on a complete working implementation. (5) There are abundant exercises. I recommend you not to skip them. You may skip some according to your needs and according your focus on the subject. I think there is more than you need. I suppose it's so to cover all people's expectations. The exercises are usually small in size so that you can quickly master the subject in a piecemeal fashion. Unfortunately, there are no solutions of them on the back, but I almost never needed them because they are simple, relevant to the subject just explained, and usually an extension or a slight derivation of what had been explained, which helps you consolidate the subject. Moreover, the product of your effort is not irrelevant to NLP, you wouldn't differentiate it if the author explained it along with the main topic. Some exercises are prerequisite for others. This is a better approach than to give one big exercise that is tedious, and thus blocking! Instead the author cut it in pieces and spread it over a section, which makes your task manageable, and as a result motivates you. Overall, NLP is such a subject that there are many small details and it's hard to organize them. I think the author has done a marvellous job as he managed to organize them considerably, helping the reader have a good representation of NLP in the end, when the book is over.