I waited several months for this 3rd edition of Neteler and Mitasova's 'Open Source GIS: A GRASS GIS Approach'. I'm not disappointed.
1. The book is a major re-write of the earlier edition, and uses GRASS version 6.x - which has many improvements from earlier GRASS versions
2. It has tons of example applications, drawn and derived from an up-to-date sample dataset for North Carolina. Examples span the fields of hydrology, remote sensing,and a large number of standard GIS operations on vector and raster datasets.
3. It is well organized and succinct in its language.
1. There are several typos.
2. Some of the examples may not exactly work on your own system - the authors acknowledge this, as each version of GRASS has some variations in dependent packages and libraries.
3. Some of the pages are not cross-referenced right.
I first used GRASS (version 4.3) in the year 2000. While I recognized back then how powerful GRASS is, I found it quite difficult to learn and to appreciate. In 2005-07, I revisited GRASS (version 6.0) for my dissertation research, and found that it had improved vastly. This book is an excellent way for readers to get a taste of how powerful GRASS 6.x is. It will be most useful for students and researchers who learn by doing - you will not learn GRASS (or any other GIS software) by just reading. Also, this book alone will not answer all your questions about GRASS - use the friendly and resourceful GRASS mailing lists for specific help with your own GRASS GIS projects.
Get into this book and GRASS GIS, only if you are willing to use the command line! If you are a programmer and are used to learning new languages/software, you probably do not need this book - the material on the GRASS website would be enough for you. If like me, you dont consider yourself a programmer but 'can do' when needed, this book will be very useful.
I hope that a more affordable paperback version of the third edition comes out!