The authors have put together a survey of the topic of superconductivity that is entirely different from other books that I have studied on this topic. Instead of an extended review article targeted at those doing research in superconductivity, this is an actual textbook that could be used for a course appropriate for graduate students or advanced undergraduates. The reader with two semesters of graduate quantum mechanics would certainly be prepared for this book. It is also conceivable that a talented undergraduate who has completed a strong two semester junior level undergraduate modern physics course might be ready for this. An understanding of second quantization is also necessary in order to make one's way through this book. I would recommend Gordon Baym's Lectures On Quantum Mechanics (Lecture Notes and Supplements in Physics) as an introduction to second quantization.
Unlike other books on this topic, the authors work hard to provide physical intuition to motivate major concepts. In their explanation of BCS theory, the concept of Cooper pairs is explained using a diagram and discussion that illustrates how electrons of opposite spin are able to pass close to each other while moving in opposite directions--like two cars zipping by one other on opposite sides of a road's guardrail. In this analogue, the guardrail corresponds to the rows of ions that slightly change their positions due to the speeding electrons and attract both electrons as they move past one another. The authors also point out that because the two passing electrons have opposite spin they are able approach one another more closely--since having opposite spins places them in different states and therefore avoid the consequences of the Pauli Exclusion Principle.
There are many other useful figures and diagrams in this book as well--especially those showing the structure of the complex oxides that constitute high temperature superconductors. The discussion of the thermodynamics of superconductors includes a thermodynamic square which replaces the usual volume and pressure with the negative magnetization (-M) and external magnetic field (H), respectively. Using this square, the reader can easily see the relationship between energy, enthalpy, and Gibbs and Helmholtz free energies--and the magnetization, external field, entropy, and temperature.
Although I was somewhat confused by this new version of the Thermodynamic square (given that the authors did not explain it in any sort of detail), I was eventually able to see that the proper analogue of pressure was the external magnetic field H, and that the analogue to volume might well be the negative magnetization -M. I should also note at this point that the principle motivation for setting up this square was the calculation of the Gibbs free energy G. In the thermodynamics problems that involve gases, experiments are generally conceived in such a way that the entire system would be under constant pressure. Therefore, the potential of interest would be one that is a function of pressure--as is the Gibbs free energy G. In a magnetization problem, it is the external magnetic field H that constrains the system instead of pressure--hence H taking the place of p. In a problem involving pressure and volume, such as a piston in a cylinder, you can imagine the piston compressing the gas in the cylinder with increasingly positive pressure, with the volume decreasing (i.e. delta V is negative). In a magnetization problem, the magnetization increases with positive H (i.e. delta M is positive). The negative sign in -M in the Thermodynamic square accounts for the difference in sign between delta V and delta M, so that -M replaces the volume V in the square.
There is one aspect of the configuration of the Thermodynamic square that still eludes me, however. In other books, it is the magnetic field B that takes the place of the magnetization M in the square!