Kenneth Lang, the well-known author of Astrophysical Formulae, wrote this excellently-illustrated introductory book about the Sun's atmosphere. The level of the book is appropriate for an "educated layman" who is interested in the field of solar astrophysics. I read it as background for the incipient STEREO mission. It concentrates on the new knowledge from three recent space missions: SOHO, Ulysses, and Yohkoh; but it also includes data from many other spacecraft, ground (and underground) observatories, and historical data.
The book is organized well. It has sections on the three space missions, the space environment, helioseismology, the corona, the solar wind, solar activity, and the Sun-Earth connection. Each chapter concludes with a chronology of important scientific discoveries in the field. The book also includes side boxes containing key concepts in understanding the physics described in the text. Apparently these were included so the text might be used for a undergraduate course; but the academic level of these side boxes is so inconsistent I do not think this book alone could be used as a text. The book concludes with a set of Internet addresses (it is a pity that the movies that have been made of solar phenomena cannot be incorporated into a printed book) and an extensive list of references to original papers.
The book's strength is its illustrations, which cover almost every observable aspect of the Sun. Many of these are taken from seminal papers in the field, and the author is careful to give credit where credit is due. If the book has a weakness, it is this scrupulousness in attributing discoveries to scientists: the author sometimes presents the discoveries in piecemeal fashion. He thus sometimes fails to present an entire coherent picture of a phenomenon, while presenting parts of the picture many times. He also has an annoying idiosyncrasy of writing out powers of ten and units (e.g., "50,000 to 1.2 million meters per second") rather than using an appropriate abbreviation (50 - 1200 km/s); I often found myself converting his writing in my head to get a feel for the numbers.
In general, the book is an excellent introduction to this field and I recommend it for that purpose. It is not adequate preparation for someone wishing to enter the field of solar physics, but it is not a coffee-table paperweight either. It gives the reader the ability to understand what solar scientists are talking about, and what the target science is for the various missions in NASA's Sun-Earth Connection enterprise.