I had already used Scott Kelby's book for an earlier version of ElementsThe Photoshop Elements 5 Book for Digital Photographers
and had found it very useful. When I bought Elements 7 I wanted to do more complex things. Mark Galer's book has allowed me to do just that. For example, it has allowed me to sharpen only the main subject of an image leaving out of focus backgrounds untouched and to make backgrounds out of focus that were originally too sharp.
There is still a lot more to master, but Mark Galer's book should be very helpful as I work through his more advanced techniques.
My only criticism is that although the author uses blended layers a lot and takes you step by step though many projects that utilize this methodology, he does not really explain the principles behind this technique. Readers are expected to learn by assimilation and example. Despite this the easy to use step by step descriptions of how to work through 25 projects are extremely helpful and all those I have used work very well indeed.