I had a chance this week to breeze through a new book titled LINQ Quickly. It is published by Packt Publishing and written by N. Shateesh Kumar. The book is about 225 pages long and is focuses on how to use LINQ with various targets. First I will review how the chapters flow then I will give my overall impression of the book.
The book starts out with a brief look at what the .NET 3.5 features are in regards to the basis of LINQ. Items such as object initializers, collection initializers, lambda expressions, and expression trees are given a few pages each to explain what they are. This is a nice overview of the features but it does not touch enough on when or where you would or would not want to use these features.
The book then flows into using LINQ with objects. This is a very short chapter on how to use LINQ with arrays and other list based objects. The following chapters flow through LINQ to XML, LINQ to XSD, LINQ to SQL and LINQ to DataSets. These chapters all focus on how to use LINQ with the technologies, respectively. Its a nice primer on how to do so, but there is very little meat to it.
The latter chapters are basically a reference for many of the LINQ query expression methods. It gives a nice quick hit list of each method, what it does and an example of how to use it. This is very MSDN like but it is a very nice consolidated list of features with quick examples. For example, this is a nice section or those wanting to know what SelectMany does and how to write the syntax to use it.
The entire book is a great quickstart or reference but if you are looking for practical applications for LINQ, you will likely be left wanting. I recommend this book to those looking for an easy and fast read that can get you an idea of what LINQ can do and how to write the syntax. It is also good for those more experienced with LINQ who are looking for a quick reference to look up how to use LINQ in certain ways as a refresher. I would not recommend this book to anyone looking for when and where to use LINQ. Also, LINQ to Entities is very absent in this book as there is minimal material on on using LINQ with the Entity Framework.
I recommend this book to beginners to LINQ those looking for a quick reference on LINQ itself. It works well in that area. If you are looking for more depth, then I suggest looking at some of the other titles out or arriving soon.