I was asked to review the book ColdFusion 8 Developer Tutorial by John Farrar, of Packt Publishing. I haven't read the whole book, mostly the first chapter, but I wanted to get an early review out there. My first impression is that this would be a good book for someone hoping to get up to speed on ColdFusion quickly. The only other book(s) on the market that's similar to ColdFusion 8 Developer Tutorial is the classic Web Application Construction Kit. But with that having grown to 3 volumes, it's kind of daunting for new developers looking to jump in quickly.
I do have a couple of nitpicks, though. On page 12, there is this sentence: "Proper indentation is key to either tag or script based code." I think what John means is that you should indent your code for style and readability. However, there are a few languages out there that rely heavily on indendation...if you don't indent properly, your code doesn't work. ColdFusion is not one of these languages, and John's statement "proper indentation is key" might lead a new CF developer to believe that they have to indent the same way that John does in his code examples, because it's required by the language syntax. I also found a couple of typos in the text, however I don't blame this on John, but rather his editor.
That said, I do think this is a great book. If I were to recommend a book for a beginner, I'd suggest this one. And if I were teaching a ColdFusion class, I think this one would be a good text book.