The book is not a reference book - and not a pure tutorial. A tutorial to me is one that has topics presented much like classroom exercies. With that said, I've written the book in an easy to read style - explaining tech stuff in every day terms then in tech terms - covering topics that someone starting out in Java needs to know. There are simple examples for each topic - I don't like it when an author illustrates many topics in one example. And there is a quiz at the end of each chapter and a 100 question test at the end of the book - so it still has an academic flavor.