This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
The book by Richard Monson-Haefel is a very good introduction to web services, even if it is slightly outdated. Personally, I read the book first and then started reading the specification documents (SOAP, WSDL, WS-I BP etc). To me, reading the specification documents first would have been too difficult. Best wishes!