This week's giveaway is in the EJB and other Java EE Technologies forum. We're giving away four copies of EJB 3 in Action and have Debu Panda, Reza Rahman, Ryan Cuprak, and Michael Remijan on-line! See this thread for details.
The book follows the Murach style - on the left pages there is text, on the right pages there are screen shots, code snippets, and short summaries of the text on the left. For experienced programmers it's tempting to skip the entire left pages and focus on the right pages only.
The book seems to be aimed at absolute beginners, as evidenced by the quite basic 6 chapter introduction. After that you'll learn the essentials of PHP and SQL. For experienced programmers there won't be much new information, but beginners will have a field day with these chapters. The book ends with some more advanced topics: security and authentication, sending emails, file handling and image processing.
The book promises that you will "master" both PHP and MySQL. To be honest, it doesn't live up to that promise. It's good for beginners but it doesn't go far enough to call yourself a "master" afterwards. Several topics are handled too briefly, especially regular expressions and database normal forms. These are quite advanced topics yet they take up only 16 and 10 pages respectively. That's simply not enough. Another major flaw is the handling of SQL injection. It's mentioned briefly only once with the suggestion to search the Internet for more information. Given the lack of parameter validation in some examples I fear for security on web sites based on this book alone. One single page pair on the subject would probably have been enough.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.