I had a quick read through of the first few chapters and my favorite part was where you said that if the reader were to work through the book doing all the examples he would be able to perform the daily tasks of an intermediate programmer quite well. That's quite a claim and I admire you for standing behind your work. However, as a connoisseur of Java programming books I've found that most authors think their books will make us all gurus, some even claiming to do so within 21 days. Where most fall short is the readability of the text. Except for the Headfirst series, most are dry and the programming examples are even dryer.
So the question is, how interesting are the coding examples? Obviously someone who is really excited about learning will find it all interesting, but I'm always trying to learn things I don't use every day(or use at all for that matter) like database access or applets. So most of it doesn't have any relevance to me other than the fact that I want to learn it. So with that in mind, do you think your book could hold the interest of someone who is (for now) a hobbyist? Also, let me clarify that I'm not talking about being able to read through the chapters and do the examples once, I mean actually being engaged in the material and have it stick so that I wouldn't have to keep the book in my desk to go back to as a reference every five minutes .
Also, since Java 7 is the new release there are a lot of new features, but I'm sure most are changes to things I haven't even begun to work on. Is there an explanation of how each of the features evolved over time other than in the introduction to Java? It would be interesting to grasp all the new things in Java 7, so I was hoping that all the changes that are relevant to novices would be pointed out in the book.
Thanks for your time.
When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a thumb.
I've tried to make this an easy read so that one can start on Page 1 and keep reading until he/she is tired, and not because a difficult topic stops him/her. How successful I've been is of course for everybody else to judge, and I've posted the first nine chapters of the book online (http://books.brainysoftware.com/download/java7SampleChapters.pdf). I welcome honest opinions about the book.
In answer to your second question, yes, this book where possible explains how a feature evolved. There are often mentions in what JDK a feature started to exist. By the way, this book covers all the language changes in Java 7 (not all Java 7 new features, as there are too many to cram in 716 pages and not all for beginners).