"The Essence of Software Engineering - Applying the SEMAT Kernel" looks to be a classic one day. Not today of course because it just came out. But one day.
SEMAT stands for Software Engineering Methods and Theory. Don't let the word "theory" scare you. It's not a book about theory. It's a way of looking at software. All projects have some things in common. Using a common language to describe them and looking at key concepts (alphas) makes for better software. The book is geared to software professionals and students. With a goal of making for better developers. And SEMAT isn't done. They are incremental releasing supporting products through 2014.
I liked the parts about practices more than the kernel - I think because it was more concrete. The kernel does raise key points though. Some of which we take for granted and some of which we forget about.
The cards and checklists are useful. Did I mention the cards? They are quite prevalent in the book. I wish it said where to buy them.
I particularly liked the chapter on scaling. It didn't just cover scaling volume. It also covered zooming in and reaching out to others.
It will be interesting to see if SEMAT catches on. But even it doesn't, the key points still matter and it is worth the read.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.