Murach's Java programming is a classic Murach book aimed at Java enthusiasts. Following Murach's paired-paged style, with the left page for explanations and the right page for syntax, guidelines and examples, the book drives the reader into the Java world. It even goes a bit beyond the language syntax, by providing chapters on JDBC using the Derby database, and a chapter about XML handling. Each chapter ends with practical hands-on exercises. The IDE used throughout the book is Netbeans. The book is fast paced, maybe because explanations are kept to a minimum, so whether or not beginners are the target audience is debatable. Object-oriented programming needs time to assimilate so some people might find chapters on that subject lacking depth. The book is enjoyable, but I'd recommend it to people with an object-oriented background rather that to complete beginners.
I give this book 7 out of 10 horseshoes.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.