The Unofficial LEGO Builder's Guide
This 220-page paperback is a second edition of the book that was first published in 2005, when 3rd party books on LEGO (as opposed to Mindstorms) were few and far between.
The main difference between this second editon and the first is that it's now in full colour, but it's also 100 pages shorter. I'll tell you what's been missed out in a minute.
The book can be considered a 'LEGO building for Dummies' in that it starts right at the beginning and assumes you don't know your bricks from your plates. It explains the different types of LEGO parts, the basics of fitting them together and then considers various styles of building, such as minifig-scale, microscale, sculptures and mosaics. It's written in a light, breezy style and it's a good read.
The 'Look Inside' feature at Amazon includes more examples of pages showing the superb images.
Here is the corresponding page in the first edition. Although I haven't read both books side-by-side to be sure, it appears as if the bulk of the content is identical (although often laid out differently, as shown here).
There are, however, three chapters missing: the Technic building chapter, which will have been removed because it overlaps with the Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's guide (the subject of tomorrow's review), and two others which I guess are not really to do with building anyway: sorting and storage, and using tools (LEGO-made and otherwise) to aid building. I don't think the latter two are a great loss.
The last 50 pages of the book contain a Brickopedia which is a well illustrated guide to common LEGO-system pieces. The notes against each onn often contain useful and interesting nuggets of information such as what the parts are good for and when they were first used in a LEGO set.
It's been updated to include parts introduced since the first edition was published in 2005, such as 2x4 tiles, double cheese slopes and so on.
So, should you buy this book? I suspect there are a lot of people that have joined the hobby, or have 'grown up' since 2005, who will not have the first edition. If that's you and you want to improve your building skills then it's a no-brainer: this book is highly recommended and almost required reading for every aspiring MOCer.
If you've read the first edition from cover-to-cover you probably don't need to invest in this new edition, even though it is a vast improvement on the first.
It's in stock at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca and will be out soon elsewhere.