Sams Teach Yourself Drupal in 24 Hours helps you get up to speed with Drupal quickly. Whether you're starting from scratch or working to fill in some gaps in your Drupal knowledge, you'll find descriptions, examples, and Try It Yourself numbered steps to walk you through working with Drupal.
This book introduces you to Drupal and to major components ranging from the basics (overall design, themes, administration, security, and the like) as well as modules that are distributed with Drupal itself along with contributed modules that enhance your site. Each chapter is focused on a single task so that you can jump around according to your needs.
The emphasis is on what your site does: Drupal and the modules are there to help you and your end-users achieve your goals. For example, Polls, Comments, Discussions, and Feed Aggregators all are ways to enrich your site with contributed content, and they're covered together in a single chapter (10). Some functionality comprises a number of modules working together such as Content Construction Kit -- CCK (chapter 7) and e-commerce (Ubercart - chapter 16). In some important areas such as CCK, you'll find previews of where Drupal 7 may be going.
One of Drupal's main attractions for many people is its ability to automate site creation and maintenance. You'll see how to use views and view arguments to create dynamic views that take care of themselves as content is added to your site as well as how to use taxonomy not just to categorize information but to enable users to retrieve it speedily.
Throughout, there's an emphasis on why: polls are a doorway into interaction with users, when should you enable comments and when should you channel feedback into a discussion forum, and more.
There's even a final chapter with a roadmap to some common CSS theme modifications.
The book's author, Jesse Feiler, is a consultant, author, and speaker specializing in new technologies for small business and nonprofits. In 1999, he wrote Database-Driven Web Sites, one of the first books to propound the then-radical notion that the power of the web and databases could be combined so that it would not be necessary to hand-craft every web page from custom-written HTML. His recent work includes not only Drupal but also apps (both for Facebook and iPhone), Bento, and volunteer work with community organizations that are turning to Drupal to help them fulfill their missions. He can be reached at North Country Consulting.