As far as extended metaphors go, the 'cookbook' should be a familiar terrain to most. What you get with Java Cookbook is a twenty-six chapter smorgasbord comprised of both the staple and more exotic ingredients of the core and non-core Java APIs.
Relative newcomers to Java will probably find much in this book that leads them to the correct place at the table, even ordering their meal for them. Intermediates, could well experience a deepening of the palette, suffering only the occasional irritation from the warmed up remnants of previous meals. More advanced users are bound to find something in the general dinner conversation that is teeth grindingly annoying, should they care to look for it. This is not meant as a criticism. As an exercise in hand-holding this book surpasses itself, leading the reader through the APIs with cool assurance, each chapter following a rigid format: an introductory talk followed by the 'recipes' themselves, which are divided into three sections; Problem, Solution and Discussion.
Throughout the book is immensely readable and at pains to clarify rather than impress with the sound of its own voice. As a desktop reference, however, it may well already be somewhat out of date, stopping short, as it does, of Java 1.4.
Nevertheless, a clear, bright piece of work, bursting at the seams with ideas for connoisseurs and snackers alike.C#& .NET