I read this book cover to cover the day that it arrived. I was fortunate to have a business trip which gave me a good 6 hours to plough through it, but I didn't write a review straight away, I wanted to digest it and I'm now on my second reading of it. What make this book so great? It has to be the writing style, if anything Joe is even more crazy than when he wrote The Moment It Clicks. The sheer entertainment value of this book makes it valuable because you'll read it over and over again, and I'll bet you'll get something new out of it every time.
Joe is constantly drawing parallels with cookery in this book, but this is no recipe book, you won't see a list of ingredients anywhere. Joe is the Jamie Oliver of small flash lighting, its all motor mouth wisecracking and fluid instruction, a little dash of this a little dash of that. Its all about adapting to the situation you're in and mixing your lighting to taste.
The book starts with a comprehensive yet compact section on gear. Joe shoots with the Nikon creative flash system and the book has Nikon CLS running through it like a stick of rock, but that doesn't diminish the book's usefulness to anyone who doesn't shoot with Nikon flash or even TTL in general.
The hot shoe diaries is full of solid case studies with a variety of different shots and techniques, lots of good information on shooting with hard light and with the flash on and off the camera or even outside the building and all discussed in Joe's quirky style.
At the end of the book a guy in a gorilla suit gives you a quick run down of how to program your Nikon flash guns to do wireless using the SB800,SB900 and on camera flash as examples.
You may find that you recognise a few of the case studies from Joe's blog, but that's no bad thing, because your not going to read the blog in the bath, and with it in book form you'll read it over again.
This is definitely up there with my favourite books and excellent value for money. Buy it, you won't regret it.