This is another nice issue from the ESRI press concerning Python scripting within their ArcGIS program. If you are a GIS user who needs the programming background to really understand and function your ArcGIS work, this is a good book to motivate you to learn.
There is a lot of buy-in necessary to make this work: mostly, beating your head against the programming wall over and over and over and over and over again when little issue pop up that makes things not work. Python at least is somewhat forgiving.
If you are a student in a course where this book is required... buy it. You'll need it for a while if you plan to make GIS a career.