Today I went to the bookstore to look for something else, which they didn't have, and essentially on impulse (and partly because redpirk had bought a Photoshop book) I bought this book.
It's by Scott Kelby and is called "The Adobe Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers" (There's several versions of it, at least a CS2 version, even if the basic functions obviously stay the same from version to version)
I haven't read it as such, just browsed, but it seems really, really good because of two reasons:
A: It's done as a work process. Essentially, the way any photographer do (or should do), starting with uploading the images to the computer (it doesn't deal with photography at all) and burning a CD with those images the first thing, before doing a single other thing (Personally, I have 2 partions on a separate HD and copy the images to a partion called "Camera", then to the other partion called "Created", and I only touch the images on the "Created" folder, never the ones on the "Camera" partion).
It then goes through basic fixing of the images, in case the image is noisy, ruined by a flash etc.. all the way to a "prepared" photo that can be used for prints or uploading or sending through e-mail etc.
B: The book answers "essential" questions, we all encounter, rather than show how you do "stupid" effects.
As in: "Help, it was dark and my images have all these red and blue small noise dots in them. Can I fix that?"
As well as retouching beauty portraits etc.
In that sense, it feels very professional. As in.. it doesn't teach you how to make fun images for your photo album, as much as it try to teach you how to create what a professional editor on a magazine would do, and not doing that with advanced explanation. Just step by step how you create a certain thing.
What it doesn't do:
It doesn't try to explain what the features in Photoshop do. No pictures of the tool palette with a list of text to what every tool does.
It doesn't say a thing about photography. It start with you opening a picture in photoshop, essentially, and ends with you saving the image.