Packet Guide to Core Network Protocols is a book that I wanted to like. The introduction indicates that this will be an exploration of network packets using Wireshark, and that the focus will be on the core protocols present on most modern networks, and that the intended audience encompasses anyone from network novice on up.
That latter portion of the intro may be the problem. While there is good information here and the author is a facile communicator, the thought that kept nagging me was “who is the audience for this?”. Many of the details would already be known to network pros and have been covered in other works; for a beginner to be studying at this level, they would normally be using a vendor-specific text in a quest for certification.
On the positive side, if you are simply curious about networking, this is a great read. Exercises are included which can be performed on a local network using open source programs, which is a great way to learn. Copious references are appended to each chapter for further reading.
This book might also be useful to Cisco certification seekers who are having difficulty with the Cisco-supplied texts and need supplemental material with more hands-on activities.
Overall, not a bad book, but it seems to be searching for an audience.