Scala / Lift
The book "Lift Application Development Cookbook" by Gilberto T. Garcia Jr. really lives up to the title "cookbook". There are recipies starting from the simpler concepts needed to build a Lift application, teaching the "know how" of different areas. The recipies are working and allow the developer do quickly start exploring a subject. I especially liked the balance between the more extraordinary topics like the things in the chapter "Integrating Lift with Social Media", but also covering easy and useful subjects like "Sending e-mails using Gmail's SMTP server" as such: a very easy recipe.
What I am missing a bit - the reason for that is in the concept of a cookbook, of course - is more of a treatment of the "know why" opposed to the "know how". This book gives a head start to begin exploring a treated subject. The deeper understanding has to be acquired somewhere else.