Here's a few links to books I've bought for myself, and hence I can be brutally honest. :)
This is a strategy book I really like, after just a day of reading! The examples are brief and to the point, so you'll be able to stock up on small but very useful ideas that will hopefully pop up in one's mind later, when triggered. Almost half of the book consists of exercises to allow you to practise what you've learnt. But don't worry, the book is nearly 500 pages so it's not a "diagram dump". If I was still commuting by train every morning this would be my preferred read, as this stuff is perfect for assimilation in small doses anyway.
The above is the very first diagram in the book, and a good example of what you'll get. Take a few minutes to figure out what Black should do in the diagram. He stands slightly worse as White has more active pieces, a queenside majority and a Black a6-pawn that may become a target later. So, what's the idea to equalise? I'll give the answer at the end of the post.
Personally, I'm already rating this as the Book of the Year 2010, but it is probably published too close to the end of the year to win that award...
Another recent Everyman book I like is:
Partly because I know how much work it entails to cover two strategic opening like the Czech Benoni (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e5) and the related Full / Closed Benoni 1.d4 c5 2.d5 e5 - at least if you're aiming to do a good job and use engines to verify the variations, it could easily take a lot more time than you were assigned from the beginning.
The only downside is that all the possible move orders should have been dealt with in some way that would have made it easier to read. A variation tree system plus brief chapters on important transpositions would have made more sense than sticking to the usual commented games format that's become ubiquitous nowadays.
Two recent Everyman books I really don't like are: 1) Alekhine Alerts by Timothy Taylor mostly because of the author's many, many ways of annoying you as a reader. E.g: giving lots of full uncommented irrelevant games, big text chunks on what "he doesn't like" instead of focusing on the repertoire he supposed to provide. Choosing outdated games or low quality games as main games, etcetera etcetera. A good editor would have cut off a third of the book easily. But to be fair, he sometimes / occasionally suggests good / interesting alternatives, and his annoying style of writing makes you hyper critical - which is a good mode to read any chess book...
(For those who just want to learn the Alekhine as black, the best book resource is, in my opinion, still Starting Out Alekhine's Defence by John Cox and then update it with recent top level games.)
and 2) "Play the Dutch: An Opening Repertoire for Black Based on the Leningrad Variation by Neil McDonald" - It's hard to imagine who the intended reader is supposed to be, as the repertoire consists of very briefly commentated games often recommending variations that will require quite skilful handling not to self-destruct; e.g: 1.d4 f5 2.Bg5 h6 is admittedly a mainline, but 2...g6 is much easier to handle as Black - especially if you're new to the Dutch. 1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bf4 a6!? is an interesting idea, but 2...Nf6 3.Bg5 d5 is considered the solid solution to 2.Nc3 and this is well tested in practice. While 3...a6 was first played by Malaniuk in 1987, but has rarely been played since, except for Bartel taking it up recently, after having already preferred 2...d5 since 1997, so he has obviously accumulated a lot of know how and understanding of this sideline during this time... Still, so far few have joined him, probably because the positions arising are far from easy to handle for Black.
But my main quibble with the book is what is given as the main line:
1. d4 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. c4 d6 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5
Na5 9. Qa4 c5 10. dxc6 Nxc6 11. Rd1 Ne4 12. Nxe4 fxe4 13. Ng5 Nd4
(Diagram) Here McDonald states that: "The e2-pawn is hanging and White really has little choice but to put his rook on d2 or e1 to defend it, crucially vacating the square on d1 for his queen. For example, 14.Bf1? Bd7 and White will lose at least the exchange"
However, if he had bothered checking a corr database or just done some independent analysis
(Glenn Flear commenting on the game Parker-Rendle on chesspublishing also missed the following, but that was in 2008, and he does come up with an improvement for Black in that game - and McDonald doesn't mention him as a source in the book anyway, as far as I can see.)
the following idea wouldn't be too hard to find assisted by a strong chess engine and imagining that White would be looking for something better than self-obstruction with Rd2.
14. Be3! Nf5
(14... Bd7 15. Qb4 Nc2 16. Qxb7 Nxa1 17. Rxa1 Rb8 18. Qd5+ Kh8 19. Nf7+ Rxf7 20. Qxf7 Rxb2 21. c5 Rxe2 22. Rc1 Qf8 23. Qxf8+ Bxf8 24. c6 Bc8 25. Bxe4 Bh6 26. Bxh6 Rxe4 27. Rc3 a6 28. Rf3 1-0 Klausen,T (2415)-De los Santos Serrano,A (2338)/ICCF 2003.)
15. c5 d5 16. Qa3 Nxe3 17. Qxe3 Bh6 18. Bxe4 e6 19. h4 Qf6 20. Bg2 Qxb2 21. f4 Bxg5 22. hxg5
Rf7 23. Bf3 Qb5 24. Rab1 Qa5 25. Rb3 Qa4 26. Kh2 Qc6 27. Qd4 Bd7 28. e4 Rc8 29.
exd5 Qxc5 30. Qxc5 Rxc5 31. Rxb7 Rc2+ 32. Kg1 Rc3 33. Rb3 Rxb3 34. axb3 Kf8 35.
Ra1 Bc8 36. Bg4 Rb7 37. Rc1 Bd7 38. dxe6 Be8 39. Be2 Ke7 40. Bc4 Bb5 41. Bd5
Rb8 42. Kf2 Rd8 43. Rc5 a6 44. b4 Rh8 45. Ke3 Kd6 46. Kd4 Re8 47. g4 Rf8 48.
Ke4 Rg8 49. Rc2 Ba4 50. Rd2 1-0 Bunk,W (2423)-Ottesen,S (2380)/ICCF 2007.
So, after more or less refuting the book's main line after two minutes with my corr base, I lost the motivation to finish going through it. But it's possible that a devoted Dutch-player may find something interesting in the book, as a starting point for some hard analysis work. But for me, this book was the disappointment of the year. Everyman has promised two free updates of the book on their site within 12 months of the publication, but so far it hasn't showed up yet, as far as I know.
I'd suppose that Bartel's 11...Kh8 with the idea of ...Be6 and ...Bg8 would be the way to save the variation, it's a bit drawish, but that's better than being lose-ish... ;)
For a good book on the Leningrad Dutch, the best option is probably still Kindermann's Leningrad System: A Complete Weapon Against 1.d4 or Beim's Understanding the Leningrad Dutch (which unfortunately is no longer available at the BookDepository it seems) - or possibly one of McDonald's earlier efforts on the opening.
Update, March 2011. In the chapters on White deviations from the mainlines McD does offer some interesting insights - for example I had never seen 1.d4 f5 2.b3 but evidently it has some points as Topalov among others have played it. Anyway, if the book had been named New Ideas in the Dutch or something similar, instead of promising a repertoire, it wouldn't be so disappointing and I might not have shelved it for a few months before finally reading thru it looking for the raisins...
And finally, as promised, the solution to the diagram from Hellsten's book: Black played 21...g6! with the idea of Ne8-g7-f5, improving his worst piece, and quickly even gained an edge in the game Chuchelov-Kir.Georgiev, Mainz (rapid) 2002.