As someone who's been programming in Flash for a number of years now, I have never once found ANY book that's good at explaining Flash... not one. Everything I've learned about Flash has been self-taught (via experimentation).
I think the most common reaction whenever a person opens up another person's .flas is "WTF is this person doing? This is WRONG!" just because everyone does it their own way.
I have a few textbooks from school but like most ppl I found them to be quite useless.
I've bought a couple of books for flash, but i've always ended up using the internet for learning flash. If you are going to buy a book ask around on the Kirupa forums, they'll recommend a good book - probably an actionscript bible or something.
Theres an awful lot of awesome information on Kirupa and its forums, including a really nice resizing slideshow which I initially used to display my photography on the web.
Hi, I just got the Flash MX 2004 Bible from Amazon only as to know why I want to use certain things over others. Most of what I learned has been from a web site with some downloads for making cartoons but, it did help learning the basics. Back to the book I bought it seemed to be very good but as others have said trial and error might be the best way.
I'd think about why you are using Flash and consider not using it - at least use it sparingly as full blown flash sites are often self indulgent, difficult to edit and rarely executed successfully.
I think if used simply, Flash is the best way to view photos on the web. But maybe a simple HTML site would be better with a Flash title bar with some of your photos fading into one another.
At any rate, forget about books. Spend your money wisely and visit VTC.com Online tutorials are the absolute best way to learn programs and this site has an unlimited approach for a monthly payment, cancel any time type of arrangement.
1st :: http://www.lynda.com/ I have read 2-3 flash books but nothing was as valuable as the $25 I spent on a membership at lynda.com. Flash was one of those apps that I had to learn from videos. Really cool Quicktime videos and you can go view free samples to see if it works for you.
2nd :: Actionscript I have found more help online via flash user forums and doing searches on these forums. I found that most of the time someone else already ran into the same problem I did. I am still looking for a good actionscript book, but the new flash w/ AS 3 is comming so I might just hold off. Wait for the 2.0 books to go on sale.