Murach's C# 2005 is an excellent guide in using the latest version of C#, most effective for existing .NET 1.x developers looking to migrate their skill set up to v.2.0 code and concepts. The intent of the work isn't to teach C# from scratch, but more to give an overview of the major features .NET 2.0 offers. The book also serves a dual purpose - introducing the Visual Studio 2005 IDE and demonstrating how to make it work the best for you.
It sports chapters on working with ADO.NET for database programming, XML, I/O, Windows Forms controls, proper OOP fundamentals (inheritance, polymorphism), creating/using business objects within custom libraries, and deployment. In particular, the deployment chapter is particularly good, showing how to properly package and ship an complete application with an embedded database.
Joe Murach writes in a very friendly, succinct manner through very well-ordered chapters, making for a very welcome atmosphere for the busy developer looking to update their programming palette. The technical foundations are well-explain in concise fashion, and almost all have accompanying code and/or illustrations or screenshots. The book is a very quick read. Physically, it exhibits all the appreciated traits of the Murach library: it's printed on heavy, durable paper and bound with a sturdy spine that will sustain the quick flip-through or serious pounding in the middle of a project.
In criticism, I feel the book is a bit mis-titled – and in this instance, that's not necessarily a bad thing. The emphasis, rather than on the nuances of the updated language, is more on using VS2K5 to build Windows apps. I would have liked more information on developing MDI applications, as this is what most devs will ultimately work towards building. Also, while Chapter 23 - "How to Work with XML Files" was a good start, I found it to be a tad incomplete, lacking some of the more essential concepts like XSLT and integrating XML with ADO.NET.
But those minor concerns aside, this is a great book that you'll be able to read through quickly and visually, empowering you with the skills you'll need to build great .NET 2.0 desktop applications.