I finally purchased my independent study book from Amazon, and got really lucky. In order to find the book which I wanted, I had gone to Barnes and Nobles searching for one (similarly to how I did last year). This time around I chose to study networking.
I chose to read Cisco networking Essentials by Troy McMillan. The book was $39.99 at B&N and I was lucky enough to find it for $25 on Amazon (in new condition). Here comes the lucky part. When I received the book it was slightly damaged and I immediately asked Tania to email the seller to request an exchange. I wrote the message and she emailed the seller. They replied very politely and asked us to keep the book since they did not have another one to exchange it with. The best part was that Tania received a full refund (shipping and the cost of the book). I got a $40 book for free. Woo hoo!
I have read through some of the book and it seems very well written (i.e keeps me engaged). According to the introduction, it is a mid level book. It is intended for an audience who has some knowledge with networking, but not enough to start with a Cisco networking review book. Can’t wait to read past the introductory chapters.