Programming Amazon EC2 by Jurg van Vliet and Flavia Paganelli is practical in nature and takes you through all the steps to create and configure accounts, develop applications, and deploy applications. If you’re new to Amazon EC2 (and related services) this is definitely a good place to start, because it goes through all the components Amazon offers, such as S3/Cloudfront and RDS for data storage. It also looks at how you can setup your application to scale up and down, and ensure your application has excellent uptime. The book takes you by the hand based on some applications the authors have created themselves. Although this approach makes the book practical, it sometimes reads as (irritating) marketing for their applications.