I havent' seen either of these books. But I tried using a number of books to learn crochet and just couldn't get it. It just didn't make sense to me. I recently picked up Debbie Stoller's Book Happy Hooker and it just clicked. I love how she explains things. Also while I didn't like hardly ANY of the SNB patterns, I have already made (or am making) 3 of the patterns in this book and there are more on my to crochet list. I recommend this book to anyone who asks.
Lotus Blossom Tank in SWTC Bamboo
Mandarin Blouse in cotton fleece
sockettes in KP Bare tweed
Fat Bottom Bag from SNB - Crochet
Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan