If I could I would give this one 3 1/2 stars. There were lots of interesting insights into the Psalms in this handbook, which was written by one of the translators for the NLT. As such, he often presented his case for why the NLT was correct in its translation of a particular passage. At many points I would have preferred for Futato to focus on the HOW TO instead of the WHAT THIS MEANS. "For crying out loud, man, you're teaching me to interpret for myself here!!! So lets get down to brass tacks and learn how to do exegetical work." Many people will not have a problem with this, but I felt that by the time Futato was finished telling me the themes of the psalms and what several of the psalms meant there was little work for me to do. After taking four seminary classes on inductive Bible study, I have high expectations.
On the other hand, I enjoyed most of his insights. Sometimes it got a little dry, but that's the nature of handbooks on exegesis I guess. I've never noticed one hitting the New York Times bestseller's list or winning any awards for engaging writing. Still, he keeps things straightforward and geared towards novice academics...or pastors with some background in Hebrew.
One of my favorite parts of the book is the last section, where he guides students through how to put all the steps together in order to prepare for a sermon and how to go from exegesis to expositional preaching. Very helpful in this regard. I had never understood the difference between expositional and exegetical preaching.