I give Modern Crochet 2 of 5 stars. The author is very knowledgeable (she has a Masters degree in Fine Arts!), and she explains crochet concepts very clearly and concisely, but there's very little variety in the projects in the book.
Nearly every project calls for rag rug yarn or twine, and all are either solid, stripes, or triangles. (As seen on the cover.) Nothing wrong with that, but it's just not for me. And I feel like I'm not alone. If I'm going to spend money on a crochet techniques/pattern book, I want it to go far in the variety of things I can make for my home. As it is, I didn't find a single project in this book to recreate for myself or as a gift. This is personal preference, but if the author had simply injected a little more color into the book, it may have seemed more appealing (a good 50% of the projects are shown in black & white yarn.)
One good thing: this book did do a good job of explaining how to add a zipper to your crochet project, so that you can make pillows with removable inserts for washing.
It was interesting to flip through for a half hour, but I'm not considering purchasing.
*I checked out my copy of Modern Crochet from my local library.