Packt publishing is offering a free copy of Colin Litster's Materials Cookbook. It may be for 2.5, but I think you should be able to pick up an idea or two from it. But be quick: this offer is only valid today!
Blender 2.5 is one of the most usable 3D suites available. Its material and texture functions offer spectacular surface creation possibilities. It can take you hours just to create basic textures and materials in Blender and when you think of creating complex materials and textures you are petrified. Imagine how you will feel when you overcome these obstacles. This title is your gateway to overcoming creating new materials with ease - offering hundreds of recipes that show you how to create a whole new range of textures to add to your models and improve your work!