The Pro Drupal Dev book is great. Halfway through having learned about modules, nodes, hooks, menu items, etc I was having trouble pulling together the big picture: how do all these make a site?
Took a step back and thought about a target site archetype: sections, pages, page types, page sections/modules. Mapping the site out this way, creating a page taxonomy (page types and their content components) I was better able to relate to the nodes I’ll need, modules, and even admin behavior and permissions (what should be enabled/disabled, and for whom).
This will help a lot as I go forward with the reading (will probably be revisiting a few chapters) and will probably be revisiting this (both the notes I took and the exercise itself) several times in the near future.