If you already know Java, this slim book contains enough to get you started on developing CORBA applications. Starting with brief overviews of Java, CORBA and distributed architectures, the authors swiftly move on to a simple 'Hello, World!' application.
The latter half of the book discusses the design, architecture and implementation of two more substantial example applications; an Internet polling system and a distribution system for financial market data. The requirements, design and implementation of these applications are explained, with relevant parts of the code highlighted in the text.
The appendices contain a very useful summary of the mapping between IDL and Java. The book is also accompanied by a web page (http://www.wiley.com/compbooks/lewis/) which offers updates, corrections and downloadable source code, as well as some useful links. Among other things, the authors have updated the code for JDK1.2. This web page also contains a sample chapter and an extremely useful reference section with pointers to a lot of useful related tools and sites.
Of course this book won't turn you into a CORBA expert overnight and you should know Java beforehand, but it is a good way to get you started on the subject.