This book is written to be read cover to cover. If you have some background in C programming, you will want to read through and compile and run the code samples. The benefit of the code samples is that it’s impossible to omit any detail—accidentally or intentionally—when writing code, so if you can understand the code, it will cement your understanding of the text preceding it.
Although this is a book about SSL/TLS, the first half of the book just sets the stage for SSL/TLS by presenting all of the protocols and standards they rely on.
My primary motivation in writing this book was to present, in detail, the interplay between the SSL and TLS protocols and the cryptographic routines that they rely upon.