It's a steep learning curve and takes months, (even years) to digest fully and even then there is still much to learn.
More than 4 years over here, Rick. Still learning.

I'm not familiar with Ian Lloyd's book, but a lot of people come here citing the book and laying out their pages with absolute positioning.
It's a test part Lloyd had you do to show you how, at first, all the elements stack on top of each other in the upper left-hand corner of the page (you just put position: absolute on them and no coords). This didn't work for me when I was going through the book because I had something like
id-"something" instead of the =. Something I couldn't easily catch back then.