About the advanced Views exercises
The most important concept in advanced Views configuration is contextual filters -- fitlers that are altered depending on where the view is embedded. Two typical use cases is displaying content written by a viewed user, or displaying content relating to a viewed node.
The exercises in this chapter are centered around contextual filters. Before starting them I recommend that you view the related screencasts in the Taming the Beast series, and you can also have a look at the section on contextual filters in Drupal 7 -- the Essentials. (See related links!)