Mike, you only need the book if you are leaving the continent. If you only need it for traveling to Mexico or Canada, then the card will suffice just fine.
I needed rush passports for my kids to travel to France to film a movie. We went to the SD office and had the passport same day we just had to pay a rush fee. I think it was like $100.
You must fill out all the paper work in advance which can be found online, have your old passport and provide proof you are travelling, hence you need a rush.
It was shockingly easy and efficient. We went to SD because we heard LA is a nightmare.