For the gentleman who asked:
NEETS - US Navy Electricity and Electronics Training Series - Free downloads.
I've found this to be the best beginner book on Electronics.
Then get this one:
And then this one:
I believe those three, combined with the NEETS downloads, are your best electronics books for beginners.
The first book is goes into basic electronics from a total beginner level. It's what I started with. The second two show you how to make basic RF receiver components from raw materials. This is important, especially for long-term grid-down scenarios. All three are easy to read and understand.