Most of the books I've read on web authoring are, in my opinion, less than they claim to be.
The web provides the largest resource library in the world and much of the information available on it is free. For this reason alone I see no real value in buying one or more books on something like web design where things are constantly changing and evolving.
Beginners sometimes won't know whether the information they get via the web is good or bad so to start out you have to more or less take everything at face value, until you find your feet.
You don't mention any particular software that you have in mind, or whether you would prefer to write your own code or use a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor so for now I shall refrain from including links to tutorials on Dreamweaver, FrontPage, GoLive, NetObjects and so on.
Some links to get you up and running straight out of the blocks:
Webmonkey is a superb resource for all things web (and programming) related: click here
W3Schools have excellent information, from beginner through to quite advanced: click here
A nice HTML overview: click here
The excellent Builder.com site click here has articles on all things web related, from beginner to very, very advanced in a great many topics.
The Site Wizard is worth a look:
To be honest, I could post a huge list of links for you and they may or may not help.
Have a look at the above, read the help files in your web design program (if you have one) and have a long hard think about what you would like a site to look like and why. A nice visual look is one thing, but it really should be there to deliver its content. Content is all important and the best layout in the world will fall flat if the content is lousy.
Ask if you have any specific questions.