hey Digger....i dunno about u but i'm a newbie to linux.....and one book i'd recommend to u would be "Red Hat 9 Bible" by Christopher Negus. I bought it 3 days back ( it comes with 3 cds of Red Hat 9), got rid of mandrake 9.1 on my system, and installed Red Hat 9 which came along with the book.
So far the book has impressed me to the extent that i read it while having lunch,breakfast,dinner
The language is extremely simple and in plain english rather than techie mumbo-jumbo. I bought it from a local bookstore here after reading reviews on it on Amazon.com. Get the book if u r a total dummy like me in Linux.....i believe its got more than enough to even appeal to much experienced linux-users!