I would highly recommend starting with Python. Only use Perl if you are bald (because it will make you tear all your hair out very quickly...
Python is much easier to learn than Perl. It is bundled with a tutorial (online version here
) which is enough to get started, and a reference manual, which is not much good for learning from but it will help you when you need to understand the syntax. Also, Python has a builtin command line so it can be used interactively, which is invaluable for experimenting and testing.
OTOH, Perl, it has to be said, is a powerful language, and it's worth at least tinkering with it (I tend to stick to one-liners myself, I use Python for anything more complicated).
I have Programming Perl and Programming Python but I've only read a little of each, so can't say much about them yet. The two Learning books tuxrules mentioned are probably better places to start.