No good reason for the kicking off, except that some ISP's use MS software (conspiracy?
) It might be some minor setting that's not configured right, but it can be a headache trying to find the setting to change unless your ISP is friendly to Linux.
As for books to read, O'Reilly books are most recommended, but somewhat pricey. ($30+ depending on the subject.) I own several, and they all have a premium spot on my computer table. "Running Linux" should come with every Linux distribution sold, IMHO.
Sometimes you can find them cheaper, or older versions, if you're wiling to sacrifice a little newness for price. One thing to keep in mind is that soem things are distro/version specific (directory locations, program versions, setup, etc.), but most things are relatively easy to adjust to any Linux version or distribution.
There is plenty of information about Linux free on the internet, but it can be a little hard to sort out the stuff you need from the fluff. www.tldp.org
is a good place to look around, but howto's can be a little painful for newbies. linuxquestions.org and justlinux.com both have a good number of tutorials, but they can be a bit dated. It's usually easier to find an answer for linux problems on the internet than it is for other things, however. The hardest part about finding linux answers is usually knowing how to search for them. Most of what you thought you knew about computers when using MS Windows is next to useless for other OS's.
The best information for your particular distro is probably in the 'info' program. For command line basics, type 'info coreutils'. Use 'n'ext, 'p'revious, 'u'p, and 'q'uit, and enter (to select subjects marked by :: (double colons)) to move around. Type 'info' for a complete list of available docs. This is using the command line (xterm/konsole/gnome terminal/etc.). For other docs not there, /usr/share/doc should have docs for everything on your system (sometimes in /usr/doc on older style distros).
Hope this helps a little. Oh, and welcome to the cutting edge of computing.