For beginners I recommend three books:
Beekeeping for Dummies by Howland Blackiston is easy to follow. The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum leaves many unanswered questions but has ideas on 8-frame hives. Beekeeping: A Complete Owner's Manual by Werner Melzer has more information than I expected from a $7 book. I really like his seasonal guide.
Once my bees arrived, At the Hive Entrance by H. Storch was very helpful in explaining the behavior I observed outside the hive.
For more detail, my favorite is The Beekeepers Handbook by Diana Sammataro.
As encyclopedic reference books, The Hive & the Honey Bee published by Dadant and The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture by A.I. Root seem to cover the same territory with the former in a chapter format and the latter in encyclopedia format.