David Mercer has written a Drupal book: Drupal: creating blogs, forums, portals, and community websites. The book is published by Packt, who mailed me a number of free copies to give away at future Drupal events.
It looks like a thorough book with clear and useful examples. The book is geared towards people who are new to Drupal and that want practical advice on how to get a Drupal site up and running. It won't make you a Drupal expert, but it will give you a solid base from which to build. More information, including a free chapter on how to install Drupal, can be found at the publisher's website.