This article is from the Beer and Other Brewing FAQ, by Kurt Swanson email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
It is generally agreed that "The Complete Joy of Home Brewing," by
Charlie Papazian is an excellent beginners text. Other find David
Miller's "The Complete Handbook of Homebrewing" just as good for the
beginner, as well as containing more information suited for
intermediate/advanced brewers. I use both. Other texts include "The
Big Book of Brewing," by Dave Line, which is a British text (with
British & metric measurements), and "Brewing Lager Beer" by Greg
Noonan. Mr. Line has also written a recipe book which does contain
basic instructions, called "Brewing Beer Like Those You Buy." A more
modern recipe book is ""Brewing the World's Great Beers" also by Dave
Miller. Also you might try "Brewing Quality Beers," by Byron Burch,
which has been described as "short enough to read for the extremely
impatient, yet has lots of good information." Lastly, CAMRA (see
below), publishes "Home Brewing: The CAMRA Guide," by Graham Wheeler,
1990. Write to CAMRA directly, at the address given below.