I thought I'd post what books really got me on my way to being the finatic gardener I am. When I went through my stack, I realized there were more books that I had read up on and cherished than I had originally thought. :D
Step by Step Gardening Techniques Illustrated (drawings by Elayne Sears) is not only very helpful, it has gorgeous drawings to help you understand it better. It does not, however, cover everything.
One that I use almost constantly, and includes just about everything major you need to know, is The Successful Vegetable Garden, a No Nonsense Gardening Guide. It talks about companion planting, spacing, pests, etc. I looove this book. Unfortunately I couldn't find a cover pic, but the books themselves are available through places like Amazon.
Ahh, the first book to get me started at all. Basically, this is a melt in your mouth picture book for grown ups. The full color full page photographs are gorgeous and inspiring. It does have some written merit as well, but I became interested in the book itself because of it's photos. It also talks about famous antique apples. This book is a must have on any gardener's book shelf.
Also very helpful, and money saving, is Propagation: How to Raise New Plants For Your Garden, by Peter Blackburne-Maze and Neil Sutherland. It tells you how to make more plants from the ones you got. How can it get any better than that? Plus, knowing that you made one impatien into five, and then into twenty five, etc etc, is so so satisfying. Again, available, but no pic could be found for it.
Also an awesome book, Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.
This next book was wonderfully informational. It tells you how to grow any kind of berry or grape, the pruning, pest deterrants, etc etc. Another must have in my opinion.
The Complete Guide to Growing Berries and Grapes by Louise Riotte
Another book which covers everything and teaches you how to be self sufficient, Five Acres and Independence, is a well known, wonderful book.
I know there must be a couple more which I've neglected to tell, but that's enough books to start you off, right? Oh, plus a note, most of these are probably available at your local library, too.