- Getting started in electronics, by Forrest M. Mims.
This booklet is for beginners, it begins at what electrons are and take you through resistors and capacitors all the way to the more complex stuff like logicgates. No programming in this one, just oldschool electronics. (Nice detail: It's completely handwritten and drawn.)
Not in print anymore but available through amazon.
- The Art of Electronics, Paul Horowitz & Winfield Hill.
Excellent resource for analog, digital and rf electronics. http://www.artofelectronics.com/
This is a nice book about hacking -mostly- analog circuitry and building some yourself. It doesn't have a lot of technical talking but mostly just gives rules of thumb and a lot of fresh ideas. You don't need any electronic experience to start with this book. Nicolas Collins (the writer) also gives workshops using this book as a point of departure. I enjoyed one of these workshop at Steim. (edo)
The book is a very easy introduction into using programmable micro-processors to connect your familiar computer to the physical word. It has lots of pictures and easy to read schemes. It shows very practically how to get going with Basicstamp / BX / Atom / bare PIC and following that it also gives a lot of info about attaching sensors and actuators to your micro-processor. (edo)