Greetings and Merry Met
I have found two books recently that can help out when trying to dip your feet into table top RPGS like Dungeons and Dragons. I highly recommend them to the new player but they are also a good read for those who are seasoned players as well.
"Through Dungeons Deep: A Fantasy Gamers' Handbook" By Robert Plamondon
--- This book has some great tips and tricks for both the player and the future Dungeon Master. I was finding tactics in there that gave me some new ideas for a few of my characters. This is a good book for the new player because it gives a few great examples on what to do, what to expect, and some seasonal advice about how to handle yourself in situations. Reading the section for creating campaigns is a help to me since I have a lot of great ideas for running my own adventure but I want to refine what I have into something memorable for my players.
There's a 1982 publishing book that has some outdated material on a few systems that are no longer in existence like Tunnels and Trolls or High Fantasy. If interested in those systems, you may be able to find them on ebay or a specialty store. Good news is the fact that you can find a more recent copy of this book through places like Amazon. I can't tell you if the material is updated or not for the games mentioned but the concepts in this book make it timeless and applicable in any RPG including D&D 4.0.
"Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress: A Girl's Guide to the Dungeons and Dragons Game" by Shelly Mazzanoble
-- This book was cute. Sound advice from a girly girl who isn't afraid to say she's into shoes but found a flair for fashion with her accessory matched Elven Sorceress. It breaks down everything you need to know to get into a D&D game using layman's terms that targets the female gender of today. Although seasonal gamer girls may find some of her information redundant, there is still a great story mixed with delightful humor that will have people from any background enjoying it. There's even a few munchie ideas in there that will fit in with any crowd. I think my favorite part was her "Top 10 Reasons D&D is Better then Dating". All in all I'd say I was happy to add this book to my collection. If Shelly is anything like her written self in that book, then I would love to meet the lady. She projects in her writing someone with a very fun loving and positive personality.... although I think I be a bit leery of the pink ;')