I remember how intimidating it was when I got my first computer. At the time, my husband regularly used a computer at work and thought that I should learn. Of course, I didn't even know how to turn on the thing let alone make it do something worthwhile.
Looking back, I wish I would have had a resource like Absolute Beginner's Guide to Computer Basics. The book starts right from the start. Right off, the book tells the reader that they aren't likely to damage the computer by pressing the wrong button. It also explains all the components of a computer and then takes the reader step by step through what the computer can do. Since the book is based on Windows 7 technology, the new computer owner can simply unpack the parts and begin setting up. By the end of the book, the reader will pretty much be caught up on the basics.
Absolute Beginner's Guide to Computer Basics is good for those new to computing. It provides the basics and does so in an easy to understand way. However, additional resources may need to be consulted if troubleshooting information is required.