Scanning the big picture: overviews

Croom, Emily Anne.  Unpuzzling your past.

Greenwood, Val D.  The researcher's guide to American genealogy.
One of the best in-depth guides; highly recommended.

Melnyk, Marcia Yannizze.  The genealogist’s question & answer book.

Morgan, George G.  How to do everything with your genealogy.
Excellent starting point.

Rose, Christine and Kay Germain Ingalls.  The complete idiot’s guide to genealogy.
           
Smolenyak, Megan.  Who do you think you are?: The essential guide to tracing your family history.
The television series investigating the ancestries of celebrities, "Who Do You Think You Are", is the starting point for this introduction to genealogy.

RootsWeb's Guide to Tracing Family Trees