When I have the opportunity to gift a beginning cook with their first book, my choice is always Julia Child's "the Way to Cook." It's very basic, and very patient in its instruction. She anticipates questions, and filled the book with hundreds of instructional photos so you can see the steps in a recipe.
She takes you through basic recipes step by step and then gives you suggestions for substitutions to make the same dish different next time.
All the new cooks I've given it to love it, and even years later, still find help and comfort between the covers of "The Way to Cook."
YOu should be able to check it out at your public library before you purchase... this or any other book of this type.
and good luck!~
There are lots of folks right here on DC who will be happy to give you the benefit of their experience. That's what we're here for!