Being a bookworm I find books an extremely useful way to learn, so I'm going to review the books that helped me to learn how to sew, so you can choose the right one for you.
Me and My Sewing Machine: A Beginner's Guide
by Kate Haxell
This is my favorite of the books that I used, as it is slightly different from most sewing guides out there. This is written on a more personal level and gives you what you need to learn how to sew, not how to become an expert, which can be quite off putting.
There is then seven projects for you to sew, with handy references to the pages where the techniques are explained. I must admit that I haven't actually used the projects at the back of the book (although I do keep meaning to sew this cute bag).
Kate's tone is friendly throughout, yet gives all the detail that you would need in a way that is easy to understand.
If you are looking for more in depth techniques such as couture or how to fit patterns, this is not the book for you, but if you are a complete beginner, looking to learn how to do the fundamentals, this book is extremely helpful.