Guns: The Art of the Rifle
One of the very first books on guns I ever bought was Jeff Cooper's seminal work, "The Art of the Rifle." If you never had an older family member to teach you how to shoot a rifle, this is the book for you. All the basics are laid out, with quite a bit of philosophy from the Colonel himself:
"Personal weapons are what raised mankind out of the mud, and the rifle is the queen of personal weapons...The rifle has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles."
It's also in this book where Cooper laid out the pattern for his "scout" type rifle, a sort of general purpose rifle designed to be fairly competent at hunting and fighting, but not overspecialized in any one area. The main requirements are light weight, short barrel, front-mounted scope, and a .30-06 class caliber (~3000 ft. lbs. muzzle energy). Steyr sells an official "Scout" that meets all these requirements, but recently Ruger and others have introduced rifles that are in line with Cooper's directions: