The links under getting started here are pretty useful for beginners. The book looks OK, but a lot of the basic information is easily found on websites like this.
Another good educational website is
Don't take one book and one authors views as the gospel when you are getting started, try some different kinds of boats and paddling. You may see yourself as a flatwater lake paddler, but be sure to try some other kinds of experiences.
Touring Kayak Paddles
Wabakimi Canoe Pack
Full Size Sail Rig
Canoe / Kayak Anchors
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