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If you dont mind doing some hard work yourself i strongly recommend you the joomla book by packt publishers , its good book for begineers
Good luck with your experience with joomla
If you have not finalized the CMS for your website , i would also suggest you to have a look at drupal , its a good CMS and very easy to use and learn
The community is very active so post on the forum if you have questions but search there first.
You'll be surprised at how much you will learn by just playing around with it for awhile.
I do agree with that.
Before you go through the documentations and the other lessons, see how much you can find for yourself. The good thing is, you might not easily forget what you really discover yourself. Then ofcourse, to be followed by a guide from the experts in that area.
I have many reservations on how to use Joomla and who should use it for what purpose, which I find many well-profiled customers requiring a custom built system depending on some CMSs like Joomla which are made for the wide variety of options.
Often I find myself removing/modifying the kind of features not required in a specific system, which could have been happily spent on working on what is needed.