I found the videotutorial from lynda.com very usefull i think it was called essential training, it covered some basics on every level, modeling, animation and so on.
Just buy a book that explains how they do it and also if not more important why they do stuff a certain way.
I for starters found the learning maya books a bit lacking, the simple stuff is explained over and over, but when you come to the part were you really need to know something they say do it yourself.
Learning maya books are more usefull as a refference book in my experience.
I found the game artist guide to maya(by mc kinley ) a great resource also mastering maya 7 from sybex was a great book.
But the best advice i could probably give you is start simple don't expect to much in the beginning and you will learn maya.