I went through the same problem as you did. I bought different books and it doesnt help me. I learned how to use the tools but I didn't learn how to use it really with it. And books make everything freaking BORING!!! I kept trying and things always went wrong and I always wanted to quit seeing how much better ppl are better than myself and they still ARE! lol
But ever sicne I found this site, my learning maya has been accelerating pretty quickly
I just toggle around with what i see in there, and if i don't understand what its purpose, i ask questions.
Just do the tutorials, I've gone through the hassle.