What books are you using? There are plenty of good linux books out there that can show you the basics.
Start with a distribution like Ubuntu, you'll find great video tutorial on it at www.vtc.com, seriously worth the $30. Once you have nailed the user interface then start in on your Linux+, using Fedora or CentOS.
Pay special attention to the SUDO command, they assume you are running as root in a lot of books...
Ubuntu is definitely the best distro for a beginner it runs very well with most hardware and makes the transition very easy.