tl;dr (that's internet for "executive summary"): If you want to make really good bread with minimal effort, go for Jim Lahey. If you want the next step after that, so you can make great bread with a bit more effort, go for Ken Forkish.
This post discusses some of the bread books I've used, and the pluses and minuses I've found. I hope it's of interest to you, and if you decide to buy any of them I hope you'll use the links here, because Amazon says they will give me a small kickback.
My aunt, Barbara Walker, taught me to make bread when I was about eight, in her kitchen in Ossining, NY. I probably made it a couple of times and then stopped, but I remember unearthing the recipe one Christmas maybe three or four years later and making bread for all my friends and dropping off loaves at their houses. Apparently after that I was known to my friend Margy's grandparents as "the boy who made the bread." There was kneading, and rising, and punching-down, and a bunch of stuff to do.