The art of Construction is a book by Mario Salvadori published by the Chicago Review press in 1990. Salvadori also wrote Why building Stand up and Why Buildings Fall Down. The Art of Construction is actually geared to a much young audience (10 & up), which actually makes it very appealing. Salvadori covers alot of the basic terminology and theories behind structures in the book in easy to understand language, pictures, and simple projects to try out (folding paper into I-beams for instance). The book actually covers much more ground than I expected when I picked it up - it even goes into bridge and truss design and assorted other designs (including showing how you can stand on an egg without breaking it. While the book doesn't go into very much detail it is a quick and painless read (and even fun). It also Serves as a great introduction to his other two books mentioned above.
These books also combine well with Structural Design for the Stage (Holden and Sammler), Invention by Design (Petroski) and the building big series of videos. With in this conglomeration of texts and videos there are similar repeat themes, and each build on similar ideas, examples, and locations.