I thought I would mention a new book I just bought called the Hardware Cyclopedia - The complete illustrated guide to everything sold in hardware stores by Steve Ettlinger. Its a nice resource. Its a "pocket size", though it is pretty thick. Each tool or material has a description, other names, uses, and sometimes tips next to the picture. The pictures are in the backstage handbook style - drawn images. The book includes sections on hand and power tools, general materials, general hardware, paints / stains, lumber, plumbing, electrical, masonry and safety stuff.
You can check it out on amazon at: