I just finished this excellent bookVegan For Life
This is a great book for anyone interested in eating a vegan diet. Beginners will find everything they need to know boiled down into a single page, on page 88, called "The Vegan Food Guide". People who have been eating vegan diets for a while will find updated nutrition information(the book was just published in 2011), including entire chapters debunking much misinformation and urban folklore about vegan diets. I found the chapters on soy food consumption and the real health benefits of vegan diets particularly interesting.
Instead of being a comprehensive ( and much longer ) book on nutrition, this book focuses on nutrition issues that people eating vegan diets should be aware of. This makes for a shorter, fact based book that is a bit more practical for people who aren't nutrition buffs.
The book has a strong focus on practicality, actually making a vegan diet work in day to day life. In chapter 8 the authors have some really good food preparation suggestions that can be used over and over for many types of food when people are rushed and not into making a recipe. There is also a section in the back of the book on page 243 describing basic cooking instructions for dietary staple foods. All phases of life, nutrition for athletic training are covered.
Jack Norris and Virginia Messina are Registered Dietitians who stay regularly abreast of current nutrition research and who are scrupulously honest about reporting the complete story in regards to nutrition...even if it isn't always what people want to hear ( they both regularly maintain blogs dedicated to vegan nutrition information ). In other words, you can depend on them to give you complete, up to date and truthful information.
That is what you will get in this book, in plain, easy to read language.