Grob's "Basic Electronics" - starts with "what is an electron" - and moves from there (mind you, this is considered an EE101 textbook, with a price to match - so shop used for older editions).
Horowitz's "Art of Electronics"
For basic electronics (though with a bent toward RF for obvious reasons) - the ARRL's "Understanding Basic Electronics" can be a good resource...
Have you looked at this site? http://electronicsclub.info/
(it's a european/UK site - so it doesn't use the same nomenclature and symbols for schematics as an American site - so keep that in mind).
Here's a couple others:http://www.learnabout-electronics.org/http://openbookproject.net/electricCircuits/
Also - you might want to check out the Forrest M. Mims III's books - specifically the ones known as the "Engineer's Mini-Notebooks":http://www.forrestmims.org/
These were originally published via Radio Shack in the 1970s thru the early 1990s, mainly - but they are still available in larger formats as well (though the pocket versions will always be my favorites). There were several that were geared toward beginners - from basic schematics and circuits, to semiconductors and transistors, to the 555 timer, and all kinds of others. However, due to the era - there wasn't any on microcontrollers (and surprisingly, I never saw one on microprocessors of the era, either - I guess because they were still rather expensive, and they weren't something Radio Shack carried in bare form, plus they were much more complex to understand and build a simple system, unlike today's microcontroller systems).