Answer by Alex Sumner:
If the operative words are “complete novice” I would sayfollowed up by (I would also have recommended “How To Make and Use Talismans” if you can get it, but it appears to be out of print).
is advanced reading, though ultimately highly rewarding.
I have to confess I didn’t actually likeas I found Regardie’s language rather pompous, and it didn’t actually cover anything that had already been done better elsewhere (e.g. by Aleister Crowley or Dion Fortune).