The best way to improve in chess is to play serious, slow games, and to read books that have a lot of exercises at the right level. Books without exercises tend to give the feeling that you learned to lot, but turn out not to change much in the choice you actually make behind the board.
Chess Steps is a training method that was developed by Dutch masters and coaches Brunia and Van Wijgerden, that starts at absolute beginner level (and for very young children, almost a bit before that) and that continues to strong club player level at least. It has a very strong focus on tactics, and a secondary focus on endgames. It is the official training method of the Dutch chess federation and I think of several others, but that I don't know for sure.
Steps 1 to 5 are intended to be taught by a teacher, after which the pupils do the exercises. However, in my experience, for older players it is doable to just do the workbooks. You could of course get the teacher's manuals as well, if necessary. Step 6 is designed for self-learning (because there are few teachers that are strong enough to teach it).
Workbooks are cheap, and if a step gives you difficulty, there are "Extra" and "Plus" workbooks. I think this is clearly the best line of "books" for serious beginners.
After step 4 or 5 or so, Yusupov's series is also great, but it is much too hard for a beginner.