I purchased a copy of "Practical Ruby for System Administrators" by André Ben Hamou today at Barnes & Noble. Its really good! Its my first book on Ruby and it is easy to read, and the author has a good sense of humor and an imaginative creative talent.
Speaking of creative talent, my wife and I just watched Howl's Moving Castle. A great animation with all sorts of cool artwork and story lines.
But back to ruby, I like it as a programming language so far. It is straightforward and easy to implement. It might be an good language to learn before trying to tackle C or C++. One thing that interested me already is the standard libraries it has access to, like the ssh socket.