Cookbooks for Cheaters

Ok, I admit it - I'm not that great a cook. I still need cookbooks! I'm not on Top Chef where they make everything off the top of their heads - how do they DO that?  (Many hours in the kitchen, encyclopedic memory, experience tasting all kinds of cuisines, ability to think creatively under pressure, no problem!)So how do we amateurs decide which cookbook to use? You can buy one on impulse and