I'm thinking about getting the 29G starter kit that All-Glass Aquarium has(btw, is this smart? That way I could just upgrade from the equipment that came with it as I go?).
It's okay, but you will probably need to up grade the heater sooner than you think and depending on the filter, you may need one of those too. Personally, I would check the classifieds and Penny Saver-type papers for a good deal on a tank and get my own heater and filter.
Cichilds are great and in that size tank, I would stick with dwarf or smaller cichlids. Most of these are fairly docile, unless breeing.
As for a good book, I can't think of one off the top of my head.