Buy from Amazon
The Extravagant Universe
I don't think that this book is really suitable for a complete beginner in the subject - I think that the early chapters which introduce the concepts used might be a bit confusing for anyone who didn't already have a grounding in the cosmology. The second half of the book goes more into the activies of Kirshner's research group - for example how the competition from other groups influenced their research. Again this can be hard to follow if you're unfamiliar with the subject. At the very least the book needs a glossary of the abbreviations used. On the other hand the book is not at all technical, so if you have read other books on this topic then you will have no problems with this one.