This res is essentially my degree...I hate it as a debate res, but I really wish I could still compete.
A great read is Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. Easy to understand, cogently pithy, and a good conversation inciter.
I was just about to say this. Even though it reads like a contemporary text, it was actually written as a response to the New Deal and Keynes.
For a more episodic look at economics that is excellent for practical applications of economic principles, I recommend The Myth of the Robber Barons
by Dr. Burt Folsom. There are also several lectures from Hillsdale professors available on Youtube that are basically half-hour summations of entry-level and upper-level classes. They are very good for getting economic foundations. I've taken classes from several of those professors, and they are almost word-for-word recreations of their lectures.
For a more philosophical approach to econ and the role of government, I recommend The Law
by Fredric Bastiat for the conservative/libertarian perspective. It is available free online.