Lessons In Electric Circuits (2700 pages)
Engineer's Mini Notebooks (booklets)
Make: Electronics (get 2nd edition) ($$)
Make: More Electronics ($$)
+1 on the batteries.
Platt - Make: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery
Mims - Getting Started in Electronics
Scherz - Practical Electronics for Inventors
I'm enjoying this one
Make: Electronics is a very good book. You can buy a series of kits to complete the projects in the book. There is also a sequel (Make: More Electronics) and a series of encycliopedias from Make about electronic components.
I'm a complete beginner myself, but I have soldered a couple hats and such for raspberry pi's and esp8266 with perfboard. I'm just starting to mess around with pcb design, as op says it's really doesn't seem that difficult. A friend got me this book years ago randomly and it helped me greatly in understanding basic circuitry:
1) YouTube - Online. Take advantage of it. When I first started learning about electronics as a kid, there was no such thing as home computers or the internet.
2) Google - Online. If you don't understand something, then ask google. Download datasheets. Two more things I wish I had way back in the day.
3) Wikipedia - Online. Great for some electronics topics, but it varies from topic to topic.
4) Books - Online.
Electricity & Electronics Training (modules)
5) Books - Printed. Buy at least one or two starter books.
Make: Electronics (get 2nd edition)
Make: More Electronics
6) Historical Electronics Magazines - online. When I was young, I had subscriptions to multiple electronics magazines. It was one of the best ways to learn a hobby before the internet existed.
Popular Electronics (PDF archive)
Radio Electronics (PDF archive)
7) Electronics Magazines - Printed (or PDF):
Everyday Practical Electronics
Nuts & Volts
I found that the Make: books are quite easy to follow and things are well explained. You could start with this one: https://www.amazon.com/Make-Electronics-Learning-Through-Discovery/dp/1680450263/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=make%3A+electronics&qid=1551011236&s=books&sr=1-1
There is also Make: More electronics and Make: Encyclopedia of electronic components volume 1, 2 and 3.
They come with lists of components needed for each book, and there are also ready made kits of components available on Amazon.
Instead of going straight to micro controllers, I would start with basic electronics (resistors, capacitors, leds, ohms law, voltage, current, etc). It’s better to have a strong base in electronics before moving into micro controllers. That way you aren’t mindlessly connecting things using a guide. I started with this book called “Make Electronics”. It is excellent. The book starts from the basics and has you do projects for each chapter: only $25 too: https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1680450263
$FREE = Lessons In Electric Circuits - 6 PDF books, 2700 pages.
$FREE = Engineer's Mini Notebooks - many older booklets.
$20 = Make - Electronics , 2nd edition, 2015.
$30 = Make - More Electronics , 1st edition, 2014.
$FREE = Electricity & Electronics Training - many older modules, scroll down for links to other modules.
$21 = Practical Electronics for Inventors , 4th edition, 2016.
$23 = Complete Electronics Self-Teaching Guide with Projects , 4th edition, 2012.
$97 = The Art of Electronics , 3rd edition, 2015. The 2nd edition is great too.
Make: Electronics 
This is a very accessible, hands on driven book that starts from absolute 0 and builds you up step by step. It focuses on very basic circuits and components (I think only the last experiment involves a microntroller).
UT Texas Embedded Systems / Input Output (edx) 
This course I can't speak highly enough of. I started it on a whim and got totally sucked in. Again, very hands on (they wrote custom software that tests the physical devices you build). It's thorough and addicting.