If a beginner were to only read 3 photo related books, (...)
... he/she will stay a beginner.
Go to a library, browse through as many photo books as you can. Borrow or buy the ones containing pictures that somehow stir you, and then some by acknowledged masters. Go and see photo exhibitions and painting exhibitions. Visit events 1) you are interested in and 2) which could be visually interesting.
Get a vague idea of what kind of photos you would like to take, then go and take them. See for yourself what works for you.
Play with the technical parameters: shutter speed and aperture. See how they influence the result. You must read one technical book and you should read a second one: the must-read is your camera's user guide, the should-read book is a book on optics and lenses. Get a basic grasp on what happens when light travels through a lens.
And be realistic: a good reportage takes weeks, months or years to research and prepare. It's a bit like cooking: if you are a real chef, you may prepare a complex dish. Otherwise just take good ingredients and try to mess them up as little as possible.