would "programming in lua" by mr. ierusalimschy, 3rd edition be a good
This book is a necessity. Also, it is somewhat above "absolute beginner." It's still approachable, but many of the concepts do not have the kind of background context that you would find in a beginning book.
One book that I enjoyed a great deal, and learned quite a bit from, is Beginning Programming in Lua. If you can swing two books, I would get this as the second. It's based on Lua 5.1, but there are not too many "gotchas" that you need to worry about.
The difference between them is that Programming in Lua is designed to teach you Lua and it is one of the best at doing that. It's one of my very favorite learning books, overall.
Beginning Programming in Lua is focused on using Lua as a way to teach you programming.