I'm in a similar spot as you as my wife and I are looking for our first investment also! It's exciting but nerve wracking too. I can't offer any advice regarding Houston but regarding books... I'm sure you're aware every week on the podcasts they ask the guests for two of their favorite books and Brandon Turner has a list of his top 20 must reads for real estate investing so those are great sources.
Personally, my favorites are...
ABCs of Real Estate Investing by Ken McElroy
Wealth Can't Wait by David Osborn and Paul Morris (about SO much more than investing, about life and it's amazing. both have appeared on the podcast)
and you can't go wrong with Brandon Turner's books.