For beginners I would suggest either the Staedtler or Faber Castell brand of pencils. These produce significantly better results than bargain bin pencils, provide good colors and allow you to try some simple shading and blending techniques. With practice the best coloring results can even be achieved with the most modest tools!
These extra sheet of paper will stop your coloring being affected by the texture of the surface you are working on. Colored pencils will easily pick up even the smallest dents, divots or wood grain textures. For smoother coloring give your page that little extra cushion! It is also useful to add paper between your page and the next when you are using a coloring book, the paper protects the design underneath from being damaged.