Ok,here's my own contribution to this very interesting thread.If one is looking for a book of techniques,Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere is really helpful.But for someone so new in the world of Aikido,i'm not so sure that a "techniques manual" is the appropriate choice,since in such a begginer's level,technical manuals without a teacher's guidance will look like a confusing blur.
So in my opinion,you can use your "forced" dojo vacations to fathom in the aikido perspective of everyday matters by reading Aikido The Book In Between,by Mario Gunter Frastas sensei.
I believe that through his book,the author is giving his martial point of view in every aspect of life in a way that can be rarely discussed inside a dojo and reading it can be a unique experience,at least in my opinion.
So here is a link if you'd like to take a look at it: http://www.marioaikibook.com/THE%20BOOKS%20WEBSITE.htm
I hope that my post was helpful...