As it happens, I agree with you about Chernev's book (but not with the bit about manners and ethics, which seems over-the-top to me). It's funny how chess players like to turn things other than games into contests. I posted the Exeter Chess Club link merely for cerebral entertainment, not in an attempt to "win points".
P.S. If you read all of the article, you will see that it also agrees with your viewpoint. Quote:
OK, yes, Chernev misses things, and yes, he's over-fond of general principles, but I'm very much at ease with Chernev being read by people who haven't yet done much work on their game. Chernev's enthusiasm is infectious, the games are inspiring and well-chosen (Chernev's selections have turned up ceaselessly in instructional books published since), and, if you're in need of some general principles, I can't think of a better way to acquire them. Unless you have ambitions to be a very much better player than GM Ashley or even postal master Taylor, you could do worse than make it your second chess book, too.
How about these as recommended by Dan Heisman.
I'm working through "Logical Chess Move by Move". I think it's great for a beginner like me. I went to the book store with my chess set and tested "The World's Most Instructive Amateur Game Book" and "Simple Attacking Plans". I bought both.
try "Xadrez Básico" by Orfeu Dagostini. To me is the best for inicial chess players. we can dawnload it on the internet.
I think GM Neil McDonald's Chess Success: Planning after the Opening is probably his easiest book with lots of diagrams and explanation after almost every move. McDonald's Chess: The Art of Logical Thinking is also a good book, but perhaps a little more advanced.
Both John Nunn's Understanding Chess Move by Move and Max Euwe's Judgment and Planning in Chess are excellent with lots of interesting insights, but you would probably need to get out a board, and spend a fair bit of time going over the games to get the most out of them.