Not sure how "easy" this is, but if you're looking seriously at working with PHP, I recommend you look at Zend Framework, which is a free, open-source, and very comprehensive set of PHP web development components covering a huge range of functionality e.g. for MVC-style applications, declarative database mappings, and so on. You can just pick the components you need for your application, but they're all based on a common framework, which means it's easy to add in extra components. And it's a lot easier and more effective (and perhaps more reliable) than trying to code your own!
There are some books on ZF, the online documentation is pretty good, and I can also recommend the excellent "Practical Web 2.0 Applications With PHP" by Quentin Zervaas (Apress), which includes some stuff on how to add ZF components to your application.
Finally, the "PHP Cookbook" by David Sklar and Adam Trachtenberg (O Reilly) is always very useful.