Where do you begin? Here's what I think I know.
1) Regardless of any heuristics you might start with - ultimately you have to 'read it out' -- I got that. Problem is? As a noob - not having a clue where to begin - I'm faced with MORE variations to consider than someone who knows what they're doing. And very quickly get overwhelmed.
2) Practice, practice, practice... so that I get familiar with the basic patterns. Got that. And working on it. With these two observations as a given... any suggestions? One thing I find myself barely able to do - and it's getting a bit easier - is to identify where eyes would have to be for a group to live. I find this easier to do when a group has invaded in the centre, away from sides and corners, and I figure out what points to 'take' to make sure it dies a bloody death. But beyond this, I flounder - basically trying to solve LD probs using the brute force method. Very plodding - no real sense of 'art' in any manner. And again? My head isn't big enough for the number of possible variations generated by good old brute force. Any beginner hints? I know there's no magic here. I suspect that the only path is practice, practice, practice until your eyes bleed out.
Kiseido also has Graded Go problems for Beginners, which I recommend. It has a variety of different problems, instead of just life and death.