If you haven't already done so then you can enable the left-hand sidebar on iTunes 11 via option-command-S, which might make it easier to navigate. If you have iTunes open and you insert a CD into the CD drive then it should be recognised and you should be able to import it into your iTunes library : http://support.apple.com/kb/PH12486
If you want to join the tracks into, for example, chapters, then you will need to do so before you click on import i.e. on the CD screen where the tracks are listed - if you select the tracks that you want to join and then click on the 'options' button top right (the cog wheel icon) then you should get an option to join those highlighted tracks.
By default they will go into the Music part of your iTunes library, so you may then want to select them and do 'get-info' (control-I) and on the Options tab change their Media Kind to 'Audiobooks' and change 'remember position' to 'yes' and 'skip when shuffling' to 'yes' - they should then move from the Music part of your library to the Books section. You can then sync by connecting your iPad to your Mac and selecting it on the left-hand sidebar, and then on the right-hand side using the Books tab to select and sync them to the iPad's Music app - when you have audiobooks on the iPad then you will get an Audiobooks option under the More button at the bottom of the Music app