I must admit that I don't consume knitting books in the normal manner. Patterns rarely interest me, and many of the knitting books which have been popular of late, are very interested in sharing the craft with a new generation, teaching the basic skills of knitting, purling, casting on and binding off, with a hip(ster) flare. And while I appreciate the presence of some of these books (Most notably, Sally Melville's "The Knitting Experience," books, The Knit Stitch, The Purl Stitch, and now Color, but most of the other dribble out there, is just that. Sorry to offend, I have minor beef with the Stitch and Bitch/Bust franchise, and many of the other books around to me seem to be repetitive, and not suited to my purposes. To each their own.)
Having said that, there are a number of knitting books that I do enjoy a lot, and I thought I'd list them out here. It'll show you where I'm coming from, and then again it might just show you something good to look for, if you're in need of good knitting reading.
No particular order.
Alice Starmore. Fisherman's Sweaters.
Anne L. MacDonald. No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting
Ann Feitelson. The Art of Fair Isle Knitting: History, Technique, Color, & Patterns.
Meg Swansen. Meg Swansen's Knitting.
Elizabeth Zimmerman. Knitting Without Tears.
Alice Starmore. The Fair Isle Knitting Handbook. (also Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting.)