Socktopus: 17 Pairs of Socks to Knit and Show Off, by Alice Yu is a great book for beginning and experienced knitters alike.
Alice Yu describes Socktopus as her "brain/knitting/lovechild" on the Socktopus website.
It is certainly more of a pattern book, but there are plenty of techniques along the way, too. Actually, that's one of the great features of the book. Techniques, when needed, are photographed and explained right along with the pattern in which they are used. This way, the knitter doesn't have to flip back and forth to a glossary to understand what to do. Also, it allows for a more confident "copy it and go" version that can travel in a knitting bag.
One of my favorite sections of the book is Yu's description of different kinds of fiber. The cute little drawings are a bonus, there is a ton of great information here. I even learned a vocab word: "fibroin."
The first pattern is a sock that allows the knitter to plug in their own numbers to create a custom fit, with quick notes about negative ease, gauge and needle size.
I liked the names of the patterns, as they are quite fun (Farmer McGregor, for one). However, you can tell that Alice Yu isn't an American (her Ravelry page says she's a Canadian expat in London). I'm fairly sure that most American's first thought when they see the word "Kandahar," isn't the oldest downhill ski race. It's not a big deal, it just struck me as a bit odd.
Overall the patterns really show off the yarns, and look very fun and knit-able, to boot.