A book I would highly recommend is Regine Faust's  "Fashion Knit Course Outline." It is based on the  exercises used in the two year fashion knit course  at Sheridan College. It is not a HOW TO KNIT  book for beginners, however. It teaches you basic  skills to achieve certain required shapes or outlines  through manipulation of stitches, rows or through  tension. I have used it for years and don't know if  it still available, however.