The purchases I made on my recent trip included two knitting stitch books.
I looked for the perfect book in Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's, Barnes & Noble, Border, etc. and finally decided to purchase Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns and a Leisure Arts leaflet simply entitled, Beginner's Guide Knit Stitches & Easy Projects.
The Big Book shows two patterns per page and the photographs are clear, close-up, and in color. Over 550 stitch patterns (written directions and charts) are included in this book. I feel it is the most comprehensive stitch book that I could buy for the price.
I purchased the other stitch book because of its size (about 5 x 7 inches), thinking it would fit nicely into my knitting bag. It contains a modest 26 stitch patterns, and the photos are black and white. The project patterns in the book include: basic mittens, men's muffler, two pillows, baby & full-sized afghans, and a cropped cardigan. It also has some general knitting instructions for the beginner. It is a good value and a nice reference book for any knitting bag.
I did not purchase The Joy of Knitting by Lisa R. Myers, but rather won it. It arrived in today's mail, and I hope to spend some time reading over the long, holiday weekend. I have only leafed through the book, but it appears to cover knitting history, selecting fiber, and twelve project patterns (one for each chapter), along with general knitting instructions. It should be a good read and a nice reference book. More later on The Joy of Knitting.