Last time I was at the library, I picked up three books: Games Mother Never Taught You (must read), Sand in My Bra (okay), and Embroidery: Techniques and Patterns by Marie-Noelle Bayard which I shall review for you here.
The book is divided by type of stitch including outlining, filling, counted, drawn thread, and couching.
Each stitch is clearly illustrated with photographs on its own page. Bayard gives the number of steps required to make each stitch, rates each from easy to difficult, and suggests threads and fabrics that would highlight the texture of the stitch. The book seems to have an excellent mix of easy, intermediate, and difficult stitches. While there are more than 100 stitches, it is not exhaustive; no queen stitch, for example. But there are plenty of stitches that make this book worthwhile.
And the directions for the French knot are fabulous! She lists the four main mistakes people make while making the knot, so you can avoid them and make pretty knots.
Each section of stitches culminates in a beautiful project, very lovely and sophisticated as we have come to expect from the French designers. I would caution, however, that only a single stitch is used from each section on each project, which I found disappointing.
The index is visual and alphabetical, and each stitch family is stitched on a different color fabric so you can immediately tell if you're looking at an outline stitch, a filling stitch, or couching.