The library has an absolute ton of new knitting books and I dragged home an armload of them.
Free-Spirit Shawls: 20 Eclectic Knits for Every Day by Lisa Shroyer is a book of contemporary shawl designs, ranging from fairly simple garter stitch to heavy cables. There's a lace chapter, but most of the shawls in it here aren't lacy enough for me. What I really like best about this book are the sections explaining shawl construction methods, including the best explanation for weaving ends into shawls that I've come across so far.
I can definitely see myself knitting this one --
And this one --
The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting: Stitches, Techniques, and Projects for Lighter-than-Air Shawls & More by Elizabeth Lovick has me absolutely drooling. I'll be ordering my own copy as soon as I get the chance. This is such gorgeous eye candy -- but it's practical eye candy, with tons of stitches and diagrams, and a whole two page spread about fixing mistakes. There's information about choosing yarn (and I love that under cons for acrylic it says "low snob value!") and needles.
I know I'm probably not going to design my own shawl anytime soon, not when there are so many pretty patterns in my Ravelry queue and I've got so many other things vying for my attention and time, but sometimes having the book and knowing that the option is there makes me very happy. And you can't predict when you will have the time... I vote for being prepared!