One of my 2013 Christmas gifts was this charming book.
It's by What Delilah Did, and is full of must-stitch patterns for the newbie through to the more experience Xstitcher.
I don't know much of anything about cross stitch, but the project ideas and charts in this book are inspirational; they've also motivated me to use them as something of a procrasti-craft. I really should be working on some designs but oh, those lovely silhouetted critters and colourful wee fox faces and stately owls!
I'm working on the silhouetted unicorn because UNICORN and it's really quite relaxing. It's repetitive and seems to create the same kind of intense enjoyment I get from crossing things off my to-do list. I think it's all that tracking stitches on your chart.
Anyhows, if you're looking for some pretty cross stitch patterns, no matter what your skill level, this book is totes for you. Once my unicorn project has reached a point where there's a semblance to the finished project, I'll have to post some pics for you.
If, on the other hand, you're looking for some funny and snarky cross stitch patterns, get thee to Subversive Cross Stitch. I have their book, and am planning a few of them for gifts later this year.