I found that when I started out, although I was rarin' to do everything knittable under the sun, if I stuck to books for beginners, it really helped. Much more in the way of directions.
Also, I've found that if I read books on knitting, even if I'm not making the project shown, I've picked up tips. (same with cooking!) Elizabeth Zimmerman books are good for that, but there are tons of other ones. Websites, too.
The main thing is, enjoy!