Beginning Visual C++ is written by Ivor Horten, published by Wrox, and now covers Visual C++ 2010. I used Beginning Visual C++ 5 then Beginning Visual C++ 6. Ivor then wrote Beginning Visual C++ 2008 and Beginning Visual C++ 2010. All have good reviews. As noted in some reviews, Visual C++ is too big a subject for one book and some areas need additional books.
Wrox have a wide variety of books, some by great authors, and some written by teams of authors with varying skills. The most common complaints about Wrox books are about the books written by teams. People suggest that
each member of the team is playing a different sport. I have never heard a complaint about the books by Ivor.
I used Ivor's Beginning Java book to explain Java when I had to learn Java a few years ago. Java is a painful language to learn because you have to learn a lot before you can do anything useful. I had to learn Java from a textbook that assumed you knew Java. Ivor's book explained the bits not explained by the textbook.
Visual C, Like Java, requires a lot of learning before you get to the stage where you can have fun. The closest analogy I can think of is to learn surgery by removing your own appendix. A good book will help you learn but you have to read a fair way in before you can write a useful program, about 300 pages in.
There are over a thousand pages to read so allocate more than a weekend to learn Visual C++. Perhaps a week off work over Christmas will give you time to read the book. Lay on the beach, read, try the examples on your notebook computer, and become really sunburned.
Where do you start?
The Wrox books usually have a roadmap on the back to help you select the right book. Beginning Visual C++ says you should know Visual Basic or a little bit of C++ before starting Visual C++.
Where do you end up?
The book goes up to MFC and Active X controls. That should be enough to write a virus which will invade people's computers through Microsoft's Internet Explorer.