They are supposed to be the best with the exception of 'Algorithms in C++', because Kunth's three book series are the best algorithm set although I think this is overkill. There is a limit.
I am also interested in Win32, but for the moment I consider Win32 nothing more than a junkyard of parts. I don't know enough at this point to assemble those parts into efficient classes that I might need in my programs, however there is no better junkyard in the world of computers. That junkyard is growing no doubt. Infact it may pay dividends to be aware of API's such as .NET due to the fact that I believe it will be a native API, like Win32, not just an extension of it. At any rate the console is the fastest way to learn and the STL of any high level language should be studied in depth. If you are talking Win32 than you likely are not after API depedancy but rather an API building. Otherwise does API dependancy really make a programmer a professional? Probably not, but rather a professional likely knows what is going on inside the classes and uses some of the vendor classes, but also designes his own.
have you ever thought of MFC?
Well, I don't always use MFC (well, actually I once used it and disliked it), but some people like it