If you know OOP concepts then pick up the C++ syntax, have to say that it is a bit exoteric at times, heck then it's all about ideas and getting that code down to bits and bytes.
Don't get me wrong i have a huge library, and i read many books about programming, but reading all these books don't make a better programmer, implementing an algorithm from some white paper, or coming up with optimizations or new ways of doing things is the only way to improve skills.
Most books don't have any "real world" code, so you always get half the information, wend you try to implement some of the examples in these books and start testing them you get crashes memory leaks, the works. There are a few exceptions but most books are simply there for learning the basic syntax and some libraries, they don't provide much food for thought or challenge the reader.
Never learned much than the basic from a book... programming is about getting down an dirty with code, and that's all i have to say about that.
Any book is as good as the next, to learn the basics.
I think you have read the wrong books then Have you ever tried the In-Depth series? If you think you know C++ and templates, read "modern C++ design". Then you'll know you didn't know anything yet. Policy driven design, anyone? Read those books by Herb Sutter, they are full of good practices. Some things are straight forward but most things you'll never learn by "just getting dirty". Of course, you still have to apply it to actually learn it. But if you never read them, you'll never learn them.
But beware, those books I've just mentioned are not for "dummies". If you're starting C++ and you know already somewhat about C++, then you might also be interested in the Effective C++ books of Scott Meyers. They are not too hard, but still full of good practices. However, those you can also pick up on other places as well, but still highly recommended reads for anyone who is learning C++.
And there's also the book by the Gang of Four (or GoF). That's the book on patterns. While not really on C++, it also contains a lot of information you'll never get by just getting dirty.