I think your biggest immediate decision is which tier to focus on: front (as in browser), middle (as in PHP, JSP, etc., where business logic is usually coded) or back (database, generally, but also other components). It sounds like you want to focus on the front end.
Both the jQuery and Murach books also devote some time to Ajax, which is a fundamental skill these days, and which is also blurring the line between the front and middle tiers. The jQuery book of course concentrates on the way that jQuery encapsulates Ajax calls. The Murach book shows you more of the rubber-meets-the-road view. I am all in favor of handling Ajax entirely through jQuery, but it's still a good thing to learn about the ways to make Ajax calls directly in the different browsers.