Just my quick suggestion but I would reccommend if starting out to get a feel for each to determine which suits you more and then focus on improving your game in your choice.
Remember regardless that good bank roll management is key no matter which you choose to play. It all depends on which you feel will suit you more and remember a good bi rule never hurts. Standard for cash at shortest your looking at 20-30bi minimum (personally 50 is a nice comfortable level to keep you still in the game if you hit a horrible 10+bi loss streak) so 50$ would be 25bi for 2nl which is ok but having 100$ for 50bi would certainly be more comfortable.
Most regular cash grinders will suggest a 20-30bi's, but of course that all depends on your style and skill in the games.
On the sng side of the fence looking at 100bi, 200bi if looking at mtt type games. But if you are decent and play a good tag game then 50bi would be alright for sng's as well IMO, so on stars would be talking min 75$ (on ft they have 50c and up sng's so 25$ min to grind them on a 50bi rule).
Again as mention many times above it will depend on your style, how you do with playing and just remember keep a good BRM and if you are a winning player then over the long haul you will increase your br and move up through the limits.
Happy grinding . Oh on the books, i havn't read many but have always heard great reviews on harrington books for sure. Also note in the forum there is a great free poker book for low limit cash games.
From what I have browsed so far it should be a great read. Also, welcome to the forum you have chosen well as cc is great.