Recently, the number of books on R is exploding. Here we will survey a number of books that we find useful for people new to R or that want to brush up a little bit on their statistics knowledge.
Most of both courses revolve around R in Action. It is an excellent introduction to using R. This book covers most of the topics of both courses; however, working with complex samples is unfortunately not part of it -- we must work harder to communicate the hardships of social science. The long course has its required readings in this book.
Dalgaard's Introductory Statistics with R is also a sound introduction to R. He is less applied in the way he presents the material, one might say old school. And he is more into biological than societal processes. It covers every topic of both courses, except -- once again -- working with complex samples.
Modern Applied Statistics with S, also called the R bible, is a concise overview of most statistical methods that are currently in use. The S in the title refers to the programming language S of which R is a dialect. All of the examples in the book are usable in R. This book can be recommended to anyone who is both serious about statistics and R. For beginners, this text would be too difficult.
O'Reilly's Head First series of books serve as excellent refresher material. They take a joyful approach in discussing their topic. This volume deals with introductory statistics, and is useful to review the concepts of mean, variance, correlation and inferential statistics in general.
This book continues the excellent Head First series. Here, data analysis methodology and strategies are being reviewed. It serves as a gentle introduction to ways of handling data that are more common in fields foreign to social science.