[R] R book advice

Jim Porzak jporzak at gmail.com
Fri Feb 16 06:46:04 CET 2007

Hi Paul,

All three are excellent choices, so you won't go wrong with random
choice. Here is your first R lesson:

RBooks <- c("Verzani", "Crawley", "Dalgaard")
sample(RBooks, 1)

Seriously, I  expect you will end up with all three. Here are my
mini-reviews (in order of publication)

Peter Dalgaard's book came out just before I first discovered R in the
winter of 2002. It was my intro to R and a good stats refresher.
Charles' assessment correct. At only ~250 pages, it is not at all
intimidating, however Peter does build up to some intermediate topics
like logistic regression and survival analysis. My copy is now
somewhat tattered & I should get a replacement!

John Verzani had, and still has, a preliminary version of his book on
CRAN: http://cran.cnr.berkeley.edu/doc/contrib/Verzani-SimpleR.pdf so
I was very excited when it come out in hard copy - much expanded - as
"Using R." He has more visualization examples - which I like. I do
wish John would have used "<-" instead of "=" for assignment. It's
important to start "thinking in R" - "=" drags me back to my FORTRAN

Being a mid-western American, I love Michael Crawley's British view of
the world! He really forces you to get an intuitive feel for what is
going on. Also good visualization emphasis. My only criticism is he
suggests using Word to save your work. You should really use a more
serious text editor/environment. I generally use JGR today, having
moved from RWinEdt and TextPad. The Linux folks love ESS, but that is
how they were brought up.

On 2/15/07, Paul Lynch <plynchnlm at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm looking for a book for someone completely ignorant of statistics
> who wishes to learn both statistics and R.  I've found three
> possibilities, one by Verzani ("Using R for Introductory Statistics"),
> one by Crawley ("Statistics: An Introduction using R"), and one by
> Dalgaard ("Introductory Statistics with R").  Do these books have
> different emphases, perspectives, or strengths?  Should I just pick
> one at random and buy it?
> Thanks,
>         --Paul
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Jim Porzak
Loyalty Matrix Inc.
San Francisco, CA

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