Looking for good introductory R books for non-programmers, (Know any? Books, I mean, not non-programmers.) I ran across this wonderful review of an apparently ludicrous book.
Statistical Analysis with R: Beginner’s Guide by John M. Quick
Summary: If you can get past the strange underlying story, then this gives a good introduction to R to someone with no programming experience.
[B]efore describing the data analysis section of the book, I should explain the underlying story used throughout the book. The introductory chapter gives a bit of ancient Chinese history, and states that you, the reader, have been chosen to succeed the famous military leader Zhuge Liang and need to learn how to use R to analyse his data and plan the future of the military campaign.
The rest of the book takes on this theme, both in the data analysis (comparing the Shu and Wei armies, and predicting battle outcomes using regression) and the general phrasing (headings like “Have a go hero!” and emphasis that if you fail the Chinese kingdom will collapse).