R Recipes: A Cookbook For Data Analysis and Visualisation
The R Cookbook by Paul Teetor is a solid addition to the well respected series. Teetor provides a rich collection of useful examples written in the proven method and covering everything from installing, configuring and running R to carrying out sophisticated statistical analysis tasks that demonstrate the power of R. The book is targeted at a wide audience from R novice eager to just start playing in R to more experienced practitioners looking to hone and round out their R repertoire.
It can be used as an introductory training source for those who like to learn by doing and extrapolating knowledge from examples. It also has the useful ability of function as a reference source when plotting a particular R exercise.
The problem — solution — discussion pattern works well when the problem is clearly and concisely stated as Teetor does. As the book progresses it does move towards more advanced statistical manipulation and analysis, but then if you are using R in the first place then this is a fairly safe assumption. This is one of the more notable cookbook series for the thoroughness of the discussion. The inclusion of philosophical notes, parameter and options sections when necessary and finally the cross-indexing via the more information section set this book apart as a superb reference. In conjunction with the R in a Nutshell which was reviewed earlier, there are indispensable tools for the budding R enthusiast and in conjunction with the freely accessible R reference manuals from the Foundation form the optimal R library.
My only gripe is that there is less focus in this book on the visualisation end of R. That is not to say that there not vis exercises in the book. Simply that it is heavier on the analysis end on the language which is actually well and good as this is crucial to the latter and an area that I for one need the instruction.
This cookbook does not expect readers to arrive with extensive R knowledge and as I mentioned earlier is targeted for a broad audience of R practitioners.