One of the last person, with Dirk and Matt, I find interesting to follow given the recent evolution of the R language. I started with the R Inferno, by Patrick Burns, then discovered Norman’s books, in addition to the MASS book. That was all what I needed to get started. Now, this is illuminating:
R is rapidly devolving into two mutually unintelligible dialects, ordinary R and the Tidyverse. (…) It might be more acceptable if the Tidyverse were superior to ordinary R, but in my opinion it is not. It makes things more difficult for beginners. E.g. the Tidyverse has so many functions, some complex, that must be learned to do what are very simple operations in base R. Pipes, apparently meant to help beginners learn R, actually make it more difficult, I believe. And the Tidyverse is of questionable value for advanced users.
If you’re more versed into Julia these days, see also R vs. Julia.