NAR New Member Guidebook - 2020-2021 edition
Every couple of years the NAR sends (or intends to send) each member the "NAR New Member Guidebook." Sometimes it gets overlooked, or stuck in a pile, never to be seen again, except by accident. My recollection of past Guidebooks is that there was usually an article or two that caught my interest, maybe a good project (I fondly recall the 18mm Monocopter), some good membership reference information, and maybe some repetition from previous editions. Pretty good, really, but not fantastic.
I've just skimmed the 2020-2021 edition (January 2020) online. If you haven't seen it, I just want to say that I think it contains a really great collection of articles - maybe the best I've seen - with a fantastic variety including basic construction techniques, theory, motors, events, competition, simulations, electronics, 3D printing applications, and some more advanced topics (even glue!).
If I wanted to hand a single reference to someone who was either just getting started in the hobby, or interested in exploring some topics to advance beyond the basics, this is what I'd give them. Sure, we've all got a list of books and authors to recommend - Stine, Van Milligan, Canepa, Westerfield, etc. This doesn't replace those, of course. It is, however, something that folks can digest in a single sitting or two, if they wish, learn some new things, and maybe get inspired to take a step into aspects of the hobby not yet explored.
I know that we've all been asked at meetings or launches, "What can I try next? I've been buying the kits and motors available at Hobby Lobby, and it's getting old. What do you recommend that will make this even more interesting for me (and my kids/grandkids/pets)?" I think that this can help.
So, if you're a NAR member, and haven't seen it, take a look at this recent edition at https://www.nar.org/members/magazine-archives/nar-member-guidebook/ (yes, you'll need to log in, but you'll get over it).
If you aren't a member, ask someone who is to share, and maybe this will help tempt you to join. (A pretty good magazine and $5M liability insurance are among the other good reasons.)