-- I'm bias, but I think the best entry level book is still from 1998 - Genome by Matt Ridley . It's what got me interested in genomics as a CS undergrad (I read it in 2009). Another decent one is The $1000 Genome , it gives a good cross section of genetics in 2010.
-- Our group has a series of intro lecture videos from last academic year . They are fairly up to date, and this year's videos will probably be posted soon.
-- Genomes Unzipped is great if you prefer a blog 
-- I think the best way to actually learn this stuff is to just play with the software tools. They all point to open data in the tutorials. Biopython's tutorial is particularly good - just google the biological terms as you go. Bioconductor has some good (though more targeted) tutorials too.
-- Going to talks can be a great way to get a broad overview of the space. Drop me a note if you happen to be located in Boston.
-- Finally, this goes without saying, but don't take articles in the mainstream media at face value. (Including, and in fact in particular, the NYT.) Every time I get together with relatives I have to argue against the latest grand prediction.
It is evidence against such an explanation, but it's very weak evidence. It shows other factors are involved, which no one disputes, but it does not rule out genetics as a factor.
Incidentally, your Q&A argument is incomplete. We have data which shows accent is not genetic - correlation between the accent of genetic parent and child is gone if you look at adopted children. If there is a twin study on the topic, I'd give 1/p value of the study odds that identical twins raised apart have minimal correlation of accent.
In contrast, identical twins raised apart have a 75% correlation in intelligence and adoptees have a 25% correlation with genetic parents. (I'm working from memory here since I don't have the book with me. The numbers are far from zero, but might be 70% and 20% or 80% and 30%. http://www.amazon.com/Genome-Autobiography-Species-23-Chapte... )
The source you cite is simply being dishonest by leaving this part of the dialogue out of his conversation with a straw man.
Also, your source has a very different philosophical basis for knowledge than most people. He believes that aggregate quantities (e.g., pressure, temperature, possibly g) are statistical myths. See here http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2210600 , which is a response to http://cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/weblog/523.html (which he cites in the article you link to).
Also just finished Genome (http://www.amazon.com/Genome-Autobiography-Species-Chapters-...). Good read, but there are better books in the category.
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