I’ve put together a collection of tutorials, books, articles and videos for ExpressionEngine newbies and novices. Smashing Magazine had a similar collection but it is now pretty dated being from 2008. I tried to find as many free examples as I could but ultimately I went with the resources I felt were the best, paid or otherwise. So this list will have some paid stuff but you can learn ExpressionEngine for free if you so choose.
Great list and if you need help learning about ExpressionEngine, check out the weekly EE Help Chat.