Awhile ago, I ran across a list of programming/algorithm/computer science book reccomendations and on that list was Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs(SICP). Ever since then it and a few other books have been on the top of my must read list.
I have been interested in learning lisp for quite awhile, I think its probably the Hacker News influence, lisp is often talked about there as Hacker News is written in a dialect of lisp authored by Paul Graham and Robert Morris called Arc. So while in SICP the dialect of lisp is not Arc but Scheme, from its description and reviews I have read, SICP seems like it would be a great way to get started programming in lisp.
Why learn lisp you say? Certianly not to actually program in it professionally, I actually don't know anyone who programs in lisp for their job(Thats not to say there aren't lisp jobs out there). The reason to learn lisp is that by all accounts learning lisp is a transformative experience. I have consistently read and have had one of my very good friends tell me that learning to write lisp changes the way you think about programming and writing software. If nothing else that should make it worth the time and effort to learn.
So back to SICP. I have been meaning to pick up a copy and start reading it for awhile but I had never got around to it. There is a web version but like a lot of people, I have a hard time reading from my computer screen, not because it hurts my eyes or anything like that, I think its just a matter of focus. There are so many things external to the book when you are reading it while sitting at your computer that it becomes tempting to multitask while reading. So today I was very excited to learn that Ian Eure created an epub copy of the book and its available on github.
This is a perfect format for me, I can now load it onto my iphone(on stanza or ibooks) and read away while I spend my ~1.5 hours/day commuting on the bus back and forth to work. I usually try to get books in PDF form and just read them out of dropbox, which is a good experience, but I would definately prefer epub as its easier to read. All in all this is a pretty big win for me and its certianly a great motivator to get me started reading SICP and learning Scheme.
Are there any books like SICP that you would reccomend? I'd love to get some suggestions, just leave a note in the comments!