Loving Common Lisp, or the savvy programmer’s secret weapon


Mark Watson. Loving Common Lisp, or the Savvy Programmer’s Secret Weapon. Leanpub. 2023.

While pitched as a way of sharing the author’s enthusiasm for Lisp (which really shines through), this book is really a deep demonstration in using Lisp in modern applications – from web APIs and the semantic web to deep learning, large language models, and chatbots.

In some ways, like many other Lisp books, it’s really two books in one. The first chapters are introductory – and to be perfectly honest could be dispensed with, as they’re inadequate as a proper introduction and there are far better introductions out there. The later chapters focus on applications, and provide the real value. One could criticise them as often tying-together tools in other languages, with the Lisp code basically being glue; but that’s a very effective way of leveraging all the code and services out there, and is an important technique for Lisp programmers too.

(Part of the series An annotated Lisp bibliography.)