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...it has a fresh view on the language and the examples in the later chapters are usable in your day-to-day work as a programmer. — Frank Buss, Lisp Programmer and Slashdot Contributor

If you're interested in Lisp as it relates to Python or Perl, and want to learn through doing rather than watching, Practical Common Lisp is an excellent entry point. — Chris McAvoy, Chicago Python Users Group

Lisp is often thought of as an academic language, but it need not be. This is the first book that introduces Lisp as a language for the real world. Practical Common Lisp presents a thorough introduction to Common Lisp, providing you with an overall understanding of the language features and how they work. Over a third of the book is devoted to practical examples such as the core of a spam filter and a web application for browsing MP3s and streaming them via the Shoutcast protocol to any standard MP3 client software (e.g., iTunes, XMMS, or WinAmp). In other "practical" chapters, author Peter Seibel demonstrates how to build a simple but flexible in-memory database, how to parse binary files, and how to build a unit test framework in 26 lines of code.

Peter Seibel

Peter Seibel is either a writer turned programmer or programmer turned writer. After picking up an undergraduate degree in English and working briefly as a journalist, he was seduced by the web. In the early '90s he hacked Perl for Mother Jones magazine and Organic Online. He participated in the Java revolution as an early employee at WebLogic and later taught Java programming at UC Berkeley Extension. Peter is also one of the few second-generation Lisp programmers on the planet and was a childhood shareholder in Symbolics, Inc.

In 2003 he quit his job as the architect of a Java-based transactional messaging system to hack Lisp for a year. Instead he ended up spending two years writing a book, the Jolt Productivity Award winning Practical Common Lisp. His most recent book is Coders at Work, a collection of Q&A interviews with fifteen notable programmers and computer scientists.

When not writing books and programming computers Peter enjoys practicing tai chi. He live in Berkeley, California, with his wife Lily, daughters Amelia and Tabitha, and their dog Mahlanie.