Many years ago, the first programming course on my degree was in a language similar to Lisp (that I now forget), and I thoroughly enjoyed using it. MacLisp was also around on campus, for use in ‘maths stuff’. Not being a mathematician, I ignored that.
Both experiences made me write off lisp (and similar brethren) as a practical language – they seemed too small, too focussed on things like recursion that aren’t all that useful on constrained systems.
However, there’s a famous quote around that notes that everyone should learn Lisp, if only for the experience, and the write up in Hackers and Painters persuaded me to have a go.
So far, I’m up to chapter 15 in ‘Practical Common Lisp‘, and I think I may be hooked!