Seven Languages in Seven Weeks by Bruce Tate
The concept of this book is great: show you enough of a language to give you an idea, but keeps it short enough to not make you bored. Programming language books often become lists of syntax rules and library calls. This book gives you enough to become interested and curious, but moves on before you become bored.
My reaction on every one of the seven languages:
Ruby: The language for cool web developers. What I like is the dynamic aspect: quick prototyping and developing of software. Together with the Rails framework it really blends well with the client-side aspect.
Prolog: I already learned this during college, but it is nice to revisit. Prolog really makes you think about programming. Solutions become more declarative, instead of imperative.
Scala: The new language for Java developers. I like how it blends functional and object-oriented. But with C# becoming more functional, it didn’t capture my interest.
Erlang: A functional programming language. It strength is in the concurrency library. Didn’t trigger my curiosity.
Clojure: Awkward syntax because of the prefix notation. Lots of parentheses. Looks a bit to academic.
Haskell: Did not really put a lot of time into this chapter. During college we did a lot of Haskell, so nothing new for me in this chapter. The language still looks to academic, but seeing a number of dutch startups using it (http://tupil.com/, http://www.silkapp.com/), it still triggers interest.