I’ve heard about a book standing on top of computer science book lists (for example in the Essential Books of Computer Science list). And what is this book about?
Haskell, the functional programming language, a descendant of ML. Haskell is not widely used — I’ve never seen this competency in any CV. So why this book is so popular? Because it’s well written and also because it’s smart and fun. Check it by yourself, it can be read online.
The lesson: to grab audience be smart and fun. It may also be a more efficient way to learn.