Tal Cohen's Bookshelf: A Collection of Personal Opinions about Books


Science Fiction


Computer Science

Book In-Jokes
The Fiction Collection
“I wonder... What's in a book while it's closed... Because as soon as I open it, there's a whole story with people I don't know yet and all kinds of adventure and deeds and battles... All those things are somehow shut up in a book. But it's already there, that's the funny thing. I just wish I knew how it could be.”
Michael Ende, The Neverending Story

The Science Fiction Collection
“A wild dream and a far one -- but no wilder and no farther than some of the dreams of man.”
Clifford D. Simak, City

The Non-Fiction Collection
“That's the reason they're called lessons: because they lessen from day to day.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The Computer Science Collection
“Think of a computer program. Somewhere, there is one key instruction, and everything else is just functions calling themselves, or brackets billowing out endlessly through an infinite address space. What happens when the brackets collapse? Where's the final “END IF”? Is any of this making sense?”
Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless

Book In-Jokes

Here I try to maintain a list of book in-jokes: little jokes that most readers won't notice, hidden in otherwise serious books (for more about what "in-jokes" are, see at the end of the list).

I'll need your help: if you find any such in-jokes, let me know. Please include the word “injoke” in the subject.

The books are listed in no particular order.

Book Reviews / Read Log Book Reviews: Fiction Science-Fiction Book Reviews Non-Fiction Book Reviews Computer Science Book Reviews

When your first novel is a runaway success, the second novel is a daunting challenge. Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, braved this challenge with Her Fearful Symmetry. But is it as good?


Wolves, a bear and a panther that raise and educate a human child is so 19th-century! In Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, the child is raised by ghosts, a vampire and a werewolf. Now that sounds rather more intriguing.


Don’t let the piquant, esoteric and absorbing setting confuse you: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is an excellent hardboiled detective story.
Read more... Comments so far: 1


Forget about wanting to be a millionaire: in Vikas Swarup Q & A, the contester can turn out a real billionaire. But sadly, even in storytelling, money can’t solve everything.
Read more... Comments so far: 6


Freedom can be more complex than it seems, after sixteen years in prison. So discovers the protagonist of Akira Yoshimura’s excellent novel, On Parole.

[See earlier reviews]
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