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Now, let's talk about good books...
“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
“A wild dream and a far one -- but no wilder and no farther than some of the dreams of man.”
“That's the reason they're called lessons: because they lessen from day to day.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
“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
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 ReviewsBook Reviews: FictionScience-Fiction Book ReviewsNon-Fiction Book ReviewsComputer Science Book Reviews
Roger Penrose's attack on strong AI, as presented in his book The Emperor's New Mind, is not an easy book to read (especially if you fear physics). The reader will learn much about physics and computing, but little, I'm afraid, about the book's real subject: artificial intelligence.
Douglas R. Hofstadter's Pulitzer-Prize winning opus, Gödel, Escher, Bach, is one of those rare works of non-fiction that are nonetheless works of art. The book never says what it really is about: it deals with a very wide variety of subjects, from Abstract mathematics to Zen. But deep inside, it is really a quest for understanding human intelligence.