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


Science Fiction


Computer Science

Book In-Jokes
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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 Book Reviews: Fiction Science-Fiction Book Reviews Non-Fiction Book Reviews Computer Science Book Reviews

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.


Over a decade ago, Code Complete inspired me greatly. How does Code Complete, 2nd Edition stand up to the old book’s legacy? Apparently, not so well.
[Computer Science]
Read more... Comments so far: 2


Perhaps the finest outcome of the collaboration between Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, The Mote in God’s Eye, now considered a classic, is a first-contact story --- with a twist.
[Science Fiction]
Read more... Comments so far: 8


It’s not a book about chess, it’s a book about applying game theory to everyday life: Thinking Strategically promises its readers a “competitive edge”, but does it deliver?


So you think you’re a good programmer? Try facing Programming Challenges, “the programming contest training manual”, if you'd like to test this belief.
[Computer Science]

[See earlier reviews]
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