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

Patrick O'Brian’s novels do an amazing work of brining back to life the early 19th century. This review of O'Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series talks about the unique atmosphere of these books, covering the first two volumes - Master and Commander and Post Captain.


A book of future history that is boring at times, but fascinating at others: Olaf Stapledon’s classic Last and First Men.
[Science Fiction]
Read more... Comments so far: 1


Transact-SQL is Microsoft’s variant of the SQL laguage, implemented in Microsoft SQL Server. While Microsoft’s documentation might get you up and running with the product, you need a copy of The Guru’s Guide to Transact-SQL to become a real expert.
[Computer Science]


As biologists are discovering the benefits of computing, for example in the exploration of the human genome, so computer scientists are discovering the benefits of biology. Steven Levy’s Artificial Life shows what happens, and speculates about what will happen in the future, when you apply biological concepts like evolution to computer programs.


Not one of the many new pattern catalogs, John Vlissides’s Pattern Hatching show how patterns are applied in real life -- and also includes some interesting guidelines for would-be pattern writers.
[Computer Science]
Read more... Comments so far: 2

[See earlier reviews]
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