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

Fifty-five fictional city descriptions comprise Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, a rare feat of writing that is almost more poetry than fiction.
Read more... Comments so far: 2


Have you had enough arrows and bubbles in your documentation? If you’re trying to put some order into class diagrams, the modeling language UML, out to replace OMT and many other notations, is the current tool of choice. Together with Kendall Scott, Martin Fowler had written a great introduction to the language: UML Distilled: Applying the Standard Object Modeling Language.
[Computer Science]


The final volume of C. S. Lewis’s Cosmic Trilogy, That Hideous Strength takes place on Earth -- and its a much more worldly book.
[Science Fiction]
Read more... Comments so far: 19


The second volume of C. S. Lewis’s Cosmic Trilogy, Perelandra takes place on Venus -- and between the pages of the book of Genesis.
[Science Fiction]
Read more... Comments so far: 2


The first volume of C. S. Lewis’s Cosmic Trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet takes place on Mars -- but it is a voyage into the meaning of “human”.
[Science Fiction]
Read more... Comments so far: 25

[See earlier reviews]
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