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

Thirty-five years ago, Fred Brooks brought some order to the world of software project management, and software engineering in general, with his now-classic The Mythican Man-Month. Now, with The Design of Design, he attempts to do the same with with regard to design -- not just for computing-related projects, but design in general. How good is the result?
[Computer Science]


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?


“Science done the old-fashioned way is moving ahead” claims the author of The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next. How can you dethrone the leading theory in physics if you can't possibly prove it wrong?
Read more... Comments so far: 5


Most non-fiction books I read are about science, so a non-fiction book about games was certainly a new experience for me. The trick to enjoying Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media was to focus on the great articles and skip the boring ones. Kinda like a game in its own right, I guess.
Read more... Comments so far: 1


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.

[See earlier reviews]
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