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

It’s been a long while since I’ve published a book review here. However, I do publish short, monthly “reading logs” in my Google+ account. Here is a compilation of my 2013 read-log entries.


The practice of programming (as opposed to the theory of computer science) is a favorite topic of mine. Good guidebooks for practicing programmers are rare. Is The Pragmatic Programmer up to the task?
[Computer Science]


George, Nicholas and Wilhelm were three cousins. It seems like they mostly liked each other, but that clearly wasn't enough to avoid one gruesome fight.


I don't usually do this, but here’s a super-short, one-word review of Steven E. Landsburg’s The Big Questions: nonsense. You want a two-word review? Dangerous nonsense. Read the details inside.
Read more... Comments so far: 3


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]

[See earlier reviews]
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