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

Networks are a familiar concept in computer science, but in his book Linked: The New Science of Networks, Albert-L??szl?³ Barab??si claims that networks are to be found everywhere -- and can lead to new perspectives in many fields of research. Reviewed by guest reviewer Pravin Shankar.


Why read a science book written about 150 years ago when there are newer, more up-to-date books on the very same subject? Because The Origin of Species is an important and very well written book, that's why.


In a book that people involved in SETI did not like, authors Ward and Brownlee claim that in all likelihood, complex life (let alone intelligent one) is uncommon in the universe, maybe even unique to Earth. The book Rare Earth is an important reading for anyone interested in astrobiology.
Read more... Comments so far: 2


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.


Twenty years after its original release, the author of a spectacular masterpiece clarifies, once and for all, what the book is really, actually, about -- in The 20th Anniversary Edition of Gödel, Escher, Bach.
Read more... Comments so far: 7

[See earlier reviews]
©1997-2012 by Tal Cohen, all rights reserved. [About]