Tal Cohen's Bookshelf: A Collection of Personal Opinions about Books


Science Fiction


Computer Science

Book In-Jokes
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 / Read Log Book Reviews: Fiction Science-Fiction Book Reviews Non-Fiction Book Reviews Computer Science Book Reviews

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


“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


An interview with Prof. Douglas R. Hofstadter about his book I am a Strange Loop: regarding souls, immortality, science fiction and much more.
Read more... Comments so far: 64

[See earlier reviews]
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