Books

Note that the precise distinction between a Book and a Text is debatable, and entries here may be categorized somewhat arbitrarily.

1001 Things to Do With your Commodore 64

By Mark Sawusch and Tan Summers, Sep 1984, ISBN: 0-8306183-6-8

Basically a font of mathematical/engineering/physical trivia and random ideas for what could be done with a computer. Although, I'm pretty sure they re-published effectively the same book of ideas and BASIC program fragments for every microcomputer on the market at the time, and this just happened to the be Commodore 64 one.

Commodore 64 Programmer's Reference Guide

By Commodore Business Machines, Dec 1982, ISBN: 0-672-22056-3

Classic. I urge you to read the "crunching" guide on pages 24-27, how the screen editor works on pages 94-97, the vaguely condescending paragraph at the top of page 153, and the comment on program line 20 on page 148, and tell me that the Commodore 64 isn't an esoteric architecture.

Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools (1st Ed.)

By Alfred V. Aho, Ravi Sethi and Jeffrey D. Ullman, Jan 1986, ISBN: 0-2011008-8-6

a.k.a "The Dragon Book". The classic, borderline-incomprehensible book on compiler construction.

Computation: Finite and Infinite Machines

By Marvin Minsky, 1967, ISBN: 0-1316556-3-9

There are lots of books on computability, but this is one of the earlier ones (1967!) and one of the few that treat tarpits with any seriousness.

Computer Battlegames

By Daniel Isaaman and Jenny Tyler, ca 1983, ISBN: 0-86020-685-8

Another Usborne "type in this BASIC game" book. Not as enlightening as Adventure Programs, but still OK. Has cute pictures of robots in it.

Computer Spacegames

By Daniel Isaaman and Jenny Tyler, ca 1983, ISBN: 0-86020-683-1

Another Usborne "type in this BASIC game" book. Not as enlightening as Adventure Programs, but still OK. Has cute pictures of robots in it.

Counterexamples in Topology

By Lynn Arthur Steen and J. Arthur Seebach Jr., 1978, ISBN: 0-4866873-5-X

Don't worry if you don't know topology — it's not the topology that makes this a worthwhile read, it's the counterexamples.

Introduction to Algorithms

By Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest and Clifford Stein, Jul 2009, ISBN: 0-2620338-4-4

Excellent textbook on algorithms.

Mapping the Commodore 64

By Sheldon Leemon, 1984, ISBN: 0-942-38623-X

Good reference work for the Commodore 64.

Mapping the Vic

By Russ Davies, 1984, ISBN: 0-942-38624-8

Good reference work for the Commodore VIC-20.

Mathematical Circus

By Martin Gardner, 1968, ISBN: 0-14-02-2355-X

Mathematical oddities and puzzles.

Microprocessor Programming for Computer Hobbyists

By Neill Graham, 1978, ISBN: 0-8306695-2-3

Older computer science book, addressing machine-level programming with a sort-of high level language called PL/M, which resembles PL/I. Really not bad.

Patterns of Software

By Richard P. Gabriel, May 1998, ISBN: 0-1951212-3-6

Kind of goes all over the place, but worthwhile for its comparison of object-oriented programming to poetic compression, and for making a case that beauty may not be subjective.

The Cognitive Connection

By Howard Levine and Howard Rheingold, Jan 1987, ISBN: 0-1313961-9-6

Begins with a disclaimer that it contains at least one error — which turns out to be a giant understatement. The book is riddled with errors, but has a great attitude. Touches on many of the weirder beliefs people have held about logic and language through history (for example, the "logic machines" of Ramon Llull.)

The Devil's Dictionary

By Ambrose Bierce, 1911

The Real Frank Zappa Book

By Frank Zappa and Peter Occhiogrosso, May 1990, ISBN: 0-6717057-2-5

Mainly for Zappa's theory of art ("entertainment objects") which describes quite nicely how I think of esolangs. The rest of the book is pretty interesting too, though.

Theory of Computation

By Walter Brainerd and Lawrence Landweber, 1974, ISBN: 0-4710958-5-0

There are lots of books on computability. This is one of them. I don't think it's the best one, but it's the one that defines the programming language "PL" and, more interestingly, PL's primitive recursive subset PL-{GOTO}.

Write your own Adventure Programs for your Microcomputer

By Jenny Tyler and Les Howarth, 1983, ISBN: 0-8602074-1-2

The real Dragon Book. This one book is probably responsible for setting me off in the direction of programming languages (because it describes how to write a simple one-or-two word parser for an an adventure game.)

Also, there are cute pictures of ghosts inside.

Laws of Form

By George Spencer-Brown, 1969, ISBN: 0-9639899-0-1

OMG this BOOK will BLOW your MIND!!! But wait, what's this...

Gödel, Escher, Bach

By Douglas Hofstadter, 1979, ISBN: 0-4650265-6-7

OMG did I say Laws of Form will blow your mind? OMFG this book will TOTALLY BLOW your EVER-LOVIN' MIND!!1! But wait, what's this...

A New Kind of Science

By Stephen Wolfram, May 2002, ISBN: 1-5795500-8-8

ZOMG FORGET WHAT I JUST SAID ABOUT THAT BRAID THING THIS IS IT THIS IS THE ONE THIS IS THE REAL DEAL OMFGGG!!!!!!!!!

(Illustration)