The result of Croll’s endeavour is no other than The Alternative Learning Book. Being one with multiple layers: you learn about the biographies of the mentioned writers, learn about their style and oeuvre, and, parallel to this, you learn different approaches on how to solve playful programming assignments in your favourite language. All this supported by humorous poems of which I hope to be declaiming some lines to my colleagues in the near future:
This and more I sat divining, strength and spirit fast declining,
Disclose the value we’re assigning! Tell me-tell me, I implore!
At some point I thought for a moment that the novelists’s assignments were a little bit too thought out. Some appeared as if the editor said: “Croll, we need a couple more writers to make a book. Go and add some more!” But it could also have been caused by the fact that it was 1:00 am at the time and my concentration was asleep already.
Anyway, recommending this book is not something I’d immediately do, because I would buy it as a gift for those I’d recommend it to. Would I recommend it to you then, reader? Well, that depends on this: if you’re the type of geek that loves weird sci-fi pulp fiction books, you shouldn’t buy or read it. When you are a bit more aware of the outside world and the facets of life beyond coding and discussions about tabs vs. spaces, you definitely should.