These are 5 of my favorite books. They reflect my field of interest, and I like them especially because they are pleasurable reads and can be used as works of reference.
- Avinash Dixit & Susan Skeath: Games of Strategy, W.W. Norton & Company 1999. 580+ pages on almost every aspect connected to game strategy. Simply a monumental work.
- Asger Aaboe: Episodes from the Early History of Mathematics, New York: Random House, 1964. Asger Aaboe was a professor in Mathematics at Yale University, and the book later appeared in Danish (Munksgaard 1966). I like well-written books about mathematics, and books from the pre-calculator era (before 1972) also appeal to me: these books try to understand mathematics and explain it. I use mathematics in my educational games, and this book has been a great inspiration.
- P. Waage Jensen: Brik- og Brætspil, Politikens Forlag 1977. This Danish book on classic board games is simply phenomenal. Even if not impressive in size (220 pages), one is amazed by the content. The section on chess is above average, and the treatment of Mahjong is detailed to an impressive degree – just to name a few points. Overall, the books gives an excellent overview over classic games and what they consist of. It is a book from a time where fewer publications came out and where you have the impression that the author spent at least two-three years of extensive work to finish it.
- Henrich Kasparjan: Zauber des Endspiels, 2. edition, Walter Rau Verlag 1985. My copy of the book is in German, but the book is published in English too. Presenting his own studies and how they came about, this is an excellent insight into the mind of one of the great composers. There are also references to similar studies, all material with excellent explanations.
- Alexey A. Troitzky: Collections of Chess Studies. With a Supplement on the Theory of the End-Game of two Knights against Pawns, Edition Olms 1985. Troitzky is famously known for his treatment of this endgame – probably the most difficult there is. Many of his 360 studies in the main part of the book is closely linked to endgame theory – and this is one reason why I like him as a composer. One of the most fascinating studies ever composed is from this endgame on 2N vs. pawn, and I will present it in a later blog post.