Yawn, enough of 'Best of' lists. How about list of games with books written about them?
Shawn Low
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Footscray
Victoria
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Aren't we all tired of lists that list games that BG Geeks have bought or own. Worse, BEST OF lists. They all feature the same games: Settlers, PR, E&T, Yawnfest. How about a list with games that have books written about them? Please add to the list: I'm interested in expanding my knowledge.
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1. Board Game: Scrabble [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:1504]
Shawn Low
Australia
Footscray
Victoria
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A recent geeklist had a BGGer saying that scrabble was about simply using words from you head instead of exercising your brain. This reminded me of a book I read and hence this list.

Read Word Freak by Stephen Fatsis. It's a journalistic look at the world of competitive scrabble. May not sound that interesting but it's a great book.

Some things I learnt:

Ok, so seriously competitive players MEMORISE word lists. 3, 4, 5, etc letter lists. But another good brain exercise they do is anagramming - some players practice making out words from a jumbled up pile of letters.

In fact, there are scrabble variants and even official games that use this anagramming style of play.
 
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2. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:416] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
Shawn Low
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Footscray
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Ok, this will definitely get heaps of comments...at least I hope. Biographies of famous chess Grandmasters, man versus computer, etc.

But a recent book I read was pretty intersting. The Turk by Tom Standage is about a famous chess playing machine (an early deep blue!) that was built in the 18th Century. This machine could play entire games against human machines and perform complicated end moves and even the Knight's Tour.

There was much mystery surrounding this automaton (as they called 'hi-tech' machines back then) and alot of controversy as people claimed it to be a hoax. But no one ever managed to discovere the secret till MUCH later.

 
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3. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14523]
Jorgen
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Ferndale
California
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I Don't realy know a whole lot about this book but it has some rules to make the game beter
 
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4. Board Game: Go [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:121]
Brian Campbell
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Boston
Massachusetts
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Obviously, any game that is popular enough is going to have a book written on strategy, and Go has plenty of those. But Go also has an entire manga and anime series, "Hikaru no Go", dedicated to it.

Hikaru no Go tells the story of Hikaru, a young Japanese boy, who discovers an old, haunted goban in an attic. He becomes haunted with the ghost of an old grandmaster Go player, Sai, who was cheated and killed over a game of Go. With the help and tutelage of Sai, Hikaru begins competing in Go tournaments, forming new friendships as well as making serious enemies.
 
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5. Board Game: Monopoly [Average Rating:4.39 Overall Rank:15339]
Sean Ahern
United States
Spokane
Washington
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This looks kind of funny, I was looking for a history book I thought I saw and found this:

Everything I Know about Business I Learned from Monopoly: In this practical, entertaining book, successful executives reveal strategic lessons they learned from the "world's greatest board game." Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Donald Trump, and others reflect on lessons they learned from the fantasy game of self-made wealth and power.

 
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6. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:501]
Brandon Clarke
New Zealand
Auckland
Auckland
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Two books have been published that I know of. Richard Sharp's "The Game of Diplomacy" and Allan Calhamer's (the game's designer) "Calhamer on Diplomacy" - which I am lucky enough to own a copy signed by the man himself. Added to that of course are enough articles in postal and e-zines to fill several volumes, some comprehensive enough to be published as books in their own right.

BC
 
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7. Board Game: Illuminati [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:2452]
castiglione
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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Angels and Demons (the prequel to The Da Vinci Code) mentions the game Illuminati and once the "existence" of the Illuminati is revealed, some graduate students who play the game exclaim "I TOLD you they really existed!!!!"
 
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8. Board Game: Bridge [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:489]
Fraser
Australia
Melbourne
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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I can't believe this hasn't been added yet. There are oodles of books about Bridge.
 
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9. Board Game: Teeko [Average Rating:6.12 Unranked]
R C
United States
Phoenix
Arizona
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Creator John Scarne wrote "Scarne on Teeko," published in 1955.
 
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10. Board Game: Schafkopf [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:2939]
Gary Heidenreich
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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It's more of a booklet than a full fledged book. I can't remember the name of it, but it is all about Sheepshead and available throughout most of Wisconsin. It has stratgey tips, odds (Having two black queens is half the game), history, etc. A very fun book!
 
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11. Board Game: Icehouse [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:2640]
Jon
United States
Massachusetts
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The characters in the novelette "The Lost City" play IceHouse all over town.
 
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12. Board Game: Poker [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:864]
Dane Peacock
United States
Stansbury Park
Utah
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Poker probably has inspired as many books and/or movies as any other game.

If we are talking instructional books, then I bet Chess wins.
 
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13. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:156] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Brodie Hodges
United States
Elkhorn
Nebraska
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Magic: The Gathering has a ton of books written about it.
 
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14. Board Game: Candamir: The First Settlers [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:2645]
Peer Sylvester
Germany
Berlin
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Well there is a story for you: The Settlers of Catan inspired a "historic" novel from a German novelist Rebbecca Gablee. Very good book, but only few connecions to the game (i.e. why the concentration on sheep).
The name of the vilage in this Game is taklen from this novel.
 
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15. Board Game: Kensington [Average Rating:5.34 Overall Rank:14645]
Harvey Wasserman
United States
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The Official Guide to Winning at Kensington, by J. Robert Johnson, and Mason Alonzo Clark, 1983
 
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16. Board Game: Trax [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:3158]
Harvey Wasserman
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Trax Strategy for Beginners, by Donald Bailey

Winning Trax, by David Smith

How to Play Better Trax, by David Smith
 
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17. Board Game: Othello [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:2383]
Harvey Wasserman
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Othello: Brief and Basic by Ted Landau

Further information at http://www.usothello.com (link no longer works)
 
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18. Board Game: Pente [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1411]
Harvey Wasserman
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Pente Strategy, by Tom Braunliche, 1985
 
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19. Board Game: Shogi [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:1082]
Harvey Wasserman
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Shogi: Japan's Game of Strategy, by Trevor Leggett, 1993

Shogi for Beginners, by John Fairbairn, 1984

and others.
 
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20. Board Game: Xiangqi [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1003]
Harvey Wasserman
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Chinese Chess: An Introduction to China's Ancient Game of Strategy, by H T Lau, 2003

and many other books.
 
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21. Board Game: Fanorona [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:5382]
Harvey Wasserman
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Fanorona, the Classic Game of Tactical Skill from Madagascar, by Ernest Rabeony, 1990

Fanorona: The National Game of Madagascar, by J. Chauvicourt, 1984

The game has an interesting background, but good luck trying to find a copy of a book on the game.
 
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22. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:75]
Harvey Wasserman
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The Crokinole Book, by Wayne Kelly
Everything you ever wanted to know about Crokinole. Learn the origins, customs, and social history of the game.
http://www.crokinole.com
 
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23. Board Game: Dominoes [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:14962]
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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"The Domino Book" by Fredrick Berndt.

"175 different games, puzzles and solitaires you can play today"
 
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24. Board Game: Cribbage [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:555]
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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"All About Cribbage" by Douglas Anderson, 1971.

History, rules and strategy, including some variations.
 
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25. Board Game: Eye [Average Rating:4.14 Overall Rank:14687]
Harvey Wasserman
United States
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Eye, The Official Gamebook by Ian Bailey, 1987.
 
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