Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Summer Reading (without a Board)

Mark Weeks offers up two excellent annotated lists of "Chess Books to Read without a Board" (one for non-fiction and one for fiction) at his About.com:Chess site. I don't think I could improve much on his lists, though I found the absence of Searching for Bobby Fischer by Fred Waitzkin in non-fiction rather puzzling. Perhaps he considered it too dated or too well-known to include, though it is still in print and better than the movie. And The Chess Players by Frances Parkinson Keyes is missing from fiction. It is a rather stilted and overly-fanciful historical romance about Paul Morphy, but it is fun to read in the right frame of mind (especially if you have a mind warped by years of graduate literary study), and I found it worth reading for the quotations at the head of each chapter alone. Jim West offers up a nicely balanced review at his blog. It does not seem to be in print but is worth looking for at a used book shop. I found my own copy one summer many years back at a little used book shop on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, and remember reading it in the sun with my feet buried deep in the hot sand....

Bill Wall offers up a long list of "Fiction Literature and Chess" at his website for those seeking an even larger selection. However, having wasted an inordinate amount of time long ago tracking down and slogging through many fictional works about chess, I can assure you that Weeks has chosen only the best.

Hat tip to Scholastic Chess Gateway.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous atomicpatzer said...

Your right about Searching for Bobby Fischer. I just read it last week and it is far better than the movie. I always passed over it thinking it was kids stuff but I was very wrong. The chapter about them going to Russia was worth it alone

Wed Mar 28, 07:42:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I get a chance, I hope to post a longer comment at some point (at the moment, I'm typing on a public computer).

At the end of Engaging Pieces: Interviews and Prose for the Chess Fan, there is an extended bibliography listing every work of chess fiction published in English from 1932 to the present. I think there are about 85 entries.

http://www.amazon.com/Engaging-Pieces-Interviews-Prose-Literary/dp/0979048826/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-7101473-4261423?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1175260523&sr=8-1

Howard Goldowsky

Fri Mar 30, 09:19:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've decide to post a comment at the source.

Howard Goldowsky

Sun Apr 01, 01:08:00 PM EDT  

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