Monday, November 05, 2007

Oxford History of Board Games and other books

Books I Own and You Don't

The Oxford History of Board Games by David Parlett is the Holy Grail of board games books, as it is generally available only at astronomical prices (ranging from a low of $80 up to $200, $300, or more). Which is rather odd, as it was only written in 1999. And you can get a zipped download copy of the book from the author here (albeit for $60).

The book was meant to be an updated and better version of H. J. R. Murray's A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess from 1956. I haven't read either of these books, yet. But Parlett's book certainly looks like a treat.

And, oh yes. I just picked up a copy at a used book store in Toronto.

It's a really nice book store on Younge south of Bloor (if you ignore the large porn DVD section in the back) with really good prices. It has a vast section on sci-fi and a nice section on games.

Another find was a rather odd looking book called Favourite Family Games (listed on Amazon as Favourite Party Games, for some unknown reason) by John Alderton and Pauline Collins. If you don't recognize these names, they were famous actors, husband and wife, who often acted together in film and television, including the well-regarded TV series Upstairs, Downstairs.

This 1993 book is a collection of over 100 games, mostly party games, contributed from dozens and dozens of famous actors and actresses. These are their favorite games or the favorite games of their children. The proceeds of the book were contributed to the British Leukaemia Research Fund.

One of the funny things about it is that a number of the games are outright nasty or naughty, such as "try to guess the person by his or her anatomy after looking through a hole in a sheet".

I also picked up The Fantasy Worlds and Folk of the Air by Peter Beagle. The former includes two of his novels and two novellas.

Toronto: Objects Are Farther Than They Appear

Went traipsing with Rachel on the beach of Lake Ontario today, which is quite a lovely spot. It's a very uncommercialized stretch of green, tan, and blue, with multicolored rocks. No party spots, no stands hawking goods, and no loud music. Of course, we're off season; maybe there's loud music in the summer.

Of course, a walk with Rachel means an adventure. This time she was convinced that we could walk to the Scarborough bluffs in no time at all. It took us over an hour of winding up and down rocks and ravines. Every time we got past one cove to find yet another cove, the bluffs didn't look any closer. Then it started to hail.

A section of the beach.

The elusive "Scarborough bluffs".

Fall colors growing in the rocks. Space Needle in the background.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall.

View away from beach.

More colors on beach.

Evil squirrel.

Squirrel the Gray locked in combat with a Balcorn.



Unknown said...

I always enjoy it when visitors immediately understand that our black southern Ontario squirrels are evil. You shouldn't wait until you've been beaned by a chestnut before realizing that. I hope you get encounter the cute little red ones sometime during your stay!

Chris said...

Black squirrel!!! Immediately cross posting this to my blog... :)

Yehuda Berlinger said...

I've known squirrels were evil ever since they bit Cutter on the hand in the swamp.


h said...

So now you own the holy grail of board games books..... and I don' mine was stolen.
I am still grieving.
Dis you notice that the copies offered for sale on the web are mostly ex-library books...
Tis is not a book any library would sell off!!!!
What does this tell us?
The Educational Centre for Games in Israel.

Anonymous said...

We have lots of black squirrels here in Maryland!