Summer Reading Fun for Adults: Week 2 - Let's Play!

Let's Play! A guide to books and other OPL resources exploring how play can enrich our lives.

        Cover of "The Great Mahjong Book"   Cover of "Hoyle's Rules of Games   

       Cover of "Dark Souls III"  Cover of "How to Play Blues Guitar"  Cover of "Fantastic Drinking Games"

The Summer Fun for Adults program continues with this week’s theme: Let’s Play! You can earn raffle tickets for reading and reviewing books, and by participating in other fun activities.  Prizes include a Chromebook, a free Annual BayWheels membership, boating on Lake Merritt and gift cards for groceries, gardening supplies, sporting goods, books, coffee and more.

To find out more visit this page, and to sign up go here.

OPL has a variety of books and other resources to help us all, even adults, make play a part of our lives. Engaging in activities like board games, chess, puzzles, video games and music can help us relax, grow, create, stay sharp, and have more fun. We have compiled a partial list of these resources below, many of which are available instantly through Hoopla. Enjoy!

Your Move : What Board Games Teach Us About Life

by Joan Moriarty, Jonathan Kay

"This is not a book of strategy tips or game reviews," writes Moriarity at the beginning of this volume. "It is about the things games can teach us about ourselves. Each chapter focuses on one or two game titles...and draws out a revealed lesson in history, psychology, philosophy, society or culture." The authors include a mix of classic titles that most readers will know (Scattergories, Scrabble, Dungeons & Dragons), with more-complex offerings from the tabletop world (Pandemic, Dead of Winter, Legend of the Five Rings). It's a far more perceptive and intriguing book than it appears at first blush, particularly for those readers who have never thought of games as an artistic medium—at least not one that comments on society. Regular gamers will enjoy these takes on familiar titles. And readers just discovering the tabletop renaissance will likely want to play some of these games themselves. An illuminating book that both introduces and critiques an often overlooked art form.  – Kirkus Reviews

For the Love of Board Games

by Erin Dean

Available on Hoopla

For the Love of Board Games is a book that explores how modern, popular board games were created by interviewing the designers behind the games. Stories in this book come from some of the industry's biggest board game designers: Matt Leacock, Jamey Stegmaier, Bruno Cathala, Richard Garfield, Reiner Knizia, and many others.

Every chapter features a different board game designer and discusses not only the inspiration behind the game(s) they designed but how they started playing board games and got involved in the industry. Designers will also reveal stories about board games they designed, but never published! - publisher

Readers will discover the fun facts and challenges behind some of their favorite board games. For the Love of Board Games is a must-have gift for tabletop gamers of all ages. - publisher


Play : How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

by Stuart Brown with Christopher Vaughan

Sprinkled with anecdotes demonstrating the play habits of subjects as diverse as polar bears and corporate CEOs, Brown and co-writer Vaughan (The Promise of Sleep) present a compelling case for promoting play at every age. The authors include helpful tips for bringing play back into grownup lives, including being active, spending time with others who are playful and rethinking the misguided notion that adult play is silly or undignified. – Publisher’s Weekly


Nature Play at Home : Creating Outdoor Spaces That Connect Children With the Natural World

by Nancy Striniste ; illustrations by Jen Ren

The founder of website Earlyspace, with a background in both landscape design and early childhood education, Striniste shares her passion for creating outdoor spaces that connect children with nature in her first book. Beautifully illustrated chapters walk readers through the essential steps of creating their own natural playscapes, no matter the environment. Adults and children will delight in working together to build creations like hillside slides, mosaic streams, insect hotels, a living willow tunnel, and even a bamboo bower. Nature Play at Home is sure to inspire readers to take action in their backyards and encourage creative play in nature for years to come.  - Booklist

Traditional Games

Hoyle's Rules of Games : Descriptions of Indoor Games of Skill and Chance, With Advice On Skillful Play : Based on the Foundations Laid Down by Edmond Hoyle, 1672-1769  

Edited by Albert H. Morehead and Geoffrey Mott-Smith

Learn how to play games, sharpen your strategy, and settle disputes with the revised and updated edition of this essential reference guide—now covering over 250 classic and popular games!

In 1742, Edmond Hoyle published the definitive book on the popular game of his day, whist. Games evolve with time, just as whist gave rise to contract bridge. However, more than 250 years later, Hoyle’s is still the definitive name when it comes to the rules of the game—whether it’s bridge, backgammon, Scrabble® or Blackjack. The game player’s basic reference, this handy guide has now been updated and expanded and includes rules, strategies, and odds for over 250 games.


Go Fundamentals

by Shigemi Kishikawa

Available on Hoopla

Go Fundamentals is the easy-to-follow guidebook explaining the fundamental principles of the ancient Asian game of Go, the oldest game in the world. Go is a game played by two contestants. From the basic rules of play, the author leads beginner-level players in easy stages to the more advanced techniques and strategies of gameplay. Over one hundred diagrams, with twenty problems and answers, a glossary of terms as well as other resources for strategy, make this a complete introduction to one of the most fascinating and rewarding games in the world. – publisher


The Great Mahjong Book

by Jelte Rep

Available on Hoopla

Master the game of Mahjong while learning about its legends and history with this entertaining and useful guide. An excellent way to learn Mahjong or "Mah Jongg"-The Great Mahjong Book is the perfect resource for beginner or experienced mahjong players. Richly illustrated and easy to follow with detailed instructions and clear examples, it can help both beginners and experienced players improve their game. Filled with hints, fun facts and numerous illustrations of memorabilia and artifacts, this authoritative and thoroughly enjoyable book is a perfect [read] for anyone interested in this ancient and beguiling game. - publisher


Fantastic Drinking Games

by John Boyer

Available on Hoopla

Roll the dice. Slam the quarter. Flip the cup. Did you win, miss, lose, or guess wrong? Sounds like it's your turn to drink! Or maybe not, depending on the rules you learned to play by. If you've ever gotten into an argument with someone about rules for your favorite drinking game, or just wondered how that insane game at the table next to you is actually played, Fantastic Drinking Games is the book for you. With more than eighty different dice, card, quarter, and cup games, this is the ultimate book for party people! -publisher


Brain Games

by Allen Bragdon

Available on Hoopla

Worried your brain is slowing down a bit? Starting to forget names and numbers? Having trouble with basic math problems? With Brain Games: Brain Teasers, Logic Tests, and Puzzles to Exercise Your Mind, those worries will become a thing of the past. From your short- and long-term memory to your planning skills and ability to learn faster, Brain Games contains everything you need to get your brain back in shape in no time. -publisher

Chess for beginners : know the rules, choose your strategy, and start winning

by Yelizaveta Orlova

Centuries of history and strategy can make learning how to play chess intimidating. Chess for Beginners offers new players a quick-start guide to learn the game of chess and start winning in no time with rules, strategies, and tactics for success.

Starting with the basics, this comprehensive guide provides a clear, illustrated introduction to the movements of each piece along with basic rules and game dynamics. With this foundation, new players will learn effective strategies and tactics to start playing competitively and confidently.

Position your pieces, coordinate your attack, and capture their king—Chess for Beginners teaches you all of the moves to play the perfect game. -publisher


Lasker's Manual of Chess

by Emanuel Lasker

Available on Hoopla

One of the great chess masters shares his secrets in this guide for intermediate and advanced players. Lasker analyzes basic methods of gaining advantages, exchange value of pieces, openings, combinations, position play, aesthetics, and other important maneuvers. Examples from games by other modern masters illuminate the discussions. More than 300 diagrams. -publisher

Games World of Puzzles

Available on RBdigital

Games World of Puzzles is loaded with all kinds of puzzles by top constructors as well as fascinating articles, game reviews, upcoming events, a contest in every issue, and much more. It’s the perfect magazine for all puzzle fans and gamers! -publisher

Video Games

Hoopla has a number of guides to video games on many different platforms. These books can help you with strategies, cheat codes, and more, because, if you're like me, you can't get past the first boss! Below are just a few of the titles available.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Dark Souls III Playstation 4 Unofficial Game Guide

by Josh Abbott

Assassins Creed Origins The Curse of the Pharaohs

by Hse Guides

PC Gamer

Available on RBdigital

In addition to a great visual design, PC Gamer focuses more on communities, user-made content and of course the big-name games we know and love! Each issue also offers exclusive previews and insightful features to make sure you're at the top of your game. Delivering authoritative, honest, informative and entertaining reviews, PC Gamer is the ultimate buyer’s guide. -publisher


How to Play Harmonica Instantly

by Marcos Habif

Available on Hoopla

This 2-in-1 book shows you how to play the harmonica as an absolute beginner and intermediate blues.. Here's the volume that starts you on the road to mastering the harmonica. In this perfect BOOK trainer for the beginner Marcos gives you his easy and straight forward style that makes it simple and fun with over 25 easy songs and lessons. -publisher


The Blues Beginner Series Play-A-Long

by Andrew D. Gordon

Available on Hoopla

Andrew D. Gordon has created 30 12bar blues play-a-long backing tracks in various Blues styles, keys and tempos such as: Funky Blues, Boogie Blues, Jazz Blues, Minor Blues, Country Blues, Latin Blues, Old Time Jazz Blues, Jazz Swing Blues, Classic Blues Rock, Soulful Blues, Slow Blues and many more. -publisher


How to Play Keyboards and Piano Instantly

by Marcos Habif

Available on Hoopla

The most comprehensive, Easy to learn Step by Step common sense approach to keyboard and piano method on the market today. You don't need to read music to start playing songs. "How to Play KEYBOARDS and PIANO Instantly" contain lessons and songs that lead you to a great learning experience. The book contains 32 pages with meaningful illustrations, lessons and songs! The Book Series is intended to show anyone how to quickly play songs with no previous musical experience. It is not intended to make you sound like a professional, but to quickly and easily enjoy making music on your own. -publisher


How to Play Blues Guitar

Available on Hoopla

How to Play Blues Guitar gives you vital instruction in blues basics from top guitar teachers and reveals the secrets of blues greats, often in their own words. Revised and expanded with pages of new lessons and packed with musical examples, charts, and photos, this is your complete step-by-step course for learning acoustic or electric blues guitar. In-depth lessons with pros like Andy Ellis, Jesse Gress, and Arlen Roth teach you to build your own style while exploring the music of traditional bluesmen and modern stars. You'll learn the styles of B.B. King, Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, Albert Collins, Michael Bloomfield, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Robben Ford, and more. -publisher


25 Top Metal Songs

Available on Hoopla

This series includes performance notes and accurate guitar tab for the greatest songs of every genre. From the essential gear, recording techniques and historical information to the right- and left-hand techniques and other playing tips it's all here! Learn to play 25 metal masterpieces with these note-for-note transcriptions. Songs include: Ace of Spades * Am I Evil? * Blackout * Chop Suey! * Cowboys from Hell * Freak on a Leash * Hangar 18 * Iron Man * Mr. Crowley * Psychosocial * Raining Blood * Sober * Tears Don't Fall * Unsung * and more. -publisher


Cuz I Love You

by Lizzo

A dozen songs from the 2019 breakthrough album by this singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, and flautist. This matching folio includes piano/vocal/guitar arrangements of the songs: Better in Color * Crybaby * Cuz I Love You * Exactly How I Feel * Heaven Help Me * Jerome * Juice * Like a Girl * Lingerie * Soulmate * Tempo * Truth Hurts. -publisher


Bohemian Rhapsody : Music From the Motion Picture Soundtrack

by Queen

This songbook features 20 Queen songs from the motion picture soundtrack arranged for piano, voice and guitar, including the title track plus: Another One Bites the Dust * Crazy Little Thing Called Love * Fat Bottomed Girls * I Want to Break Free * Killer Queen * Radio Ga Ga * Somebody to Love * Under Pressure * We Are the Champions * We Will Rock You * and more. -publisher


Hamilton : An American Musical; Ukulele Selections  

by Lin-Manuel Miranda 

17 selections from the critically acclaimed musical based on Alexander Hamilton's biography which debuted on Broadway in August 2015 to unprecedented advanced box office sales. Our collection features 17 selections in piano/vocal/ukulele format from the music penned by Lin-Manuel Miranda, including: Alexander Hamilton * Burn * Dear Theodosia * Hurricane * It's Quiet Uptown * My Shot * One Last Time * -publisher


Guitar Player

Available on RBdigital

The only magazine committed to the most experienced and serious guitar players. Coverage includes the finest lessons and master classes, interviews with top artists, recording tips, and extensive product reviews. -publisher


Electronic Musician

Available on RBdigital

The new ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN is a “must have” resource for anyone who makes music, plays music, and shares music. Every issue includes "gig tested" product reviews on music gear, tons of how-to's, and interviews with today's stars revealing the secrets of their songwriting approaches and audio-production concepts. -publisher



Need Help?

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