Back in March, we did a round-up of all sorts of puzzle books for solvers looking to return to the simplicity of solving with pencil and paper. We focused on books loaded with puzzles for your enjoyment.
But that’s only a small sampling of the books available to puzzle fans. In addition to straight-forward puzzle books, you can find guides on how to make puzzles and games, books offering historical or social insight on the puzzle-game genre, and even fiction books that incorporate puzzles into the storytelling.
So today, we’re doing another puzzle-book round-up, but we’re expanding the scope a bit to cover some delightful puzzle-themed books you might’ve missed recently.
If you’re relatively new to solving — or you’d like to introduce someone to the world of puzzles — then Puzzle Snacks by Eric Berlin is a terrific place to start.
Loaded with over 100 puzzles that run the gamut from fill-ins and clued puzzles to brain teasers and wordplay games, Puzzle Snacks fits solvers of any experience level, helping build up your puzzle skills while introducing you to dozens of variations on the puzzles you know.
For the word seek/word search fans, we’ve previously recommended the word search puzzles of Shawn Marie Simmons, which are geared toward bookworms with themed lists based on literature.
Her latest offering is 25 Word Search Puzzles for MODERN Literature Lovers. With word lists tailored to different iconic authors and works of literature — ranging from the Lord of the Rings and Virginia Woolf to Roald Dahl and Margaret Atwood — you can revisit your favorite reads as you go searching each grid for a bevy of fun and familiar words.
But maybe you’d like to mix some light puzzling with a touch of adventure-filled storytelling for either you or younger solvers. In that case, the recent Netflix revival of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? might have what you’re looking for.
A series of tie-in books for the show are now on the market, and the best of them is Clue by Clue by Catherine Hapka. Centered around the former thief’s efforts to do good and thwart her former allies, Clue by Clue sets Carmen and the ACME team on a treasure hunt for a prize that’s been missing for centuries.
What makes this book so noteworthy is the decoder wheel built into the cover itself! By rotating the wheel, you can decipher different coded messages throughout the book, cracking the case alongside Carmen and her allies.
If you’re looking for a little more narrative heft with your puzzling, then the latest addition to The Maze of Games universe is probably up your alley.
Now that The Maze of Games has finally been solved after years of attentive puzzling, a new answer guide is available: The Keymaster’s Tome.
But this isn’t just the perfect walkthrough for the ultimate puzzle novel; this is an in-universe story in its own right, as the characters of Colleen and Samuel Quaice share their thoughts and reactions to the puzzles they encountered through The Maze of Games.
It’s a really fun and clever take on answer guides, and offers some nice character notes from the heroic and determined Quaice siblings.
Our last offering turns to the world of board games, as the author shares both his own personal experiences with games and how different types of games create different play experiences.
Avidly Reads Board Games by Eric Thurm covers topics like the pluses and minuses of cooperative games, the emergence of legacy games, the infamy of Monopoly, and the curious subgenre of political games (both the intentionally nasty and those that history has judged poorly). Along the way, Thurm offers glimpses into various aspects of modern gaming.
More a series of short essays than one cohesive narrative, Avidly Reads Board Games is one man’s look at a world of games that is constantly evolving, yet remains tied to its earliest successes.
Can you think of any terrific puzzle books we missed? Let us know in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you.
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