If I knew everything contained in my book collection, I'd be a lot stronger than I am now. Still, that doesn't stop me from adding to it regularly:
Four Star Books:
- Get Strong at the endgame; this is a really interesting book, involving calculation problems, tesuji problems and also game situation problems. I haven't read the book called the endgame so I can't compare it to that, but I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone. If only I could transfer the lessons here into real play...
- Tesuji, Life and death; both first class books, covering a wide range of problems from the basic through to the complex (in L&D, the carpenter's square, for example) in a relatively low number of pages. they have a decent balance of problems, examples and text, split into short chapters that are easily digestible. they are a lot of books on these subjects out there, but few as good as these. If I had any complaint, it was that because the range of difficulty of the problems is so wide, it's hard to know sometimes whether the problem you are tackling should be easy, hard or next to impossible.
- Opening theory made easy;InThe Beginning; fairly basic material, but presented extremely well, and the sort of book that I open up and re-read the examples of from time to time.
- Whole Board thinking in Joseki vol1; one of my current favourite books. It introduced me to new joseki at the same time as providing examples of strategic joseki choice. It's not exactly clear to me how to make the most of this book, but it introduced me to the first inklings of a new way of thinking of the opening. If only it were better sized for taking on the train...
- Invincible; this is a beautiful book, full of interesting history in addition to the games of Shusaku. I think that it is the benchmark against which collections of games should be judged - not just the games themselves but also decent commentaries and a lot of background colour.
- Go Sei Gen's Tesuji problems,日本語 really good collection of tesuji problems. really quite hard- you know what type of move the tesuiji is, (e.g. a sagari) but the real key is that this forces you to read out the problem to see if you are certain that it works. Truely the pressups of go!
- 3 of Kato Masao's (?) next 3 moves books,日本語 the tsumego book in particular, is nice, not too hard, not too soft, the others (handicap go and the middlegame) I'm not so fussed about
Three Star Books:
- Get Strong at Joseki 1-3; these are curious books, they introduce some basic joseki lines, which is quite useful, but the majority of the book is in the format of problems. I'm not sure that the way to use the books well is to do the problems in order, because it becomes quite confusing what sequence of moves you have followed to get to the problem in question, but there is interesting material in them if you can just work out how to access it. I addition, I think that best parts of the books are the problems on 'after the joseki' and 'choosing the right joseki' but unfortunately they are at the back of the book and are least in number.
- Get Strong at invading
- Get Strong at the opening; a book of opening problems, this is quite interesting. 501 opening problems; interesting as all opening books are, however I think that it is weaker than, say the get strong equivalent, because 1) it shows fewer alternatives and what is wrong with them, and 2) it goes into less detail about potential continuations.
- Ishida's Joseki Dictionary,日本語
Two Star Books:
- The 3-3 Point Modern Opening Strategy, The Chinese Opening, the san-ren-sei; these are interesting books on professional play, which provide an insight into how to approach the opening and what to think about, but I don't feel that I got a great deal out of them and I haven't found myself tempted to re-read any of them. more for pure interest than study, I'd say if pushed.
- Go's new dojo vol.1; interesting book about early middlegame positions, goodness knows what he's going on about though - it's hard to get much conviction from what you read because you end up relying on GSG's this is bad for black style comments a lot rather than being able to see a difference. Sounds like it must be a bit beyond me then.
- The 1971 Honinbo Tournament; this is an ok book - I'm not as keen on it as many people seem to be. This might be because I'm not really strong enough to make much of the commentaries, but I think that popularity of the book benotes the rareness of game commentaries targeted at the average go player.
- the Direction of Play; I loved this the first time i read it, when i was quite weak. I looked at it again quite recently & whilst I like it, i'm not sure how much I got out of it.
- Nihon Kiin Fuseki Dictionary, vol.1,日本語
- Go Sei Gen's collected games vol.1,日本語;his early games - some jubango, and article on the large avalanche joseki, and disappointingly no real biographical articles or anecdotes
- Shusai meijin's collected games vol.1-6,日本語 games, lots of them, practically no comments, no biography, pretty dull.
books i've read but can't remember much about:
as yet unclassified:
- the Breakthrough to Shodan
- __Fujisawa Hideyuki's Tesuji Dictionary,日本語
- 2 of Fujisawa's problem books called Shuko's vision or something similar,日本語
- Yoda's Note,日本語
- making good shape; I very much like this book so far - it has provided me with not a few positions that i have sat down over a board and had a think about. Very interesting.
- Sabaki - the art of making life for stones, or whatever, YY. It's only small but is nevertheless very interesting, provides several examples in a fair amount of detail of what is a subtle skill that, at least at my level, seems absent from most players' armoury. Shame it's so short.
- Fuseki, the korean approach; I like this book quite a lot, as it gives multiple possibilities for playing the same fuseki, and explains the motivations behind them. That said, I don't think it's going to improve my go much because, it's about how pro's play, and how they view positions as level, slightly good for black etc, rather than why certain moves are kyu level, and how to take advantage of them.
- Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go;
books I haven't read yet: