100 books like Fun, Taste, & Games

By John Sharp, David Thomas,

Here are 100 books that Fun, Taste, & Games fans have personally recommended if you like Fun, Taste, & Games. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered The World

Harold Goldberg Author Of All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture

From my list on video game narrative histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author/journalist Harold Goldberg has written about video games since the 1990s. He is the author of All Your Base Are Belong to Us (How 50 Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture) and The League of Legends Experience. He is the founder of the non-profit New York Videogame Critics Circle and The New York Game Awards, both of which raise funds for essential classes and scholarships in New York City's underserved communities. As editor in chief of Sony Online Entertainment, he worked on Star Wars Galaxies and EverQuest. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Wired, and elsewhere. Goldberg also co-wrote My Life Among The Serial Killers with Dr. Helen Morrison. 

Harold's book list on video game narrative histories

Harold Goldberg Why did Harold love this book?

Sheff's 1994 story is still the most incisive narrative history of Nintendo. It's full of all the ups and downs you expect in a process-oriented tome. But it also has soul, delivered by the wonder-filled mind of Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of the Mario and the Legend Of Zelda series. Today, no journalist could ever get inside Nintendo, which is as closed off to its inner workings as Apple is. But Sheff got inside, way inside, and every reader is the better for it.

By David Sheff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Game Over as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With annual sales of $4.7 billion in the US alone, Nintendo dominates the worldwide market for video games and Mario, the company mascot, has become more familiar to children than Mickey Mouse. Far more profitable than IBM, Apple or Microsoft, Nintendo has become - in less than a decade - one of the most successful high technology companies in the world. This book looks at the policies and practices of Nintendo and its future in computer technology.


Book cover of The Ultimate History of Video Games, Vol. 1

Harold Goldberg Author Of All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture

From my list on video game narrative histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author/journalist Harold Goldberg has written about video games since the 1990s. He is the author of All Your Base Are Belong to Us (How 50 Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture) and The League of Legends Experience. He is the founder of the non-profit New York Videogame Critics Circle and The New York Game Awards, both of which raise funds for essential classes and scholarships in New York City's underserved communities. As editor in chief of Sony Online Entertainment, he worked on Star Wars Galaxies and EverQuest. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Wired, and elsewhere. Goldberg also co-wrote My Life Among The Serial Killers with Dr. Helen Morrison. 

Harold's book list on video game narrative histories

Harold Goldberg Why did Harold love this book?

Steve's sprawlingly wonderful book is not only an essential (and the first) oral history of video games' early years. The author takes you inside the minds of the (mainly) white men who pioneered a form of entertainment media that's now bigger than all forms of popular art combined. Just as it makes you think of the brilliance of these slick hucksters and brainy engineers who created a new form of culture, it makes you think that games would have benefitted greatly from more diversity back then - and now.

By Steven L. Kent,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ultimate History of Video Games, Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The definitive behind-the-scenes history of the dawn of video games and their rise into a multibillion-dollar business
 
“For industry insiders and game players alike, this book is a must-have.”—Mark Turmell, designer for Midway Games and creator of NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, and WrestleMania
 
With all the whiz, bang, pop, and shimmer of a glowing arcade, volume 1 of The Ultimate History of Video Games reveals everything you ever wanted to know and more about the unforgettable games that changed the world, the visionaries who made them, and the fanatics who played them. Starting in arcades then moving to televisions and…


Book cover of The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter

Harold Goldberg Author Of All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture

From my list on video game narrative histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author/journalist Harold Goldberg has written about video games since the 1990s. He is the author of All Your Base Are Belong to Us (How 50 Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture) and The League of Legends Experience. He is the founder of the non-profit New York Videogame Critics Circle and The New York Game Awards, both of which raise funds for essential classes and scholarships in New York City's underserved communities. As editor in chief of Sony Online Entertainment, he worked on Star Wars Galaxies and EverQuest. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Wired, and elsewhere. Goldberg also co-wrote My Life Among The Serial Killers with Dr. Helen Morrison. 

Harold's book list on video game narrative histories

Harold Goldberg Why did Harold love this book?

Of the small subgenre books that deal with the way games aid education, Toppo's shows how games can make a difference in the way students learn by looking at first at a Washington, D.C. school's success with improving math scores through game playing. From there, he visits professors and visionaries, all of whom have helped kids learn through games. One thing becomes clear: if there were a games class in every school, especially in underserved communities, student grades would go up.

By Greg Toppo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Game Believes in You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What if schools, from the wealthiest suburban nursery school to the grittiest urban high school, thrummed with the sounds of deep immersion? More and more people believe that can happen - with the aid of video games. From Greg Toppo, USA Today's national K-12 education and demographics reporter, The Game Believes in You presents the story of a small group of visionaries who, for the past 40 years, have been pushing to get game controllers into the hands of learners. Among the game revolutionaries you'll meet in this book:

*A game designer at the University of Southern California leading a…


Book cover of Playstation Anthology

Harold Goldberg Author Of All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture

From my list on video game narrative histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author/journalist Harold Goldberg has written about video games since the 1990s. He is the author of All Your Base Are Belong to Us (How 50 Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture) and The League of Legends Experience. He is the founder of the non-profit New York Videogame Critics Circle and The New York Game Awards, both of which raise funds for essential classes and scholarships in New York City's underserved communities. As editor in chief of Sony Online Entertainment, he worked on Star Wars Galaxies and EverQuest. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Wired, and elsewhere. Goldberg also co-wrote My Life Among The Serial Killers with Dr. Helen Morrison. 

Harold's book list on video game narrative histories

Harold Goldberg Why did Harold love this book?

No one's written the perfect history of the PlayStation. But this illustration-rife, Kickstarted book for fans details the secrets of Sony's history with consoles, including rare photos of collectibles and decent interviews of 26 of the key developers, like PaRappa The Rapper co-creator Rodney Alan Greenblatt and Crash Bandicoot co-creator Jason Rubin. Yes, they could have included interviews with key U.S execs like Andrew House and Mark Cerny. Still, it works. Dimension-wise, the book's not large enough to be a coffee table book. But that's what it feels like, and an indispensable one at that.

By Mathieu Manent,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Playstation Anthology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To celebrate a console that brought wonder into the lives of so many, and a brand that reshaped the whole entertainment industry, the authors retrace Sony's incredible journey, from the company's creation following World War II, to the machine's retirement in the early 2000's. Throughout the 26 interviews, important figures of the period recount their experiences with unabashed honesty, painting a detailed picture of the great venture led by Ken Kutaragi. Much like the Nintendo 64 Anthology, the PlayStation Anthology is unique in both form and content. To fully appreciate the scale of the PlayStation phenomenon, you first have to…


Book cover of Palaces of Pleasure: From Music Halls to the Seaside to Football, How the Victorians Invented Mass Entertainment

Patrice McDonough Author Of Murder by Lamplight

From my list on offbeat books about the Victorian Era.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a reading and history-loving family. My parents read all the time, and their books of choice combined historical fiction and nonfiction. It’s no wonder I ended up teaching high school history for over three decades. The first books I read were my older brother’s hand-me-down Hardy Boys. Then, I went on to Agatha Christie. Books written in the 1920s and 30s were historical mysteries by the time I read them decades later, so the historical mystery genre is a natural fit. As for the Victorian age, all that gaslight and fog makes it the perfect milieu for murder.

Patrice's book list on offbeat books about the Victorian Era

Patrice McDonough Why did Patrice love this book?

This delightful book erases the stiff, sepia portraits of a bygone age, painting the Victorian world in living color. It shreds the era’s image as fun-challenged. The Victorians knew how to have a rollicking good time, inventing popular entertainment on a commercial scale.

In two generations, theatrical performances, professional sporting events, and seaside holidays were accessible to the masses. Jackson traces the social and economic transformations that made it possible.

By Lee Jackson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Palaces of Pleasure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Distant Early Warning: Marshall McLuhan and the Transformation of the Avant-Garde

William J. Buxton Author Of Harold Innis on Peter Pond: Biography, Cultural Memory, and the Continental Fur Trade

From my list on By or about the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan (.

Why am I passionate about this?

William J. Buxton is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies and Senior Fellow, Centre for Sensory Studies, at Concordia University Montreal, Qc, Canada. He is also professeur associé au Département d’information et de communication de l’Université Laval, Québec City, Québec, Canada. He has edited and co-edited five books related to the life and works of the Canadian political economist and media theorist, Harold Adams Innis.

William's book list on By or about the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan (

William J. Buxton Why did William love this book?

This book explores McLuhan’s relationship with avant-garde art. While McLuhan’s engagement with artistic endeavours, has received some attention, Kitnick examines in detail not only how McLuhan’s work on art developed over an extended period, but how his views on artistic practice came to inform the work of others. He builds on McLuhan’s contention that art was not primarily a means of self-expression, but rather the basis for cultural exploration and environmental change. Drawing inspiration from figures such as James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, and Wyndham Lewis. McLuhan, according to Kitnick, saw members of the avant-garde as artists who work within conventional structures in order to disrupt them, thereby throwing them into relief. 

By Alex Kitnick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Distant Early Warning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) is best known as a media theorist-many consider him the founder of media studies-but he was also an important theorist of art. Though a near-household name for decades due to magazine interviews and TV specials, McLuhan remains an underappreciated yet fascinating figure in art history. His connections with the art of his own time were largely unexplored, until now. In Distant Early Warning, art historian Alex Kitnick delves into these rich connections and argues both that McLuhan was influenced by art and artists and, more surprisingly, that McLuhan's work directly influenced the art and artists of his…


Book cover of A New Theory of Urban Design

Matthew Carmona Author Of Public Places Urban Spaces: The Dimensions of Urban Design

From my list on urban design books that inspired me.

Why am I passionate about this?

Looking at the books I have chosen, one might say they are all rather long in the tooth. They are, yet they are also the books that inspired me to do what I do today which is to teach and research the subject of urban design. I am a Professor of Planning and Urban Design at The Bartlett, UCL and firmly believe that understanding a subject like my own begins from the foundations upwards. Each of these classic texts represents part of those foundations, foundations that my own work attempts to build upon. 

Matthew's book list on urban design books that inspired me

Matthew Carmona Why did Matthew love this book?

This book reports on a research project, this time undertaken by Christopher Alexander and his students.  It is one of a number of books that attempts to ask deep questions about how places grow, and in particular about how they can grow positively in a manner that we instinctively feel to be ‘good.' Like Cullen’s book, this deeply influenced my own studies, this time of planning, when I remember conducting an experiment focused on piecemeal growth with a fellow student. The project emulated Alexander’s method and taught me a key lesson that has informed my own work ever since, namely that urban design is primarily a process. Get the process right and you are much more likely to get the outcomes you desire.

By Christopher Alexander,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A New Theory of Urban Design as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this radical new look at the theory and practice of urban design, Christopher Alexander asks why our modern cities so often lack a sense of natural growth, and suggests a set of rules and guidelines by which we can inject that `organic' character back into our High Streets, buildings, and squares. At a time when so many of Britain's inner cities are undergoing, or are in need of, drastic renovation, Christopher Alexander's detailed account of his own experiments
in urban-renewal in San Francisco makes thought-provoking reading.


Book cover of The General Theory of Law and Marxism

J. Moufawad-Paul Author Of Austerity Apparatus

From my list on the state and state repression.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my long-standing interests, as a political philosopher, has been to examine the deployment of state power and the state forms (what I call states of affairs) the capitalist mode of production takes in order to preserve its economic order. Since I completed my doctorate, which was on the articulation of settler-colonial power in relationship to remaining settler states, I have largely been invested in thinking politics: how dominant politics maintain the current order, how counter-hegemonic politics disrupt this order. 

J.'s book list on the state and state repression

J. Moufawad-Paul Why did J. love this book?

Considering the legal apparatus as part of the state, Pashukanis puts forward the “commodity-form” theory of law in order to conceptualize the apotheosis of law under and fundamental to capitalism. Following Lenin, and against the claims of many of his Soviet philosopher contemporaries, Pashukanis argues that the withering away of the state should also imply the withering away of law. In making this argument he also examines the construction of legal relations and the legal subject. Pashukanis’ analysis has been revisited and revived in critical legal studies giving rise to scholarly studies such as China Miéville’s Between Equal Rights—which is how I initially discovered it, being a fan of Miéville’s fiction!

By Evgeny Pashukanis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The General Theory of Law and Marxism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

E. B. Pashukanis was the most significant contemporary to develop a fresh, new Marxist perspective in post-revolutionary Russia. In 1924 he wrote what is probably his most influential work, The General Theory of Law and Marxism. In the second edition, 1926, he stated that this work was not to be seen as a final product but more for "self-clarification" in hopes of adding "stimulus and material for further discussion." A third edition was printed in 1927.Pashukanis's "commodity-exchange" theory of law spearheaded a perspective that traced the form of law, not to class interests, but to capital logic itself. Until his…


Book cover of Pedagogy of the Oppressed

David Delmar Sentíes Author Of What We Build with Power: The Fight for Economic Justice in Tech

From my list on advocates of economic justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an artist, activist, and social entrepreneur. Latino bilingüe and history nerd. I’m the Founder of Resilient Coders, a free and stipended nonprofit coding bootcamp that trains people of color for careers as software engineers. I built that organization for the same reason I write: I care about the economic wellness of Black and Latinx people. I want my neighbors to have the purchasing power to keep my local bodega open. They carry my coffee. Whole Foods doesn’t.

David's book list on advocates of economic justice

David Delmar Sentíes Why did David love this book?

In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire makes claims so bold, and so revolutionary, that the book was banned in much of the Global South during the era of dictatorships in the 70s.

One of the central ideas was this: The oppressed are as capable and as intelligent as their oppressors. They need not be treated as requiring “help” or “guidance,” which are dynamics that can lend themselves to inequitable power constructs.

This worldview, in which one group of people is needed in order to “save” another group of people, is the intellectual foundation from which we’ve built systems of oppression throughout history. If one person’s liberation is dependent on another person’s choice, they can never be equals.

This is the book upon which we built Resilient Coders. 

By Paulo Freire,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Pedagogy of the Oppressed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. Paulo Freire's work has helped to empower countless people throughout the world and has taken on special urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is ongoing. This 50th anniversary edition includes an updated introduction by Donaldo Macedo, a new afterword by Ira Shor and interviews with Marina Aparicio Barberan, Noam Chomsky, Ramon Flecha, Gustavo Fischman, Ronald David Glass, Valerie Kinloch, Peter Mayo, Peter McLaren…


Book cover of What Philosophy Can Do

Jonathan Haber Author Of Critical Thinking

From my list on becoming a better critical thinker.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Boston-based educational researcher and consultant specializing in critical-thinking education and technology-enabled learning.  My 2013 Degree of Freedom One-Year-BA project on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which involved taking 32 online college classes in just twelve months, was featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education and other publications.  That work led to my first book for MIT Press, and an Inaugural fellowship at HarvardX, the organization at Harvard responsible for MOOC development.  I am also the author of two books on critical thinking and work with educators on how to improve critical-thinking education for students at all grade levels.

Jonathan's book list on becoming a better critical thinker

Jonathan Haber Why did Jonathan love this book?

Notre Dame philosopher Gary Gutting sadly passed away right before COVID, but not before writing countless articles, many of them on the New York Times philosophy website The Stone, showing practical uses of the philosophical tradition. Many of his thoughts are collected in his 2015 book What Philosophy Can Do which includes chapters on how philosophical practices can help us better argue about politics and religion, better understand the power, nature (and limitations) of science, and how to think about education and art. Gutting’s thoughtful and insightful writing provides practical ways to navigate a contentious age using tools that have been helping people argue about and even solve difficult problems for over two thousand years. For anyone laboring under the delusion that philosophy is an exercise in abstraction, suitable for the classroom and research symposium, but little else, What Philosophy Can Do will cure you of that stereotype.

By Gary Gutting,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Philosophy Can Do as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In What Philosophy Can Do, Gary Gutting leaves the ivory tower to tackle difficult questions in everyday life and shows how philosophy can be used as a method for interrogating our world-and one another. He looks at why today's political debates are so polarised, why scientific research on happiness does not make us happier and whether there are convincing reasons to believe-or not believe-in God.

Gutting takes the most powerful-and divisive-forces in our society: politics, science, religion, art and capitalism-and applies a philosopher's scalpel to reveal thoughtful ways to look at vexing issues. He introduces readers to analytical tools, from…


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