images of some of the book covers

Books for Gamers

We spend so much time talking about games or gaming in libraries, but what about books? If you can’t get enough of your favorite games, check out these books inspired by or about games. We hope you enjoy this fun list with something for every kind of gamer. Happy reading!

Books for Board & Card Game Fans – for when you can’t get the crew together for game night.

  • In the Hall with the Knife by Diana Peterfreund – this YA series opener is based on — you guessed it — Clue! When a storm strikes an elite prep school nestled in the woods of Maine, a motley crew of students are left stranded on campus with their headmaster, and when a body is found, all become a suspect of murder.
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – I mean, when Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy were not getting getting at each other’s throats, they — or their companions — were playing an obscene amount of card games. In fact, cards are regular references in all of Jane Austen’s books. Featured Regency-era card games include Lanterloo, Quadrille, and Whist.
  • The Settlers of Catan by Rebecca Gable – continue your explorations of Catan with this novel adaptation that you can buy directly on the Catan website! Set in 850 Europe, the story follows two brothers who must lead their people to safety from marauders. But when they land on the fabled Catan, what other changes are in store?

Books for Dungeons & Dragons Fans – no matter if you’re a complete noob or a seasoned dungeon master, all of these books will be a critical hit!

  • The Adventure Zone by Clint McElroy – this graphic novel follows the D&D adventures of the McElroy brothers and is illustrated by Carey Pietsch. With tea-drinking hobgoblin villains and plenty of banter, you’ll get plenty of humor with your action – and be sure to check out their podcast!
  • The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore – first published in 1988, this classic work was Salvatore’s first foray into the official worlds of D&D. Explore the Icewind Dale with beloved characters drow ranger Drizzt Do’Urden, the human barbarian Wulfgar, the halfling Regis, and the dwarf fighter Bruenor Battlehammer.
  • Vox Machina Origins by Matthew Colville – based on the hit podcast Critical Roll, this graphic adaptation opens in the swamp town of Stilben where Grog and Scanlan, Vex and Vax, and Keylith and Tiberius meet and become Vox Machina. While this series lacks the vocal narration of Matthew Mercer, it has all the humor and action. 

Books for Escape Room Fans – you’ll be solving the puzzles right along with the characters. Good luck!

  • Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman – this story blends books with geocaching — and you can play too at bookscavenger.com. Just after twelve-year-old Emily and her family move to San Francisco, she teams up with new friend James to follow clues in an odd book they find, hoping to figure out its secrets before the men who attacked Emily’s hero, publisher Garrison Griswold, solve the mystery or come after the friends. 
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein – twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.
  • The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – in this series opener, when a Connecticut teenager inherits vast wealth and an eccentric estate from the richest man in Texas, she must also live with his surviving family and solve a series of puzzles to discover how she earned her inheritance.

Books for Video Game Fans – when you can’t take your game with you, you can still take the story with you.

  • The Fall of Reach by Eric S Nylund – this is the first novelization of the popular video game Halo. This is the origin story of John, Spartan-117, and of the battles that brought humanity face to face with its possible extinction. After exhausting all strategies to avoid interplanetary civil war, the United Nations Space Command has one last hope: a top secret program that starts with seventy-five children, among them a six year old boy named John.
  • Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess by Akira Himekawa – while there are other Zelda manga series, this is the latest one, with eight volumes so far. Follow Link as he becomes the student of the mysterious skeletal warrior and travels to fantastic places and fights terrible foes.
  • Quest for the Golden Apple by Megan Miller – while there are plenty of unofficial Minecraft novels, mega-fan Miller (who also writes many unofficial Minecraft guides), delivers an exciting story about a girl named Phoenix who must leave home to save her brother. She faces wolves, creepers, and a scheming witch. With pixelated art that reflects the game, young Minecraft fans will love this title.
  • Renaissance by Oliver Bowden – in this first Assassin’s Creed novel set in 15th-century Italy, Ezio Auditore da Firenze begins an epic battle against corruption in order to restore his family’s name. During his quest for vengeance, he meets the great thinkers of the Renaissance, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Machievelli.
  • Splatoon by Sankichi Hinodeya – this manga series, based on the game by the same name, will be a favorite among tweens and teens. The Turf Wars have started in Inkopolis, and the team that inks the most ground will be crowned the winner! 

Dystopian Books for Gamers – all of these virtual reality games are made up, but who knows how real they could become in the not-too-distant future?

  • Epic by Conor Kostick – on New Earth, a world based on a video role-playing game, fourteen-year-old Erik persuades his friends to aid him in some unusual gambits in order to save Erik’s father from exile and safeguard the futures of each of their families.
  • The Eye of Minds by James Dashner – Michael, Bryson, and Sarah live for their hours in the VirtNet, where they seek out the wildest adventures possible without any risk to their physical selves. But then gamers begin disappearing, and others return from the VirtNet brain-dead. Michael and his friends are chosen by VirtNet Security to find the suspected perpetrator of these crimes, a cyberterrorist named Kaine. 
  • Heir Apparent by Vivia Vande Velde – while playing a total immersion virtual reality game of kings and intrigue, fourteen-year-old Giannine learns that demonstrators have damaged the equipment to which she is connected, and she must win the game quickly or be damaged herself.
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the OASIS, a vast virtual world where most of humanity spends their days. When the eccentric creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves behind a series of fiendish puzzles, based on his obsession with the pop culture of decades past. Whoever is first to solve them will inherit his vast fortune—and control of the OASIS itself. A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?
  • Warcross by Marie Lu – When teenage coder Emika Chen hacks her way into the opening tournament of the Warcross Championships, she glitches herself into the game as well as a sinister plot with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

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