I've blogged about David Shenk's excellent book "The Immortal Game" several times (here and here) and I'm happy to say it is now available in a paperback edition ($10.17 from Amazon). If you are looking for a very entertaining chess book you can read away from a chess board this is it. Mostly it is a history of chess, but it also examines why the game has fascinated so many millions over the past millennium or so. You don't even need an understanding of how to play chess to appreciate this book - just an interest. The most technical thing in the entire volume is an on-going examination (between chapters) of the famous "Immortal Game" a chess game played in 1851 by Adolf Anderssen (playing white) and Lionel Kieseritzky. There are plenty of diagrams and easy-to-understand explanations of what is happening in the game. This would be a great book to give someone that may have expressed an interest in chess but, for whatever reason, has been hesitant in taking up the game. Highly recommended!