So, a little history: I first learned go way back in college. Told myself I was going to keep playing. Didn't play again until I spent a year and a half in Korea, and hung out with the Korean go club. Told myself I would learn to play well this time. Stopped playing when I left Korea, even though I'd bought a bunch of Go books, most of which I never read through.
So now, after reading ten volumes of a children's manga series called Hikaru no Go
, I am inspired to maybe break out the books again and see whether I'm not too old to maybe become a middling player before I leave middle age.
Anyway, this book is the first in a series by Janice Kim, translated from Korean. As the title implies, this is a starter book for beginners. It teaches the basics of Go (or baduk, as it is called in Korean), starting with the rules and moving on to elementary strategies. By the time you finish, so claims the author, you should be ready to play at the 15-kyu level or so (basically, a beginner who knows how to play but not much else). I don't know since I have never been ranked, but it was good review since I haven't actually played in years. I did read this book in its entirety about ten years ago and found it helpful. Now maybe I'm ready to take on a dumb computer program, or other beginners over the Internet. I will let you know as I move on to book 2.
I'd say this is an excellent beginner's book, as it not only teaches rules but also has tons of teaching examples for very simple situations of the sort a beginner needs to know (i.e., how not to make those "DUH!" moves that only a beginner would make). I'm not giving it 5 stars only because I haven't actually read that many Go books so I can't say how it compares to other books aimed at a similar level of novice.
Okay, I'm ready to take on Hikaru Shindo!