Did The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix pull you in as it did me? Want to find more books like The Queen’s Gambit? Well, check out this list.
It hasn’t been long since The Queen’s Gambit made its streaming debut on Netflix, and it’s breaking records with the number of views it’s getting. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the miniseries for yourself, I suggest you do it as soon as possible.
The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix is based on the self-titled book that follows Beth Harmon, an orphan and chess prodigy, as she finds herself in a male-dominated industry.
“Eight-year-old orphan Beth Harmon is quiet, sullen, and by all appearances unremarkable. That is until she plays her first game of chess. Her senses grow sharper, her thinking clearer, and for the first time in her life, she feels herself fully in control. By the age of sixteen, she’s competing for the U.S. Open championship. But as Beth hones her skills on the professional circuit, the stakes get higher, her isolation grows more frightening, and the thought of escape becomes all the more tempting.”
This captivating premise and heart-wrenching miniseries will draw you straight into a Netflix binge. I personally watched every episode within 2 days. I couldn’t help myself, it was so good.
If you’re like me, after watching a series or movie that was an adaptation of a book, you have to go and read the book to compare. But what you’ve already read the book or you want to find books like The Queen’s Gambit? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with 21 books to read if you loved The Queen’s Gambit.
Now, without further ado, I give you 21 incredible books like The Queen’s Gambit.
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Books Like The Queen’s Gambit
The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova
This author is brilliant! Her approach to the subject, her interactions with the subject, and her descriptions are superb in my humble opinion. The way she thinks and then presents her thoughts is wonderful. She seems to waste no space with unnecessary verbiage. I don’t know what attracted me to this book but it was worth the read and then some. More details→
The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
I found this book to be quite interesting, especially because it deals with a character’s autism, which is unusual in my reading experience, but commendable to the author and very realistic. Not only does she present the situation honestly, but she also demonstrates how it can be effectively dealt with. It also realistically demonstrates how such a young woman can easily be taken advantage of by unscrupulous men. More details→
Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
I loved this book and all the wonderful characters in it. The dialogue is brilliantly pithy and I am probably going to read it again in the near future. Once isn’t enough. What a great story with multi-dimensional characters. This is a page-turner about living life, looking back, and moving forward. Read it! More details→
The Grandmaster by David Klass
Freshman Daniel Pratzer gets a chance to prove himself when the chess team invites him and his father to a weekend-long parent-child tournament. Daniel, thinking that his father is a novice, can’t understand why his teammates want so badly for them to participate. More details→
The Color of Money by Walter Tevis
Twenty years after he conquered the underground pool circuit as The Hustler, “Fast” Eddie Felson is playing exhibition matches with former rival Minnesota Fats in shopping malls for prizes like cable television. With one failed marriage and years of running a pool hall behind him. More details→
The Queen of Katwe by Tim Crothers
An amazing story of a brave young girl who lives a life that I found hard to fathom. This book opens your eyes to the incredible poverty that is unknown to most of us. This is the story of a chess phenomenon that has risen out of the slums of Uganda. Her story, her family’s story, her coach’s story are all intertwined and both amazing and painful. The depth of faith and the challenges this young girl faces make her story all the more incredible. More details→
Chess Story by Stefan Zweig
Chess Story, also known as The Royal Game, is the Austrian master Stefan Zweig’s final achievement, completed in Brazilian exile and sent off to his American publisher only days before his suicide in 1942. It is the only story in which Zweig looks at Nazism, and he does so with characteristic emphasis on the psychological. More details→
Outline by Rachel Cusk
The protagonist is an author, whose own life stories we barely piece together, but as she makes her way to teach a creative writing course, she interacts with a whole cast of characters. She listens to their stories, challenges their biases and assumptions, and muses on whether or not these people are authentic or honest. Cusk’s writing is beautiful and crystal clear, and she often says so much with simplicity. More details→
The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett
A story where Dorothy paints a picture of Lymond through the eyes of others, and 5 books later you are still trying to grasp the true makeup of the hero! Fascinating and complex characters, though previous knowledge of names of Scottish personages and places would have helped. Clever, literate dialogue filled with words of wisdom. More details→
The Price of Salt or Carol by Patricia Highsmith
Patricia Highsmith’s story of romantic obsession may be one of the most important, but still largely unrecognized, novels of the twentieth century. First published in 1952 and touted as “the novel of a love that society forbids,” the book soon became a cult classic. More details→
Lea by Pascal Mercier
It all starts with the death of Martijn van Vliet’s wife. His grief-stricken young daughter, Lea, cuts herself off from the world, lost in the darkness of grief. Then she hears the unfamiliar sound of a violin playing in the hall of a train station, and she is brought back to life. More details→
The Hustler by Walter Tevis
Eddie Felson, a poolroom hustler who travels from town to town conning strangers into thinking they could beat him at the game when in fact, he is a skillful player who has never lost a game. Until he meets his match in Minnesota Fats, the true king of the poolroom, causing his life to change drastically. This is a classic tale of a man’s struggle with his soul and his self-esteem. More details→
Body & Soul by Frank Conroy
Body & Soul is the story of a young man whose life is transformed by a gift. The gift is not without price—the work is relentless, the teachers exacting—but the reward is a journey that takes him to the drawing rooms of the rich and powerful, private schools, a gilt-edged marriage, and Carnegie Hall. More details→
Chess Bitch by Jennifer Shahade
Chess Bitch, written by the 2004 U.S. Woman’s Chess Champion, is an eye-opening account of how today’s young female chess players are successfully knocking down the doors to this traditionally male game, infiltrating the male-owned sporting subculture of international chess, and giving the phrase “play like a girl” a whole new meaning. More details→
A Partial History of Lost Causes by Jennifer Dubois
In St. Petersburg, Russia, world chess champion Aleksandr Bezetov begins a quixotic quest: He launches a dissident presidential campaign against Vladimir Putin. He knows he will not win—and that he is risking his life in the process—but a deeper conviction propels him forward. More details→
How I Beat Fischer’s Record by Judit Polgar
In chess, great achievements often take a lifetime of preparation, but when these achievements are becoming the World Number 1 woman chess player at the age of 12 and the youngest ever grandmaster at the age of 15, you have to start early! In this very personal book, Judit Polgar describes her early moments of success and the chess ideas she needed to master in order to achieve them. More details→
The Big Green Tent by Ludmila Ulitskaya
Rich with love stories, intrigue, and a cast of dissenters and spies, The Big Green Tent offers a panoramic survey of life after Stalin and a dramatic investigation into the possibilities for individual integrity in a society defined by the KGB. More details→
Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell
Utopia Avenue is a very richly devised and detailed ride with a band as it forms and begins a rise to stardom, with rotating viewpoints among the 4 very eclectic Brits that make the group — with special attention to the 3 songwriters that give the band a unique sound like real-life 3-singer/writer bands (Beatles/Chicago/Gomez). More details→
Birth of the Chess Queen by Marilyn Yalom
Birth of the Chess Queen examines the five centuries between the chess queen’s timid emergence in the early days of the Holy Roman Empire to her elevation during the reign of Isabel of Castile. Marilyn Yalom, inspired by a handful of surviving medieval chess queens, traces their origin and spread from Spain, Italy, and Germany to France, England, Scandinavia, and Russia. More details→
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
This is just a classic book by Amy Tan. I think every mother/daughter relationship should read this one. What mothers really feel and mean when expressing themselves and how daughters react in positive and negative ways. Which often times was not how it was meant. Well written and versed. Several of her later books were good but this one is far and away from her best in my opinion. A great read. More details→
The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan
A moving and enlightening look at the unbelievable true story of how gifted prodigy Ramanujan stunned the scholars of Cambridge University and revolutionized mathematics. In 1913, a young unschooled Indian clerk wrote a letter to G H Hardy, begging the preeminent English mathematician’s opinion on several ideas he had about numbers. Realizing the letter was the work of a genius. More details→
What book like The Queen’s Gambit would you like to read next?
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6 thoughts on “21 Books Like The Queen’s Gambit”
I’ve thought about watching the series for a while now. I need to do it.
I think you’ll love it. It was a lot better than I thought after watching the trailer.
Thanks for the recommendation!
No problem 😉
I just finished watching The Queen’s Gambit this morning while on the treadmill. It was a bit slow for me, but maybe that’s because I watched it while working out and I tend to need something a bit more distracting.
I wish I had the motivation to workout. I’ve gained 10 lbs this year. 2020 has had me so lazy.