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True Books

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One Jump Ahead: Challenging Human Supremacy in Checkers, by Jonathan Schaeffer (Springer, $34.95).

Synopsis: The Chinook checkers-playing computer program is developed and guided toward its "final dramatic showdown" with Marion Tinsley, the world checkers champion.

Representative quote: "Game twenty-two was almost a repeat of game twenty. Same result (draw). Same heartache. After five moves, Chinook stopped again. Our mysterious bug had reappeared."

Noteworthy flaw: Lack of companion volume, Three in a Row: Challenging Human Supremacy in Ticktacktoe.

2,001 Things to Do Before You Die, by Dane Sherwood (HarperPerennial, $6.95).

Synopsis: A list of a few thousand wacky, weird, difficult, or just plain stupid directives to help you "get off your sorry butt and do something!"

Representative quote: "Wear two different shoes. Become conversant with Symbolism, Dadaism, Der Blau Reiter, and Renaissance art. Attend a couture show in Paris. Dip into your capital. Wax your eyebrows."

Noteworthy flaw: Should have included 2,002nd thing: avoid smug gift books.

Don't Call That Man! A Woman's Survival Guide to Letting Go, by Rhonda Findling (KMK Associates, $12.95).

Synopsis: Women--often those who had crummy fathers--find themselves groveling at the doorsteps of indifferent former boyfriends. Stop it. Go pet your dog, plant a garden, anything instead of phoning your beloved and begging to get back together.

Representative quote: "Stop the cycle now. Don't look back!!! THERE IS LIFE AFTER YOUR EX! Say this out loud or to yourself a hundred times a day."

Noteworthy flaw: Oh, but what if he's had a change of heart? What if he's waiting by the phone, repentant but too ashamed to call, hoping against hope that you'll call him?

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): book covers.

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