Tag Archives: Tuttle Publishing


61qb49aMC9LOur book, Mah Jongg – The Art of the Game, has finally been delivered to most of you. This has been a long and crazy three years to put this book together and your response has been so very rewarding. But something has happened and I wanted to get your opinion.

You might be familiar with Goodreads, a website now owned by Amazon that claims, “Rate books that you’ve read. Goodreads learns about your personal tastes from your ratings.” The key phrase here is “rate books that you’ve READ.”

We couldn’t help but notice that a reader by the name of Ann (and that is very unfortunate for me!) has rated our book only three stars out of a possible 5.


We know that we can’t take it personally if someone isn’t wild about the book. But here is the problem…read on…

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I am humbled and completely speechless by this review by Tom Sloper on www.sloperama.com. Tom was so generous and kind to agree to write a chapter in the book for us and, along with Michael Stanwick and our other experts, provided amazing gravitas, accuracy, and credibility to Mah Jongg – The Art of the Game.


By Tom Sloper (湯姆 斯洛珀)
November 2, The Year Of The Horse 馬 

Column #622

A beautiful new book is coming this month: “Mah Jongg, The Art Of The Game,” by Ann M. Israel and Gregg Swain. The book gives a rare accurate accounting of the history of mah-jongg (thanks to Michael Stanwick and yours truly), and some gorgeous photographs of exquisite collectible mah-jongg sets, taken by Michel Arnaud.

Renowned mah-jongg historian and scholar Michael Stanwick wrote the text for the first chapter, “A Brief History of Mah Jongg.” I wrote the text for the second chapter, “Mr. Babcock Invents Mah-Jongg™.” I put together facts from an interview with Lisa Lethin (the granddaughter of Babcock’s partner, Anton Lethin) on mahjongmuseum.nl, and facts from Philip Orbanes’ book on the history of board games company Parker Brothers (“The Game Makers”), Milton C. Work’s 1924 book “Mah-Jongg Up-To-Date,” and even patent filings from the nineteen twenties. My chapter thus puts the Babcock story together in a more complete way than has ever been seen in print before. 

But enough about me, and my small part of the book. The photos are simply stunning. The authors contacted numerous collectors and obtained photos of some beautiful sets and amazing rare sets, including some historically significant sets that Michael Stanwick has described in his excellent scholarly pieces in the journal of the International Playing Card Society, “The Playing Card.” There are also photos from the early days of mah-jongg. History and stories and spectacular imagery – what more could you want?

The book is hardcover, 8.5″x8.5″ (or if you prefer, 215x215mm). It’s published by Tuttle Publishing, ISBN: 9784805313237. It’s slated to be released on November 18 – just in time for Christmas! It would be a great gift for a mah-jongg enthusiast or collector.



Much thanks to the wonderful Tony (“Bony”) Watson for telling us about this rare Mah Jongg book:

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Today’s posting is about a book that is fairly new – it was first published in 2003 but then Tuttle Publishing translated it into English and published the book in 2007 for the American audience. The book is written by Jelte Rep, a Netherlands native who, when not playing Mah Jongg, makes documentary films and writes dramatic television shows. He is a great Mah Jongg enthusiast and his book is very thorough.

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