I reviewed a book recently: Theory of Fun for Game Design, 2nd Edition by Raph Koster
I have always been an aspiring game designer and developer and thought this would be a good one to read to get a few ideas.
When I think of 'theory' I usually envisage something that, while useful, is going to have a hypotheses and some research and analysis... a stereotype I know, but I dot usually expect it to have any fun. Despite its title, this book bucks my stereotype.
The author's style is easy to read and 'conversational' and gives good practical examples of the 'theory', supported by lots and lots of nice hand drawn illustrations.
One of the points made in the book is that fun games are a form of 'pleasurable learning' and I certainly had fun reading this book and feel like I learned a lot.
As an aspirational game designer, I am not sure how I would apply what I have learned as there appears to be no 'formula' for designing fun games (and maybe that is just as well) but there are a lot of good stories and examples to get you thinking and this is what makes the book a good read.
Easy to understand
Might Be Hard To Apply The theory
Bottom line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend