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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Books even remotely worth having (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

slipperyfish10
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Hi all, I would like it very much if some of you could list books you own and think are worth having. State whether for beginners intermediate or advanced and, if possible, why you like it. I want this thread to become my reference point for buying books in the future.
I know there are other threads like this but most have been bloated by arguments over which book is better and such.
Please no arguing unless you fully and wholeheartedly believe that nobody should ever for any reason under no circumstances read a book that someone has posted. Books of all 'magical' crafts please i.e mentalism, card, coin, hypnosis (although not really 'magical').

Thanks in advance and regards
landmark
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Too general a question slippery. Magic is very wide-ranging and we don't know your personality, skill-level, or taste in magic. And the definition of "worth having" is also subject to a lot of interpretation. For me, most books are worth having.

So, you'll get more of a positive response I think if you narrow the field considerably. For example, ask "What are the best card magic books for a beginner?" or "What are books with the most intriguing plots for coin magic at an intermediate level?" and so on. Even those examples are fairly broad.
Gill
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PRISN by Francis Menotti.

No really, as landmark said: You'll make it easier for yourself by narrowing down the question.
Are you a complete beginner about to embark on a long term study at the infamous card college, or are you Guy Hollingworth?

If you're into mentalism - most people have read something from Corinda and Annemann.
If you're into card magic - just choose any book recommended on the Café. The most important things to learn are principles and sleights.
If you're into coin magic - Again sleights and principles, which are found in any book.

Are you after effects, theory, method or history?
Joe McIntyre
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Magic and showmanship, By Henning Nelms. maybe Verbal Magic by Juan Tamariz for starters.
Tim Cavendish
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Two decades back, the resource that helped introduce me to the vast landscape of magical literature was magic dealer (and now convicted criminal) Hank Lee's Book Book. It was a large catalog of magic books in print at that time, with substantial paragraphs describing their contents and usefulness, not just regurgitated advertising text. Although he was a dealer aiming to sell product, there were enough cues to distinguish the better books from the lesser.

I somehow lost mine while moving house. I wish I still had it.
Tom Jorgenson
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For beginning card people, "the living end" is great. Long o/p, few folks know it. It should be reprinted.

Beginning And intermediate people can glean much from any of Fulves' Self Working books, which allow Practicing delivery without stumbling over technique.

As for the rest, I'd say about 80% of all other books are remotely worth having. That narrows the list to about 11,000 books. Or more. Not to mention the pamphlets and etc.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
JBSmith1978
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Pure Effect
Tamariz (Five Points, Verbal Magic)
Vernon (Vernon Touch)
Designing Miracles
Secret Ways of Al Baker
House of Mystery
Anything by S.H. Sharpe
Foundations: The Art of Stage Magic
The Books of Magic
Nelms, Fitzkee, Maskelyn, Devant, Robert-Houdin

Despite all of the above I think the best book to invest in is
a composition notebook.

Fill it front to back with all the things you think a magician
should be able to do.

From then on all you need to do is work out the methods.

Do this and you'll have an invaluable resource and be better off
than most.
bdekolta
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I agree with Tom on "The Living End". Fantastic book if you are into cards. I'll add to that "Outs, Precautions, and Challenges". In fact the two go together quite well.
William Draven
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Not to be a pedantic jerk or anything but why don't you do a little research on your own into what books maybe available on the subjects you're interested in learning about and then ask for what peoples opinions are on those books.

I mean no offense but I could list off twenty or so books that are must haves if you're going to do mentalism, about ten or so for bizarre or seance work and a good five or six books on marketing and business practiceses but if you're only interested in simple, easy to do, self working card tricks then this entire list would do you no good.

I know what it's like to be new to magic and have that kid in the candy store look in your eyes but I think a little disapline and direction would serve you far better than us just handing you a library list of books you need to own.
Terrible Wizard
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I have read/watched so very few myself - bare that in mind when looking at this list. Also, I'm not very experienced - bare that in mind too.

The things on my magic shelf that I really consider to be money well spent and am glad are on my shelf (in no order):

Gerry Griffin's Complete Card Course DVD
The Royal Road to Card Magic book
Mark Wilson's Complete Magic Course book
13 Steps to Mentalism book
Maximum Entertainment book
Richard Sander's Fibre Optics Extended DVD
Paul Zenon's Street Magic book
Paul Zenon's 100 Ways to Win a Tenner book
Richard Osterlind Easy to Master Mental Miracles vol.1 DVD
Hiding the Elephant book
Carter Beats the Devil book

All the books, apart from Maximum Entertainment, can be bought very cheap (esp second hand) off Amazon - max bang for buck. The DVDs are also pretty cheap and easily available.
Terrible Wizard
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Oh, I forgot The Encyclopedia of Card Tricks. Another cheap, easily available book well worth having on the shelf.
motown
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Card College 1-5
Audience Management by Gay Ljungberg
Scripting Magic by Pete McCabe
Close-up Card Magic
Transformations by Larry Hass
The Books of Wonder, Tommy Wonder
Carneycopia by John Carney
Stars of Magic
The Dai Vernon Book of Magic
Al Schneider Magic
The Art of Astonishment 3 vol. Set
Another Book & Clever Like a Fox by Karrell Fox

There's a few to get you started.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
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Vlad_77
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Quote:
On Nov 7, 2014, William Draven wrote:
Not to be a pedantic jerk or anything but why don't you do a little research on your own into what books maybe available on the subjects you're interested in learning about and then ask for what peoples opinions are on those books.

I mean no offense but I could list off twenty or so books that are must haves if you're going to do mentalism, about ten or so for bizarre or seance work and a good five or six books on marketing and business practiceses but if you're only interested in simple, easy to do, self working card tricks then this entire list would do you no good.

I know what it's like to be new to magic and have that kid in the candy store look in your eyes but I think a little disapline and direction would serve you far better than us just handing you a library list of books you need to own.


Brilliant post! I love the old school attitude of "do your homework" THEN ask questions.

I am not afraid of being a pedantic jerk as it is one of my avocations but I'll add that it's nothing personal slipperyfish, okay? Only YOU know what YOU want to do in magic and or mentalism. I too could reel off a list of books but what meaning would that list have? I see further up that a few folks I respect very highly like Magicfish have given you a list. What I would advise is to take these lists and research each and every title you can. Read reviews from as many sources as possible. If you would give people a sense of your skill level in various branches of magic, PERHAPS we can offer some suggestions but it is ultimately your responsibility to make an informed choice.

Please do some homework, please make yourself part of the community and tell about you as a magician and I believe that your question will yield more satisfying results. Now more than any other time in the past, magicians are blessed and cursed with an embarrassment of riches. It can be daunting because so many resources are superb and some, like Darwin Ortiz's Strong Magic are "must reads." [There, I gave you a suggestion Smile].

Welcome to The Café,

Vlad
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