Book suggestions?

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Josh0606, May 7, 2020.

  1. Hello all.

    Looking for opinions on what books I should add to my library. Been doing magic for 2 years.

    Currently, I have:
    1. Modern Magic by Hoffman
    2. The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne
    3. Modern Coin Magic by Bobo
    4. The Royal Road by Hugard
    5. Expert Card Technique by Hugard
    6. The Expert At The Card Table by Erdnase
    7. Card College Light by Giobbi
    8. Strong Magic by Ortiz
    9. Designing Miracles by Ortiz
    10. Magic and Showmanship by Nelms

    I'm planning on getting more Giobbi books. Like Lighter and Lightest, and 1-5. Also, looking at getting the Art of Switching Decks by Giobbi.

    Thinking about RCT by Marlo. Reprint this month! Should I get it?

    What about Drawing Room Deceptions by Guy Hollingworth? Or Mnemonica by Tamariz?

    Let me know your thoughts and suggestions on these and any books not mentioned. Thanks.

    Stay safe and stay magical!

  2. Sounds like you have a lot of good foundational material. Do you have Stars of Magic? If not, see if you can get a copy.

    Mnemonica is a GREAT investment if you're interested in the principle around which it revolves.

    Only other thing I'd add is that, while the Bobo book is a wonderful resource for coin magic, you might want to snag another coin magic book at some point if you are interested in coins. Expert Coin Magic is a good second coin book.
    I really enjoyed Giacomo Bertini's System for Amazement, and while I haven't read too much of it yet, The Long Goodbye (Geoff Latta's work) has some really great stuff in it. However, those last two books are pretty advanced and I am only mentioning them because I think there is this perception that coin magic resources are scarcer than they actually are. If you're into coins, do some research on them, but otherwise Bobo and Roth should serve you well enough for now.
    JoshL8 likes this.
  3. Josh:

    The answer depends on what you want to learn.

    If you are struggling with learning from Royal Road, Expert Card Technique and EATCT but want to learn sleight of hand, then the Card College series is for you.

    If you are looking for more self-working effects, then Lighter and Lightest are good (and much like Light) but you may also want to look at Scarne on Card Tricks which has a lot of effects and is very inexpensive. I'd wait on The Art of Switching Decks - unless you really have an effect that you need a good deck switch for.

    RCT is an amazing book, but you have to understand that Marlo thought in terms of coming up with multiple uses for a sleight and multiple methods for an effect. The book is more of an advanced discussion of magic rather than a linear presentation of effects.

    Drawing Room Deceptions is a great book, but much of it is card magic for standing up in front of a group (although some could be adapted for "street magic").

    Mnemonica is great if you want to learn and use a memorized deck.

    Which unfortunately is currently out of print.

    The best way for us to provide a recommendation is for you to tell us what types of effects you currently like to perform and what conditions do you perform under (sitting, standing, etc.) and who you perform for?
    PGoutis01, Gabriel Z. and JoshL8 like this.
  4. Well, I mainly do stuff with cards. In terms of conditions, it really depends on the trick. So a mix of sitting and standing. As of right now, I'm just doing stuff for family and friends.
  5. Check out the Art of Astonishment series.
    spoook and Gabriel Z. like this.
  6. I second the Art of Astonishment series as its a series I really want to get.

    First off, I am impressed by the fact that you have exhausted the books you have mentioned.

    Secondly, I feel worse and worse that shipping is still not allowed in my country. :(
  7. Oh boy, that sucks. What country are you from?

    And thanks for the reccomendations.
  8. I'm from India. They have stopped most services other than essential ones (buying books isn't essential...would you 'BELIEVE' that? ( :p ) ). While it's worked wonders for stopping the Corona Virus, I have had to read multiple threads about people getting books and everything while I can't.
  9. I always thought it easiest to get a book that uses some sleights you are already familiar with doing. When I read a book, I learn alot about the magician, I can tell what their favorite sleights are, and how they regularly preform (sitting vs standing). I tend to look for books by magicians who preform similar to myself,use similar sleights, or have similar presentations as it ensures I will probably pick up a few tricks I can use, and maybe learn a couple new sleights along the way. I find it difficult to learn from books that are compilations from many magicians, because I never get a feel of the style, and many different sleights are required.

    A couple of my favorite books are:

    Ryan Matney's Spoiler Alert (easy sleights, great presentations, many require dealing cars to a table, lots of different sleights that are easy to learn, strong effects.)

    Secrets of Bro John Hamman (some of tricks can be done standing up, sleights are not difficult, many of the same slights, lots of false counts and display sleights, lots of double and triple lifts, strong effects)

    Eugene Burger's Mastering the Art of Magic (more than just card tricks, easy to preforme effects that are hard hitting, essays on performance and audience management, Eugene likes the top change and the palm. Many of these tricks can be done standing up, book is half performance theory half tricks.)

    These books have effects you will be performing quickly. I didn't recommend any material I felt was advanced.
  10. What an outstanding and carefully curated set of 10 books you've started your library with! That's an excellent foundation for a life-time of study. Including two books by Ortiz and Nelms should really help with your presentation and showmanship, and it's great to see those included.

    Your books on card magic are nearly all older material, however. I'd echo the suggestion of something like Giobbi's Card College, to have something more up-to-date, and which contains a wide selection of techniques and tricks.

    Personally I'm a big fan of self-working card tricks, and would suggest the other two volumes in Giobbi's "Light" series to go with the one you already have - all the material he includes in these book is very strong. Scarne on Card Tricks also has a ton of material, but it's more dated, and a bit hit-and-miss.
  11. Hmm alright.

    Something to think about.


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