Books for and about Magicians

So… as you may (or may not, no judgement on my part) know, I like magic. Now, to be specific, I like magic with a “c” not magik, with a “k.” There’s nothing wrong with the latter, but the spiritual side, the part that says magik is a mystical, real thing just doesn’t interest my skeptical mind nearly as much as the art of prestidigitation.

To that end, I’ve written for several of the top magazines out there for magicians, including Magic, Genii, and M-U-M (click on the covers if you’d like to read some sample stories), And I’ve interviewed, worked with and written about some great practitioners of the form. Personally, I’m fascinated by mentalism, the apparent act of mind-reading, and have always thought if my life had gone in a different direction (and if I hadn’t been SO afraid of the water) I’d be living on an island someplace, teaching SCUBA by day and doing bar magic by night – maybe throw in a little marine biology research just for fun.

Practicing magic is also a skill I would like to get better at. In that dream about making a living at it, I imagine being able to open a new deck of cards and being able to entertain for an hour (and with Aaron Fisher‘s help, this could probably be accomplished).  So no big illusions for me, but cards, coins and mind reading are where I focus. When I moved over seas, I brought a bit of my magic library with me and I’ve acquired more over the last five years. I also still have a decent library back in Vegas and a fair understanding of the general principles, but I think one can always learn more – which is part of the reason for this post. Michael Close, a brilliant magician (and editor of M-U-M), has put together on his website a series of “free recommended reading lists” for various disciplines of magic. This is an amazing resource.

Of course, if the actual performance of magic isn’t your thing, but you enjoy it on a more intellectual level. Maybe you like watching it live or on TV? There’s all sorts of great stuff out there, from Penn & Teller’s Fool Us to Mac King’s show in Vegas. There’s also a whole plethora of great books about magicians as well. Some look at the craft and some which just have magicians as the main characters or characters. (and just for fun, here’s a list of some great magic films as well)

No matter your interest, the art form is growing in popularity, and I’m doing my part to encourage interest in it.

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