The inimitable Anna-Karyna Barlati, librarian at the National Circus School, asked me to recommend three magic books for the students here. Only three? This was no easy task. The NCS library is frequented by students ranging in age from early teens to late twenties. I kept this in mind while also nourishing a healthy bias for my students who are in the college program. The selections are each fundamental books that every magic student should have under their belt:
1) The Five Points of Magic by Juan Tamariz,
2) The French Omnibus edition of the complete works of Robert-Houdin: Comment on devient sorcier,
3) Hiding the Elephant by Jim Steinmeyer.
These offer a solid foundation in close-up, parlor and stage magic. They also give students a few different access points for how and why to learn from the history of magic as a performing art. Finally, those who make it to the end of Tamariz’s book will be rewarded with an annotated list of his recommendations.