Don Alan (Magic, Inc.)
Don Alan is one of the “fathers” of contemporary close-up magic. These two booklets contain a wealth of material by a top professional entertainer.
Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic
Martin Gardner (Magic, Inc.)
An enormous book of tricks, stunts, gags, etc. And a real bargain, too! Should be in every magician’s library.
The New Modern Coin Magic
J.B. Bobo (Magic, Inc.)
The standard textbook on fundamental coin magic. Many techniques can be used with other small objects.
Jean Hugard (Tannen)
An underrated booklet of good material.
Anything by Paul Harris
Delightfully clever and off-beat. Always fun to read, even if you don’t do any of his tricks (mostly cards).
Magic From The Soul
René Lavand (Magic Words)
Mostly cards, but that’s not why you buy this book. René Lavand puts humanity into magic; his presentations are charming, poetic, and emotional. If you care about your audiences at all, you must get this exceptional book.
The Book of John
John: Verse Two
John Mendoza (John Mendoza)
Very commercial material from a professional.
Tricks of the Imagination
Robert E. Neale (Hermetic Press)
A trailblazer. The seminal book on adding interesting and unusual presentations to well-known and not so well-known tricks. Must be read by anybody who wants to “push the envelope”.
Peter Samelson (Magical Publications)
The title says it all. Includes an excellent introduction to the whole concept of theater in magic by Jamy Ian Swiss.
Jay Sankey (Kaufman & Greenberg)
Funny, clever, unusual and offbeat. And I’m not saying that just because he’s a good friend!
Al Schneider on Close-up
Al Schneider (Goldshadow Industries)
Al Schneider is best known for having created the original Matrix coin trick, but he has a lot more to offer. His essays on the theory of sleight-of-hand alone are worth the price of the book. All his books are highly recommended.
Juan Tamariz (Editorial Frakson)
Mostly cards, but some diabolically clever close-up as well. Juan Tamariz is one of the great magicians of our time; he appeals to laymen as well as to magicians. Very highly recommended, as are all his books.
Top Secrets of Magic
J.G. Thompson, Jr. (Tannen)
Some wonderfully commercial routines. There are actually three volumes, but only the first one seems to be known. Worth the search.
Richard Kaufman (Kaufman & Greenberg)
David Williamson is very funny and very clever. Solid, commercial material from a top professional.