It’s easy to find magician’s recommendations for the best books to pick up when we want to learn a certain type of magic. But what about when we want to know more about how and why the best magicians in the world think the way they do. Or how they view the world in such a way that makes them compelling to watch on stage for an hour?

The material a successful magician chooses is only part of what makes that person a great magician. The best magicians in the world could all perform the same effect, but deliver a unique experience to the audience each time.

So we asked a few of our favorite magicians (Andi Gladwin, Bill Abbott, Ning Cai, R Paul Wilson, Dan Sperry, Michael Close, Scott Hammell, John Archer, Lisa Menna, Aaron Fisher, David Williamson, Diana Zimmerman and John Guastaferro), to share the title of one book they feel every magician should read, that has nothing to do with magic itself.

The results are all interesting, and some are very surprising…

The Best Magicians in the World Recommend One Non-Magic Book Every Magician Should Read!


best-magicians-in-the-world-1 Andi Gladwin recommends:

“Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist (and the follow up, Show Your Work) is a rare book that applies to every creative art. It’s a quick and easy read, made up of a series of short essays and quotes. There’s no real important message in the book, but it’s a fun look at the life of someone following their passion.”




best magicians in the world 2Bill Abbott recommends:

Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!) by George Lois







best magicians in the world 3Ning Cai recommends:

Neverwhereby Neil Gaiman.

"He wrote the foreword to my first two books & always inspires me in pushing the creative boundaries!"





best-magicians-in-the-world-4R Paul Wilson recommends:

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein







best magicians in the world 5Dan Sperry recommends:

COMMUNION by Whitley Strieber







best-magicians-in-the-world-6Michael Close and Scott Hammell both recommend:

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman







best magicians in the world 7John Archer recommends:

Word Hero by Jay Heinrichs







best-magicians-in-the-world-8Lisa Menna recommends:

"Leonardo Da Vinci's notebooks, and any book on good manners."







best magicians in the world 9Aaron Fisher recommends:

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell







best magicians in the world 10David Williamson recommends:

Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel







best magicians in the world 11Diana Zimmerman says:

There are two:

Ovitz: The Inside Story of Hollywood's Most Controversial Power Broker by Robert Slater





best magicians in the world 12Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries








best magicians in the world 13John Guastaferro recommends:

Tribal Knowledge: Business Wisdom Brewed from the Grounds of Starbucks Corporate Culture by John Moore

"As a marketing professional by day, I highly recommend this book for its compelling insight into branding. I refer to this book in my lectures and in my own book Discoveries & Deceptions. There are so many learnings that can be applied in various aspects of business and life. For instance, in Starbucks corporate culture, they often ask, "What is the benefit of the benefit?" This illustrates the importance of digging deeper and unveiling a transcendent outcome. For example, while the benefit of ordering a Gingerbread Latte may simply be "a warm, good-tasting holiday drink" - the benefit of the benefit is that it creates an experience that transports you to a nostalgic place of holiday memories with family. You can see that when applied to magic, this concept is a great way to unveil ways to focus more on the experience than just the props at hand.

I also highly suggest reading any blog post from Seth Godin. Just Google him and be prepared to have your mind stirred with short nuggets of daily wisdom."


If you’ve ready any of these books - or have recommendations of your own - please drop us a line in the comment section below!

Until next time,