Best book of 2015

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Bill Mullins
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Best book of 2015

Postby Bill Mullins » December 3rd, 2015, 12:18 am

Some Possibilitiess:

Destination Zero – John Bannon
Experts at the Card Table – David Ben
Incredible Dr Jaks – Bluemle and Behnke
Classic Correspondence 1 – Caveney
John Henry Anderson – Eddie Dawes
Bammo Ten Card Deal Dossier – Bob Farmer
Blomberg Laboratories – Andi Gladwin
Piddington's Secrets – Martin Hart
Gardner's Impromptu – Todd Karr
Tenyoism – Richard Kaufman
Charles Dickens – Ian Keable
Jaw Droppers – Harry Lorayne
Silent Mora – Bill Rauscher
Treatise on Advantage Card Play …. – F. R. Ritter (facsimile)
Sophisticated Sorcerer – Alan Shaxon
I Lie for Money – Steve Spill
Devilish Impuzzibilities – Jim Steinmeyer
Magic [small version] – Taschen
Subtle Card Creations v 5 – Nick Trost
Art of the Con – Paul Wilson

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Leonard Hevia » December 3rd, 2015, 2:41 am

Bill--I think you meant Classic Correspondence II. Another great year for magic books. A few of those are on my bucket list.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby performer » December 3rd, 2015, 7:51 am

Sorry. Not interested. They were all written after 1954.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Leo Garet » December 3rd, 2015, 9:24 am

performer wrote:Sorry. Not interested. They were all written after 1954.

Any of your stuff published before '54.....??? ;)

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby performer » December 3rd, 2015, 9:31 am

I am an obvious exception to the rule since everything I learned and have written about was from before 1954 anyway. Come to think of it all this new stuff is old stuff rehashed anyway.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Leo Garet » December 3rd, 2015, 9:59 am

performer wrote:I am an obvious exception to the rule since everything I learned and have written about was from before 1954 anyway. Come to think of it all this new stuff is old stuff rehashed anyway.

You can see why I'm not a writer; I didn't make myself clear. I meant did you write anything before '54? :)

Bill Mullins
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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Bill Mullins » December 3rd, 2015, 10:25 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:Bill--I think you meant Classic Correspondence II.

Leonard is correct.

What did I leave out? What is your favorite book of the year?

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Leo Garet » December 3rd, 2015, 11:06 am

I have the previous four Trost books and number five is arriving on 25th December. I hope. I’ve liked Nick Trost almost forever, and although I think the series is something of a case of diminishing returns, the books are always worth a look.

Had “Destination Zero” since July (birthday) but confess I am underwhelmed. Surprising, considering it’s JB, and plenty like it, but there we are.

Less than thrilling, too, was “Best Of All Worlds,” an “old” book now, but I’m always late for the bus. One trick, of course, and loads of interesting variations, but has an appearance of being thrown together. Almost worth it though to read Martin Nash’s comments. He doesn’t like the trick. Golden endorsement.

Oops, where’s my favourites…

I’m still wading, sorry working, through Steve Beam’s “Semi-Automatic Card Tricks” volumes 9/10. I have the full set now and there’s return visits to familiar themes. Hardly surprising, but Steve it keeps fresh. I like these.

When I say I have the full set, I mean to date. Who knows what’s up the Beam sleeves.

Currently saving up for Bob Farmer’s “Bammo Ten Card Deal Dossier.” Being an urchin of very limited means, this will likely be out of print by the time I get round to it. Oh well.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby performer » December 3rd, 2015, 11:53 am

Leo Garet wrote:
performer wrote:I am an obvious exception to the rule since everything I learned and have written about was from before 1954 anyway. Come to think of it all this new stuff is old stuff rehashed anyway.

You can see why I'm not a writer; I didn't make myself clear. I meant did you write anything before '54? :)


I am not quite that old. However, I stole a lot of my writings from sources pre 1954. Except for my most wondrous memoirs but since that is not a book on magic it doesn't count. Besides, it is a very good book which has been wonderfully received with nary a bad review except a very insensitive, snarky and inaccurate one from Matthew Field. But I believe an author should never take issue with reviews as it is par for the course.

You can obtain the book here:
http://www.marklewisentertainment.com/h ... cians.html

I still remember with great delight the late Martin Breese telling me that he made sure only to send his books to people who would give him good reviews and he avoided Jamy Ian Swiss like the plague. That did amuse me greatly.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby erdnasephile » December 3rd, 2015, 12:29 pm

Good thread, Bill...

I think Labyrinth by Stephen Hobbs would be in the conversation.
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Bill Mullins
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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Bill Mullins » December 3rd, 2015, 12:31 pm

Leaving Labyrinth and Beam's Semiautomatic books off the list was an error on my part, and I blame the late hour of the post.

(Particularly since Labyrinth was within arm's reach when I typed it, and I had several conversations with Steve Beam about the history of one of his tricks last summer before publication. Shame on me.)

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby AJM » December 3rd, 2015, 1:18 pm

What did folks think of Blomberg Laboratories?
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AJM
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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby AJM » December 3rd, 2015, 6:01 pm

Well that seems to have done the trick.
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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Joe Mckay » December 3rd, 2015, 6:27 pm

I don't do cards much anymore. But when I did - a new volume of Semi Automatic Card Tricks was always a massive treat. I don't think any book in card magic gave me more pleasure than the books in that series.

Even more so since Steve Beam started releasing two new volumes at the same time. As has happened over the past few years. So - it deserves a big mention up front. And if my interests hadn't changed - it would be a serious contender for book(s) of the year.

Back when I was a card guy - a new book from John Bannon would always be a real treat. But alas - the new book is a collection of self working effects. I think John is a genius at card magic and personally I would prefer to see that creativity given free reign. Rather than be tied down by artificial conditions. Especially since his books never contained difficult magic to begin with. But I cannot really comment since I haven't read the book.

The new book from Nick Trost looks fun as well. But it would be hard to make a case for his book being the book of the year when there is probably a good chance it is not even his best book. Nick Trost was always one of my favourite creators. But I doubt any of his books will ever surpass his first hardbound book, 'The Card Magic of Nick Trost'.

The massive compilation on the Ten Card Deal from Bob Farmer was another highly anticipated book as well. But alas - the card nerd is weak in me at the moment. So - I couldn't get as excited about that book as I once would have done. But I am sure I will get round to it at some point.

For me - the book of the year has to be Tenyoism by Richard Kaufman. But since most people will only have a couple of weeks to read it before the end of the year - it is probably fairer to discuss that book in the round up of books for 2016. 2016 is already looking a strong year since the highly anticipated book by Andy (over at 'The Jerx') will probably be out next year. I should probably make Tenyoism my book of the year for this year just so I don't have to choose between Andy's book and the Tenyoism book next year.

One book is devoted to the most creative collection of thinkers in the history of magic. The other will be devoted (in my opinion) to the best thinker in magic today. That will make for a messy scrap!

It was fun to see the expanded edition of 'The Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic' finally released. But I am very familiar with the work of Martin Gardner. And have seen a lot of these columns in Hugard's Magic Monthly.

Personally - I am of the opinion it is better to pass on the opportunity to perform an impromptu trick, if it means having something extra something special lined up next time.

There is a power in picking the perfect moment to perform a trick. As such - the philosophy that underlies impromptu magic is one that doesn't make sense to me.

Why scrabble around gathering pens, matches and paperclips for a silly little trick? When you can pass on the opportunity and do something special another time?

Sorry - but I don't rate a lot of those stunts that pass for impromptu magic.

With that said - the idea of a comprehensive set of notes/additions from Michael Weber was enough to make me interested in the project. But when that never happened - after some further thought - I lost interest in the book.

Still - I am really pleased to see what a strong year it has been for books. Awhile ago (5-10 years ago?) - the market for new magic books seemed to be waning. But things have picked up since then. I wonder why that is? Perhaps magic books do not get pirated as often as downloads?

I will slip in here a mention for http://www.thejerx.com - which is a blog and not a book. But in any round up of 2015 it deserves a mention. Partly because of the volume of material Andy has put out. With about 200 or so high quality posts which are always funny and which often give practical advice which point out the telling detail most other magicians overlook. And on top of that - he has released some of the most interesting magic I have ever seen. Not a book - but still a wonderful literary experience.

But - with all that said - the book of the year for me has to be 'Blomberg Laboratories' by Tomas Blomberg. A really great book with a wide variety of material. Along with some real breakthroughs in magic. It was a book I and many others had being looking forward to for a number of years. And it delivered on that expectation.

Great job, Vanishing Inc!

And well done, Tomas!

Roll on 2016!

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Jack Shalom » December 3rd, 2015, 8:01 pm

My favorite was Steve Spill's book. Entertaining as all hell. And...good for you, to boot.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 3rd, 2015, 8:57 pm

Why does there have to be a "book of the year" or an anything-else "of the year"? Life is not a competition. No one makes books for that reason.
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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Bill Mullins » December 3rd, 2015, 9:03 pm

Maybe not. But I was looking for a way to get people to talk about things they liked in magic (as opposed to some of the other active threads right now.)

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Dustin Stinett » December 3rd, 2015, 9:35 pm

So let's just rephrase the question: "What was your favorite magic book released in 2015?"

I have to go with Labyrinth.

Interestingly, my favorite DVD released in 2015 is also a product of Stephen Hobbs: His Technical Toolbox.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Steve Bryant » December 3rd, 2015, 9:52 pm

This is a great set of books and it is impossible to pick the best.

I love the Trost books (also a great source for the other thread on self-working tricks, as each volume has some gems). It is my understanding from Charlie Randall that Nick had plotted out the entire run of his material, hence what you see in each new edition is not dwindling quality, and I have found that to be the case. I look forward to the next!

Meanwhile, I am recently having the most fun with Progressive Elevator from the Harry Lorayne book.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 3rd, 2015, 10:26 pm

Bill, I greatly appreciate that!
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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby MagicbyAlfred » December 3rd, 2015, 10:48 pm

Richard wrote:

"Why does there have to be a "book of the year" or an anything-else "of the year"? Life is not a competition..."

I wholeheartedly agree. That's why the idea of magic competitions never quite set right with me.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby performer » December 4th, 2015, 12:11 am

Magic competitions are the stupidest things ever invented. The wrong people win for the wrong reasons. And most of the winners are absolutely dreadful. And the best people always are well down on the list. I still remember Al Goshman came fifth in a close up competition. I must confess that did make me laugh uproariously. No doubt my sadistic side coming out.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby billmccloskey » December 4th, 2015, 12:46 pm

"Why does there have to be a "book of the year" or an anything-else "of the year"? Life is not a competition. No one makes books for that reason."

Because people like lists and it is a good marketing tactic. I like "best of" pick the year type lists because usually I read about books that I haven't heard of before.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Joe Mckay » December 5th, 2015, 12:24 pm

In my round up of 2015 - I should have mentioned 'Labyrinth'. That was an important and interesting release. Alas - I didn't pick up a copy since it is a bit too card heavy for me,. And I already have about 4-5 back issues of the run.

And I agree with Richard. Life is not a competition. And neither are books. Still - it is a fun way to frame a discussion of the books that came out this year.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Scott Lane » December 5th, 2015, 9:43 pm

One of the best magic books this year is:

Inspirations
Performing Magic with Excellence

By Lawrence Hass, Ph.D.

Scott Edward Lane

Harry Lorayne

Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Harry Lorayne » January 16th, 2016, 2:42 pm

Okay, I know I'm going to get jumped on for this, but - I'm almost willing to bet that most (if not all) of those listing "best books of 2015" have not read JAW DROPPERS! I'm ready for the forthcoming rants and raves about my immodesty. (Modesty is becoming a drag!)

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 16th, 2016, 4:01 pm

I think that Jawdroppers came out pretty late in the year and, like my own book Tenyoism, will receive less votes because of that.

But as I've written before, I don't do "10 Bests" lists in Genii because they really make no sense (you would have had to have read EVERY book or EVERY video or tried EVERY trick in order to be able to make a decent judgment), and it's all subjective anyway!
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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Q. Kumber » January 16th, 2016, 4:55 pm

The list of anything is subjective and I think it is reasonable for well read and well versed people in any discipline to agree on what should be in the top ten , even if they do not agree in the order of that list.

For me the two books I had been anxiously awaiting were the Gardner book and Tenyoism.

Even with the disappointment of the removed Michael Weber annotations, the new material from Gardner promised at least some comfort. Sadly the majority of it, simply reproductions of Gardner's notes written on file cards and reduced in size, requires much patience and a powerful magnifying glass to decipher and Gardner's notes on the original text are a mess.

Tenyoism, on the other hand is a work of scholarship, dedication, and love of subject that surpassed my expectations. Arguably of limited appeal, it is nonetheless a milestone in magic book production both for content and physical quality.

Pretty much all the books mentioned in the posts above would be welcome additions to my bookshelves and many of them already are but you would would want to put up a very strong argument as to why Tenyoism should not be the book of the year.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby AJM » January 16th, 2016, 6:18 pm

The books I bought in 2015 were (in no particular order): -

- Tenyo-ism
- The Bammo Ten Card Deal Dossier
- Labyrinth
- JawDroppers
- Blomberg Laboratories
- Experts at the Card Table

So, unless I've forgotten any, these are (to me) the best books of 2015.

Cheers

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby JHostler » January 16th, 2016, 7:19 pm

I'd vote for Tell Monte, but that'd be shameful puffery (and it really isn't a book). Labyrinth really hit the spot. Kudos to Richard for making it happen.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Harry Lorayne » January 16th, 2016, 7:41 pm



Exactly what I mean, Richard.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby JHostler » January 16th, 2016, 7:50 pm

Harry Lorayne wrote:
Exactly what I mean, Richard.


Harry - If this is a reference to my post, it had absolutely nothing to do with you or JawDroppers. In world blessed with the above-mentioned publications (including yours), a 26-page ebook hardly seems worth the pixels.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby brianarudolph » January 16th, 2016, 8:34 pm

Casting no aspersions whatsoever on any of the great magic books of 2015 (or any other year for that matter), but after first reading and learning from Close-Up Card Magic back in the day, a Harry Lorayne book is something that I will not only PRE-order but something that I actually PRE-PRE-order - meaning that Harry already has my order before he ever thought about writing the next book.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 16th, 2016, 9:01 pm

I would say that AJM's list of six books align with my tastes in reading (Tenyoism excluded).

Personally, I'm waiting for DeLand and Jennings, and the second book in David Ben's series on ECT.

Johnny Thompson's book would be a high point as well.
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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Will Jung » January 16th, 2016, 10:59 pm

Personally, I think very highly of "Applesauce" by Patrick Redford. Lots of really workable material and amazing construction.

Harry Lorayne

Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Harry Lorayne » January 17th, 2016, 9:06 am

Hi Jhostler: I have no idea what Tell Monte is - I was responding to Richard Kaufman's paragraph, which was exactly my point.

"But as I've written before, I don't do "10 Bests" lists in Genii because they really make no sense (you would have had to have read EVERY book or EVERY video or tried EVERY trick in order to be able to make a decent judgment), and it's all subjective anyway!"

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby erdnasephile » January 18th, 2016, 2:09 pm

While I realize such threads are purely subjective, I like reading them. At times, people have pointed out things I have totally missed, which has led to some new favorites for me. Plus, some of you have posted your preferences often enough that I have a pretty good handle on your individual tastes in magic. Therefore, I can often predict whether I'm going to be interested in a book based on your comments, so I find them useful. Finally, this topic is the sort of fun conversation starter I would have with my local magic buddies (if I had any).
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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby Tom Gilbert » January 18th, 2016, 2:43 pm

No big want list here, just Vernon part 2 and the Jennings book.

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Re: Best book of 2015

Postby El Mystico » January 18th, 2016, 3:07 pm

My two best this year are
Lorayne's Jawdroppers
Gardner Impromptu (although it would have been so much better...)


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