I'm not quite sure where it began, but I've always been a fan of magic. As a child, I spent quite a few Saturday afternoons dragging my parents to the local magic store to buy tricks, then testing them out on my sister and dog, and eventually the neighborhood kids. I even got my parents to take me to meet Harry Blackstone Jr. when he came to Chicago. Even though I ended up working at the library instead of becoming a world-famous magician, I still have room in my heart for my first love.
If you like a little abracadabra, if you enjoy a presto chango from time to time, or if you find yourself thinking doody doody do like Wizzo, you'll want to check out these magical reads in honor of International Magic Week! Established in honor of legendary magician Harry Houdini one year after his death in 1927, the week celebrates the good deeds and good work of magicians.
One of my favorite books about magic is Fooling Houdini. Alex Stone paints an often-hilarious picture of the secret community of magicians, and his quest to join them. Exploring the science and psychology of magic, as well as its connection to crime and math, Stone brings you along on his journey through casinos, con men and a quirky community.
The Secret History of Magic by Peter Lamont and Jim Steinmeyer takes you through the history of magic, from myths about its origins in ancient Egypt, to accusations of witchcraft in Europe, to the Golden Age and beyond. You'll learn all about magicians throughout history in this book.
Here Is Real Magic, by Nate Staniforth, is the true story of the author's career in magic, how he burned out and how he found magic again in his travels in India. After reading this story, you'll feel challenged to search for the magic in your own life.
We think of magic as a creative art, but the book Sleights of Mind argues it's more of a science. Neuromagic, a term coined by authors Stephen L. Macknick and Susana Martinez-Conde, is a way we can look at how our brains react not just to a magic show, but also everyday life decisions like what we choose to buy from a store or how we play poker with friends.
If you think joining a secret society of underground magicians sounds like fun, Magic Is Dead is the book for you. Journalist Ian Frisch was seeking a great story to make his name in writing when he met magician Chris Ramsay, who introduced him to the world of the52, a secret society of magicians. But in the course of reporting and writing, Frisch found himself enchanted, and not just by the magic tricks.
Finally, if you need some local inspiration, check out Chicago Magic, which tells the rich history of our city's magical traditions and why Chicago embraced this art form. Do you have a favorite memory of seeing magic in Chicago? Share with us in the comments!
Now it's time for me to disappear! ABRACADABRA!