My Favorite Magic Books: Caroline Ravn
By Alex Robertson - Thursday, June 10, 2021
We asked some of magic's greatest minds to share with us their favorite magic books. This week is the turn of Caroline Ravn. You might know Caroline from her sold out theatre shows, as an Instagram or YouTube star, or from her amazing playing cards. Over to Caroline:
I love books. The smell, the details in the binding, how they feel in my hands. The books don’t have to be old, or new - or even mine! Have you ever stopped to think about the time and effort that went into the making of a book? Or, even more interesting! What didn’t make it in?
Maybe that’s just my inner Youtuber talking, but there’s always at least another 100% that didn’t make it for my videos, and some of that - pure gold! But it didn’t fit the rest of the story. I believe the same, or maybe even more sometimes, is true when it comes to books. Especially magic books. Why spill all the beans when three of them might lead us to that golden egg, or goose, or whatever the story was? I’m sure parts of 'Puss in Boots' must be true. I refuse to believe I’ve been living a lie all these years. And that’s coming from someone who dropped out of the university after five and a half years studying theology. That’s a story for another time!
Too many great books have been written about our art to be confident enough to name three and know I aced (ha! Aced. Since it’s magic? Never mind.) it. Instead of thinking too much, I’m just gonna go ahead and speak from the heart and give you my top three today, knowing I might change my mind tomorrow.
My all-time favorite magic book is Maelstrom by Tom Stone. So many of the routines I perform and continue to come back to, either to perform or to just explore, are directly taken from this gem. I currently have nine bookmarks in it on things I love. What’s great about this book is that it’s not only perfect routines that you just copy and paste. It also has ideas, thoughts, theories, and fragments of Tom’s mysterious thinking.
Some of the routines I love and perform regularly are Of Dice And Men and Things That Go Cluck In The Night. The audience loves these routines too! I’ve been fortunate enough to have Tom live so close to me and had him on as a director and magic consultant for my tour.
The Darkest Corners is a new book in my collection. I bought it at The Session in January 2020 and it’s been my go-to book on my nightstand ever since. I keep coming back to, not only the routines but to Ben as an entertainer. He’s so inspiring in this work and performance style, and I truly enjoy being sucked into his world. The book is inviting us into his bubble where it’s encouraged to spend weeks, if not months, on eggshells and not feel weird about it. The book is written in such a way that it excites me to keep becoming a better magician and it inspires me to think larger than I did before.
If you’re ever in an ”I need an old idea to play with”, ”I wish I could find something no one else is doing” or ”Gosh, I need a solid classic to add to my show!” kind of mood, I would highly recommend the Tarbell Course In Magic. It’s very rare to find a routine or book that gives you all you need to just pick something and perform it that way it’s written. This is true for, if not everything, most of what’s written in the course. It will, believe it or not with the 3300+ pages, leave you wanting more.
The course brings up all sorts of magic; everything you need from coins to illusions. You’ll read about things you never heard of, or find methods that would work better than the one you’re already doing for something. I’ve learned so, so much from these books and I’m positive this will give any performer enough to play with to last a lifetime.
For a video of Caroline's favorite Magic Books, click here
Caroline also has an amazing magic course available here.
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