My Favorite Magic Books: Nikola Arkane

By Alex Robertson - Thursday, April 15, 2021

We asked some of magic's greatest minds to share with us their favorite magic books. This week is the turn of Nikola Arkane. You may know her from winning two IBM competitions, or from her performances at The Magic Castle. Over to Nikola:


As a little girl my dad used to read to my sister and I nightly. This joy of listening to stories and tales led to me becoming a teenage bookworm and a magic book junkie.

We all have different tastes and for me I have some books, thankfully in my possession that I could not live without, which I have read more than once. They have also really provided so much joy in my studies as a magician.

There are some books that you have to read for research and yet they become etched in your mind. The Glorious Deception: The double life of William Robinson aka Chung Ling Soo the marvellous Chinese conjurer by Jim Steinmeyer I read when I first got into magic. I was performing a show in a tent across the country that was a homage to the Golden Age of Magic - this book was research.

The story I found within these pages was captivating and beautiful (as to be expected by its author). I have read this particular book more than once and will most likely read it again. Out of all the Jim Steinmeyer books (of which there are now quite a few) get it, read it and put it on your shelf to read over and over again, you won't be disappointed. Best story in magic!

Karl Fulves’ Self working collection is my go to encyclopaedia of magic on my book shelf. I was donated them my librarian and father in magic in Belfast, George Bleeks. I have around ten in total and I would not be without them. All sorts of little gems are in these pages. From Card magic to paper magic, to coin magic to mental magic, Fulves covers such a wide range of material that you're bound to find something new in there that is very old, brilliant and worth reinventing. And on that note, if anyone wishes to donate me some I would be happy to give them a good home!

My favourite read of all time in magic EVER! Has got to be… Redivider by Phil Goldstein a.k.a Max Maven.

“If you're expecting this book to contain monumental mentalism, put it down. If your looking for flashy flourishes, put it down. If, on the other hand, you're interested in quirky methods combined with whimsical plots, PUT IT UP!” Phil Goldstein - Redivider Page 3

I have never genuinely laughed out loud so much from reading a magic book (at the commentary). Or enjoyed trying out the content - of which I was able to try everything, right away which is unusual for me with most magic books (I find instructions take me some time to interpret).

However, Redivider is both approachable and pleasurable, surprisingly just like its author. I highly recommend you read it!

Currently I'm working on my latest close-up magic book titled In Plain Sight which has 7 brand new effects. All of which the secrets are visibly in plain sight of the audience, yet cannot be seen. Designed within the confines of her tiny bedroom in Belfast, the Irish Wonder hopes this book will be released Spring 2021. Watch this space!

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