Mentalism is not as simple and easy as it may seem. It is one of the ancient ways to trick people pretending you have super powers. It is also one of the most fascinating yet sometimes even disturbing performing arts. Mentalism is not as straightforward as sleight of hands magic tricks with cards or coins. It is way deeper and complex. For this reason there are many books written about mentalism. However, only few of them build the core of this area of magic. To make it easier for you and saving your time, I made the list of the best mentalism books out there on the market. Here it is.
#1 “13 steps to Mentalism” by Tony Corinda
Among magicians and mentalists this book is considered as the bible of mentalism. If I do not mention about this book which is recommended by many, it will be unfair to the writer as well the budding mentalists. “13 steps to Mentalism” was written by Tony Corinda a famous English mentalist in 1961. He had originally written this book in 13 different booklets describing 13 different techniques of mentalism.
For example, the booklets explained about aspects like predictions, mind reading, card tricks, mnemonics etc. Later this was made into one book as a complete guide for the mentalists. In this book Tony Corinda explains about the illusions and tricks (both simple and complex) with the actions to be carried out behind the scene. The book is recommended for anyone who is older than 12 years. The book is beneficial for a beginner and professional alike. You may find this book a little old fashioned which makes it difficult to read because it was written in 1961. If you are an aspiring mentalist, this book is a must. You will understand why it is considered among the best mentalism books. To get the book or check the reviews on Amazon click here.
#2 “Practical Mental Magic” by Theodore Annemann
This book by Theodore Annemann explains the most important tricks in a mentalist’s repertoire. A magician’s success is in amazing the audience with their tricks and this book guides you through that. The author – one of the greatest mentalists of all times – has included 12 major categories of mentalism. The major categories included are as follows:
- Effects with Billets and Pellets
- Publicity Effects
- Envelope Necromancy
- Miracle Slate Routines
- Dead or Alive
- Money Mentalism
- Thought Foretold
- Book Tests
- Mentalism with Cards
- Miscellaneous Mental Masterpieces
- Blindfold Reading
- Psychic Codes
Theodore Annemann, who is known for contributing the most to this branch of entertainment through his vast experience, has made it easy for you to understand the know-hows of the mentalist tricks. The author has covered 200 mentalism tricks in 336 pages with all the instructions needed to perform them successfully. Do not hesitate to get this book thinking that it was written in 1944. All the tricks and tips in this book are still valid and of great help for the aspiring magicians and mentalists. To get the book or check the reviews on Amazon click here.
#3 “Naked Mentalism” by Jon Thompson (vol. 1, 2 and 3)
This book is the essence of the mentalism tricks that do not require any props or requisite. In fact, this book I was dreaming about for many years. You see, my favourite tricks are the ones I can perform with no preparation, with no physical component: no handling, no gaffs, nothing to write down, peek or burn. Nothing. Just like walking up to a person and perform. And I always wanted to have a great collection of such mental tricks. And finally here it is!
“Naked Mentalism” by Jon Thompson is one of the most underrated books on mentalism of all time. This read got “Amazon Editors’ Favourite Book of the Year” award. The amount of powerful and workable information in one place is astounding. One of the high points of the book is Jon’s “Naked Book Test”. This thing is absolutely amazing! It involves a person merely thinking of a word from whatever (magazine, book, newspaper, letter, etc.) and you name it! That simple!
The book splits into four distinct sections. First is a full exploration of the hows and whys of psychological forces. Section two is the infamous Naked Book Test. Section three is an advance on Brown’s Perfect Coin Prediction with a coin. The final section gives some miscellaneous bits and bobs. There’s also a glossary giving he full statistical model for the book test, and a large amount of data for the psychological force section, sorted in useful ways to help you develop your own more easily. To get the book or check the reviews on Amazon click here.
#4 “Psychological Subtleties” by Banachek (vol. 1, 2 and 3)
The next book titled Psychological Subtleties, published in three volumes take the mentalism to the next level. Steven Shaw known widely by the stage name Banachek is the author of this book. After the experiment conducted by Washington University, he has been famous in the area of mentalism. He is the first performer to be sought-after by corporates and institutions for stage performances. The peculiarity of his book is that most of the techniques and tricks mentioned here are invented or developed by him.
In the first volume, the author has explained about the natural responses from a human brain that can be put into use while performing on stage.
In the second volume, the author has compiled complete and complicated routines using the tips that he explained in volume 1. Whereas the first volume was not about routines, the second volume contains well-compiled routines from famous mentalists and magicians like Peter Arcane, Leonardo Silverio, and Patrick Kuffs (17 mentalists in total).
The third volume is a continuation of volume 2 with more routines from Banachek and other 27 brightest minds from all around the world. Some of the routines presented in the third volume are creating the Perfect Situation, Optical illusions when applied to psychic effects, Banachek’s favorite ploys, and predicting headlines of newspaper (the one from Banachek himself). Be assured that you are buying a complete reference book of mentalism with ready-made routines and one of the best mentalism books available on the market. To get the book or check the reviews on Amazon, click here.
#5 “Mind, Myth & Magick” by T. A. Waters
Next, let us look into an 800-page book with full of mentalism tricks. The author of Mind, Myth & Magick is T.A Waters and is known as one of the knowledgeable professionals in mentalism. In the 80s itself, he had published booklets which were sold to a select audience. Mind, Myth & Magick contains 200 effects of Bizarre magick and mind reading. The author has also included the extensive re-examination of other topics like billet work, fortunetelling, symbol tests, and psychometry.
This book is about T.A Waters’ life with mentalism. The author has explained the mentalism in a way that as you read on you can see how much progress he had made in this area. Like “13 steps to mentalism”, Mind, Myth & Magick is also a dated edition and is out of print now. You will get some copies from amazon.com; however, the price for used copy is around $200 and is expected to rise. To get the book or check the reviews on Amazon, click here.
#6 “The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading” by Ian Rowland
The last book in the review of best mentalism books is “The full facts book of Cold Reading” written by Ian Rowland. Before getting into the description of the book, let me explain what “Cold Reading” is. In simple words, you can say it is the art of reading someone’s mind and talking to strangers as if you have known them for years. He is the only person US hired from outside America to give a lecture to FBI.
The book is divided into two sections. The first section gives an introduction to the “Cold Reading” and the misconceptions about it. In the second section, the author has elaborated on how the mind reading or cold reading works. This book is more about the mind reading technique in mentalism. To get the book or check the reviews on Amazon click here.
BONUS: Master Mentalism
If the mentioned above mentalism books are not enough for you and you want something special and unique, check out Master Mentalism Course by Ryan Clark. Apart from the main 269 pages course that includes detailed guides on mind reading, levitation, hypnosis, card tricks and more, you get 8 more mentalism related books (card tricks, hypnosis guides, David Blane’s secrets revelations, etc.) as a free bonus! Now please don’t think that I’m exaggerating right now, but in addition to all that you also get the access to the closed Mesmerize Member Club, which has insane video collections of party tricks, interviews with legendary mentalists and a lot more. Check out Master Mentalism here: http://mastermentalism.com
Disclosure: the owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.