Tag Archives: magic

Box of Books part 4

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There for a while I was taken with pop-up books. The big pages that jumped out at you didn’t do much for me. It was the levers and dials that moved things and changed the pictures that fascinated me. There was some kind of mechanics going on in the narrow of the pages. Sometimes I could figure out what it was, sometimes I couldn’t. We only had a few of these and we had to keep them on a shelf not in our room so we didn’t tear then up. I remember one about a haunted house, Super Pickle, and this one.


My absolute favorite books when I was in grade school were the Alvin Fernald books. I read them over and over, especially this one, the amazing Inventions of Alvin Fernald. There’s some story there about rescuing an old lady or something, but it was his inventions that fascinated me. The bed maker, the automatic lawn mower, the burglar alarm. There was another book about him saving the environment, one about him becoming the mayor, and a couple other cool things. Until recently I had a stack of these books, but have since passed then on to someone who will hopefully enjoy them almost as much as I did.


I found this at grandma and granddad Sears’s and kept it. I think it used to be dad’s. It’s full of puzzles and games and stunts and even a few magic tricks from back in the 40s. A lot of match stick and checker type things. There’s one that would be fun to try at the staff Christmas party, but it would probably hurt someone. It involves getting a group of people to all kneel on one knee in a row, then giving the first one a shove and watching all of them go l like dominoes. Ah the good old days when you could injure a bunch of people with no legal consequences.

Short Book Reviews 2


Koontz is a long time favorite with my students, so I finally read one. Creepy like King, but not so dark (or boring). I enjoyed it and will probably read another.


A fun 19th century story about a man with many secrets. Would especially appeal to history or magic enthusiasts.

lil bro

This was a fun story. It’s a page turner. And it made me more and more paranoid about big brother. It was a bit preachy sometimes. I had hopped to teach it this year, but I think it may be a bit too sexy for my district. I’ll check out more of Doctorow though.


The idea was fun, but the first story was so clunky that I was worried I’d misspent my 2 bucks. But they got better, and the last one, Blood & Tacos was great obnoxious fun.


Just too long with little going on. Took me forever to finish this.

Angel Killer

Angel Killer

I read this a couple years ago and put this wordy review on Goodreads at the time. “Fun crime thriller with a magic theme. Ending was a bit sudden.” I read it because it’s kind of a hard boiled crime story written by a working magician, a really creative one by the way.  The narrator of the book is an ex-magician turned detective who uses her experience with the legerdemain to figure out how the killer they are tracking is able to kill in seemingly supernatural ways.  A good old-school crime noir.  But that ending.

Steamboat Days


Another button from a town festival I’ve never heard of or been to. But I must say, these last couple buttons have got me jonesing a bit to hit the streets again. A few years ago I decided that, as a lifelong magic geek, it was time to poop or get off the pot. I needed to do more than perform card tricks for myself or get another hobby. I started small, doing some tricks for my family and some students, and after a few moths of this and a little research, I put together a street show and drove up to the KC River Market. I had three tricks and some hat lines. I was terrified. I wanted to turn around the whole drive up. When I got there I walked around longer than I needed to looking for a good pitch. After setting up I hemmed and hawed before finally trying to gather a crowd. I only did a few sets and then the rain moved in. But this lead to more busking, then some school and church shows, then birthday parties, magic camp, improv, and a play. It’s been a couple years since I’ve done an old school street show. Maybe this summer I’ll dust off the doctor’s bag and find a corner.