I've written previously about Craig Conley's book Magic Words: A Dictionary. I still find myself referring to it often, it's perfect for when you just want a quick and insightful tidbit with which to distract yourself. But if you don't have a copy, you can get a little sample for yourself at Magic Words: A Dictionary - Neatorama. In the book the discussion is usually longer than in this article, but you'll definitely get a feel for the breadth of Conley's research.
Although aimed at film makers, the forthcoming book The Lean Forward Moment by Norman Hollyn promises to "provide the essential techniques you need to create engaging content that emotionally connects with your audience"
What a fine goal for magic, too.
Denny & Lee's, a great magic dealer, recently suggested the following resolution in their excellent newsletter. (Which I subscribe to thanks to Fredrick.)
A NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION FOR ALL MAGICIANS:
"Before I buy another book or another trick, I will complete my Tarbell Course in Magic!!"
1-Did you know that over half of all questions asked of me are answered the same way.."It's in Tarbell!!"?
2-Did you know that over half of the entire Lance Burton stage show is in Tarbell?
3-Did you know that many "magic websites" are selling you tricks or "one trick DVD's" that are taken right out of Tarbell?
4-Did you know that if you do not own (and read) the Tarbell Course in Magic, that you will spend most of your life in magic depending on others to answer your questions?
5-Did you know that many magicians have already spent thousands of dollars on "new effects" because they didn't know that they were already in Tarbell?
6-Did you know that the knowledge from Tarbell would enable you to sit down with almost ANY famous magician and talk magic on the same level??
6-Did you know?.. You WILL know if you read Tarbell!!!!
I remember back when I was a lad (not a wee lad, I've always been tall) and got my first Tarbell volume. I read it voraciously. It wasn't until later, when I returned to magic, that I completed my set. I have to admit, I haven't read the others cover-to-cover. But perhaps, as Denny suggests, this year I will.
In Card College: Lighter, Roberto Giobbi observes:
"If you always react to the demand for [performing] a magic trick like a trained dog, your reputation will be soon be reduced to that of class clown." (page 48)
This seemingly stands in contrast to McBride's "Magician 24/7" philosophy but it strikes me that the difference is finding (or creating) moments in which you can perform versus doing tricks at the call of others, ala a trained monkey.