I have recently decided that I really like to read books about the circus, illusionists, and related stories. I like the intrigue and the “magic.” I like to see the behind-the-scenes stories and what happens with the people who are involved in the acts. It takes a special person to want to work in a circus or be an illusionist – the hours that have to be put in to be great, the travel involved, the love of performance. That is not me. But it is fun to escape into that world for a while and read about people who love to entertain me and let me get away from my world for a while.
Here a few of my favorite books about the circus, magicians, illusionists…
The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister. This is a new book, one I picked up on a whim while getting books for my son at the Public Library. It is so good! About a woman who becomes an illusionist in the late 1890s, which was rare, to escape a man who wanted to hurt her. The catch is, she has to stay hidden in plain sight in order to stay away from him.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This is a great story of a circus that arrives in a town unannounced, and is only open at night. Two young magicians are trained to create the biggest magician’s duel, but they don’t know that is what is happening. When they meet, they fall in love, and that throws off the whole plan.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Made into a movie, which I refuse to watch because I like the book so much, this is the story of Jacob’s younger years in the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It is the Great Depression, and the circus is the last hope for some of the performers in the troupe – there are no other jobs out there. But love, persistence, and an elephant bring some of the characters together.
There are more, but I will stop there. This is such a great genre – give it a try!