I had the good fortune of seeing Nate Staniforth speak this summer at a conference in Portland. It was one of the best talks I’ve ever seen, and left me and half the theater in sobbing. Afterward, I looked over at a friend who also had tears running down his face.

“Well, that just happened,” he said.

After the talk I picked up Here Is Real Magic, Nate’s memoir of how he fell in love with magic, became a professional magician, got burnt out, and rediscovered his love for magic by traveling to India to see street performers.

I read the first third in a day, then reached out to Nate on Instagram to see if he wanted to grab a drink. He did! Later, I got to him on Character Test.

Here Is Real Magic is the best nonfiction book I’ve read this year. It’s honest, raw, beautifully written, and perfectly describes the tension most writers, artists, and performers face between the magic of their craft and the daily, difficult work it takes to do their job. It’s a wonderful book and you need to read it.

Also, Nate reads the audiobook version and it’s so good.


Just a note that some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you buy a book using the link above, a very small portion helps me pay my bills. That being said, I only recommend books I love, and this doesn’t change that. Thanks!