I like Mondays. I also like magic. I figured I’d combine the two and make a Monday feature that is truly me: a little bit of magic and a look at the week ahead.
The Amazing Harry Kellar: Great American Magician by Gail Jarrow
Presenting the amazing Harry Kellar! The first magician to receive international fame! The most well-known illusionist at the turn of the twentieth century! The model for the Wizard of Oz! Author Gail Jarrow follows Kellar from a magician’s assistant traveling and performing across the United States during the Civil War to an international superstar with a show of his own, entertaining emperors, kings, and presidents. Jarrow uses Kellar’s own words and images—his amazing four-color promotional posters—to tell his riveting story in this first Kellar biography for young readers. And she reveals the science behind Kellar’s illusions and explores nineteenth-century entertainment and transportation as well as the history of magic, spiritualism, and séances. (via Goodreads)
For a while now I’ve wished that there existed a good, in-depth biography of Harry Kellar. Jim Steinmeyer touches on Kellar in his book on Howard Thurston, but Kellar seems to me to be interesting enough guy to deserve his own biography. Gail Jarrow’s The Amazing Harry Kellar isn’t that biography. It is an over-sized hardback aimed at 8-10 year-olds (according to Amazon). It is a really nicely made book, full-color with a fair amount text and lots of posters. Kellar had great posters. Which I’m assuming might be part of the reason why Jarrow decided to make a kid’s book about a magician that is generally less well known that some of his peers. *cough*Houdini*cough* The information and the writing are good though. Really, it was a joy to read because there was obviously care involved in this books existence.
Publishing info: hardback, Published June 2012 by Calkins Creek
Read: 7/26/16, at Tempe Public Library
It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?
Still reading The Sisters Brothers, which I think I’ve been calling The Sister Brothers. The S on Sisters is killing me. It’s such an odd book. It sort of meanders, but the chapters are bite-sized so you don’t notice.
Next up: Either Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (which I keep wanting to call Northgranger Abbey) or Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle. Summerlong is an ARC with a pub date a ways in the future, but I’m not sure I can resist much longer.