Best Mentalism Books

If you are interested in learning about the power of the mind, and how to exploit its full potential, an understanding of psychology, specifically mentalism is crucial.

And even though the internet offers a lot of information about mentalism and the human mind, books offer more information about a different aspect of mentalism in psychology. You will also learn how to be a mentalist, thanks to the books reviewed above.

In psychology, mentalism and becoming a mentalist is all about learning everything there is to know about mentalism, understanding human behavior, and also how you can influence other people’s behavior and how to manipulate minds.

Mentalism in psychology is all about focus on the mind. Mentalism concentrated on your consciousness and cognition, as well as your mental imagery.

Yes, mentalism is also about learning how to read minds – the thing mentalists too. Often, mentalists depend on a person’s behavior to create the illusion that they can read minds.

Mentalists tap into the fact that human thoughts become behaviors, which are then translated into the essence of understanding nonverbal communication. Mentalism can also be used along with other mind techniques like NLP, also to manipulate people’s minds, affecting how people behave around you and how they respond.

To manipulate a person, albeit successfully, you need the right knowledge and skills on the same. But above it all, you need to be able to manipulate someone or people without them (or the audience) knowing that they’ve been manipulated.

Understanding human psychology and human behavior, as well as the manipulation of both, will allow you to be the best mentalist and/or illusionist.

That said, today, we review ten of the best mentalism books. While these books will not make you the greatest mentalist or illusionist instantly, they are ideal for beginners seeking basic information/ knowledge on mentalism – skills and techniques.

Finding a mentalism mentor might be a good place to start, but you will always need the mentalism books for advanced knowledge on the subject.

What You can Expect to Learn from Mentalism Books?

How to increase your cognitive abilities, also called the ART of becoming the best mentalist. To be the best mentalist, you have to learn ways and techniques for improving your cognitive abilities.

Mentalists are often known for their highly developed mental, as well as intuition abilities.

Thanks to the mentalism books, you will learn how to go about these techniques, as well as mastery of mentalism. Books take into account the learning processes taken by different individuals – some people learn fast, and others struggle or take a little longer than others.

With the right book that cues you into the different aspects of mentalism at your own pace, you will attain the essential skills and knowledge of mentalism. So, whether you are a beginner or have some mentalism experience, there is a mentalism book just for you.

Best Mentalism Books

1. 13 Steps to Mentalism – Tony Corinda

As you acquaint yourself with the world of mentalism and mentalism in psychology, this book by Tony Corinda will come up in discussions and articles often; for a good reason.

The 13 Steps to Mentalism was published back in 1961 and has since been ranked as one of the best resources on mentalism. This book remains relevant today, just as it was when it was first published.

Tony Corinda first published this book as 13 standalone pamphlets, and they all focused on the different and studies necessary for learners to be the best mentalists.

These 13 areas of study focused on the essentials of mentalism, and they focused on specific areas like mind-reading, as well as how to demonstrate and develop highly developed cognitive and mental abilities.

Today, these pamphlets make up the 13 chapters of this book. Most of the top mentalists you know of today will claim to have read this book at least once, back to front.

They also look at this book as the best reference point for mentalism techniques and skills. This book is also on top of our list since it’s been referred countable times to individuals interested in learning mentalism.

The articulation of the elements of mentalism and guidance on how to be one of the best mentalists in the field represents the primary reasons why this book has been regarded as the book with insider secrets, as well as hidden skills and traits necessary for mastery of mentalism.

Whether you are a beginner or you’ve got some knowledge on the subject, this book will fill in the gaps and give you all the information you have been missing. Besides mind reading, this book also teaches card tricks, muscle reading, as well as predictions.

Though regarded as the holy grail for learning mentalism, the 13 Steps to Mentalism has one drawback – a dated style of writing. This might be an issue if you prefer the modern and simplified style and tone of writing.

Other than the writing style, this book is very affordable – for the value of the information provided in this book, we take issue on its pricing. People should pay more for such an invaluable resource.

Keep in mind that given the value of the information provided in the book (and the price), it flies off the shelves quite fast.

2. Joe Navarro’s What Every BODY is Saying – An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People

From all the movies and TV shows, we’ve binged on, we all know that different government security agencies thrive on behavioral analysis. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise to find that there is a book on mentalism written by an ex-FBI agent.

But whether you believe the FBI and the CIA or not, this book is one of the most popular and also the most educative books on mentalism.

As suggested by the book’s title, this book offers comprehensive insights into understanding and deciphering the messages communicated by the body, even when someone doesn’t communicate their feelings and thoughts out loud.

This book is ideal for you if you’d like to learn more about mentalism and how to be a super-skilled mentalist. It’s also an ideal fit for beginners since it gives you the foundation of cold-reading different people and the moves they make.

The book also details advanced cold-reading techniques to help you become a master mentalist. In this book, you will learn how (and what) to pick on, how to read different visual (body) cues as given off by the people you are studying.

In simple terms, this book unravels the power of picking on and deciphering non-verbal communication. Understanding social cues are important if you want to be a top mentalist.

Think about it for a second – how else do mentalists and illusionists tell when you are sad/angry/happy when they ask for personal information?

With this book, you will have access to step-by-step guidance from a leading counter-intelligence agent on how to master and make use of different forms of human non-verbal behavior.

This book is also one of the best books on mentalism because of the simplicity and the conciseness of the steps. Besides learning how to read other people’s body language, Joe Navarro also teaches you how to control your body language.

Reading this book will make you a good judge of character, and you will also know how to gauge people’s true intentions. The interesting bit about the information shared in this book is that you may find yourself revealing to someone their true intentions, even before they are aware of their existence.

3. The James Bond Cold-Reading – Julian Moore

Julian Moore’s The James Bond Cold Reading book is yet another masterfully and professionally written book on mentalism.

This book, unlike most of the mentalism books on the market, teaches all the unique techniques and principles you need to apply to master the art of cold reading.

The text is written in extreme precision and accuracy, making it an ideal resource for beginners and experienced mentalists. Since its release, this book has received numerous (hundreds) of reviews.

Most of the reviewers site the quality of the content in the book, as well as the comprehensive articulation of the information. In this book, you will receive all the tools you need to understand and even predict people’s intentions, as well as their true thoughts.

If you are interested in learning cold-reading and in mastering this mentalism technique, then this book is one of the best resources you could invest in.

4. Tricks of The Mind – Derren Brown

Tricks of the mind is another excellent mentalism book that you don’t want to miss out on. It shares a wealth of practical information about mentalism, but the best part has got to be the fact that this book gives you access to special information.

To be specific, this book shares information about exactly what you want to know, and the information provided will heighten your abilities allowing you to know more about mentalism and the different aspects of being the best mentalist/ illusionist.

In case you are new to the world of mentalism, Derren Brown is one of the biggest names in street mentalism, and he’s also regarded as one of the best magicians of all time.

Derren employs different techniques including hypnotism, mind reading, the Sleight of the hand, as well as misdirection, hence his jaw-dropping performances. Having perfected his techniques, Derren always leaves his audience impressed.

In this book, Derren shares insider secrets into how to pull mindblowing and the most intense tricks and performance that can only be pulled by top street performers, mentalists, and illusionists.

So even though this is not a mentalism book that you hear about all the time, it’s an invaluable resource we’d recommend to anyone wishing to learn the best about the art of mentalism.

In addition to the secrets to becoming the best street magician, this book further goes into great detail, outlining the techniques you could employ to achieve the highest level of memory recall/ superhuman recall memory, in addition to mind-reading, among other mentalism techniques.

With all the knowledge shared in this book and the delivery of the content, your learning rate will be increased, meaning your road to becoming the greatest mentalist is shortened.

5. Practical Mental Magic – Theodore Anneman

Theodore’s Practical Mental Magic is the other commonly cited mentalism book, after the 13 Steps to Mentalism. This book is a mentalism masterpiece that teaches the ways and the unique techniques of mentalism.

This book offers some of the most skilled and practical guides on how to be great at mentalism, and the best part is that this book is an ideal fit for beginners, as well as individuals with some experiences in mentalism.

However, if you find the information taught in this book is more advanced, you could start by reading the Amateur Magicians Handbook. Both books are well-organized.

The practical Mental Magic contains about 200 practical Mental Miracles contained within 310 pages of mentalism excellence and pure intelligence.

The main categories of this book (a total of 12) include

  • Publicity Effects
  • Blindfold Reading
  • Effects of Billets and Pellets
  • Dead or Alive
  • Miscellaneous Mental Masterpieces
  • Miracle Slate Routines
  • Envelope Necromancy
  • Book Tests
  • Thought Foretold
  • Psychic Codes
  • Money Mentalism

Like most other authors of mentalism books, Annemann has also contributed to mentalism significantly through the vast experiences he’s had in the field for decades.

The book might have been written a while back, but the tips and tricks shared offer everything you need to know to be the best at mentalism.

6. The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading – Ian Rowland

If you have been searching for a mentalism book that focuses on the art and techniques of mentalism rather than nonsense about this or that, this book could be the exact thing you need.

This book’s no-nonsense approach and the fact that each chapter goes straight to the point in an in-depth manner makes it an excellent resource for anyone who wishes to learn the important aspects of mentalism, cold reading, to be specific.

Rowland, a highly skilled and advanced cold reading practitioner, has, over the years, mastered the different techniques for cold reading.

The best bit about this book and its author is that unlike other mentalism book authors, Rowland doesn’t recognize himself as an expert with any psychic abilities.

In fact, Rowland details comprehensively and clears up misconceptions about having psychic abilities. According to Rowland, cold reading has nothing to do with psychic abilities.

It is, in fact, a combination of elegant and detailed techniques that involve precise observation, as well as the analysis of general statements. Rowland notes that with practice, anyone interested can master cold reading.

This book also outlines the unique strategies you could use to master the art of cold reading. These strategies involve 38 techniques, which, if mastered, will leave make you one of the best mentalists.

On top of cold reading, this book also features a chapter with different techniques that you could apply in other areas of your personal and professional life, from romance and general relationships to financials and sales, among others.

The cherry on the cake is that this book also goes into great detail to explain to you psychic abilities, how to tell when a mentalist or a psychic is trying to read you, and the best part: how to sabotage their attempts.

With all these, The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading is an invaluable resource that will teach you everything you must know about cold reading.

7. Naked Mentalism Vol 1, 2, &3 – Jon Thompson

If you are looking for a book that teaches the best of mentalism tricks, without props, leaving you more educated and empowered than you ever thought you would be, the Naked Mentalism by Jon Thompson could be exactly what you need.

This book teaches great tricks that you can pull off in seconds, literally. The skills and techniques taught in the books will allow you to perform jaw-dropping tricks in a very short time.

So, if you need to learn the tips, tricks, and techniques for becoming one of the best mentalists, the three volumes of the Naked Mentalism will make that possible for you.

One of the main highlights of this book is the Naked Book Test. This is a critical mentalism trick that can be performed at any time, and anywhere, with little time spent mastering the art. This test will enhance your mind-reading capabilities.

If you’ve ever wondered how street mentalists get to tell their audience the exact word or words they saw in a book or magazine without reading the book themselves, this book will shed insights on all that.

This book is split into four unique sections. In the first section, the book explores the hows, as well as the whys of mentalism and the associated psychological forces.

In the second section, you will find the infamous Naked Book Test mentioned above, while section three gives advanced insights into cold reading, based on the Perfect Coin Prediction, but without the coin.

\In the last section, you will find the miscellaneous bobs and bits, as well as a glossary that gives you a full statistical model to guide you in the Book Test. There is also data on the psychological forces of mentalism.

8. Mind, Myth, and Magick – T.A. Waters

Mind, Myth, and Magick is an 800-page book that offers insights into some of the mentalism tricks. Waters is known for his professionalism in mentalism.

Waters has been in the Mentalism world for a long time, with the first of his booklets first published in the 80s. This book offers about 200 effects of mind reading and Bizarre Magick.

There also are extensive examinations on different areas of mentalism, including billet work, psychometry, fortunetelling, and symbol tests. The other interesting bit of this book is that it’s a book that covers everything you need to know about Water’s life in the world of mentalism.

The edited version of this book offers everything you need to understand mentalism and to be the best in the field.

8. Psychological Subtleties, Vol 1, 2, and 3 – Banachek (Steve Shaw)

The Psychological Subtleties is yet another great mentalism book that will teach you all you need to know about the art. Available in three published volumes, these books take mentalism techniques to the next level.

These books were authored by Steve Shaw, better known by his stage name Banachek, who is one of the most famous persons in the world of Mentalism.

His fame and success in the field came about after successful experiments were conducted by the Washington University. Banachek is also the first performer known to have been hired to perform in top corporates, as well as institutions, all thanks to his mastery of mentalism.

Besides his success, the most interesting bit about this book is that all the tricks and techniques shared in the three volumes of the Psychological Subtleties are self-taught. Some of the techniques were also developed by Banachek.

In Volume 1 of Psychological Subtleties, Banachek explains the natural responses from the human neural system, the central and peripheral nervous systems, and how a mentalist can use these responses in their stage performances.

In Volume 2, Banachek has compiled a complete and a list of complicated routines that you could use to tap into and understand natural human responses from the nervous system.

Unlike the first volume, which teaches nothing about routines, this second volume features comprehensive and well-compiled routines adapted from some of the infamous mentalists and even magicians like Leonardo Silverio, Peter Arcane, and Patrick Kuffs, and 14 others mentalists.

In Volume 3, Banachek offers more insights into different mentalism routines.

Most of the routines in this volume are advanced, and they include Creation of the Perfect Situation, Banachek’s favorite ploys, Optical Illusions applied to psychic effects, and the art Predicting the headlines of newspapers (this is a technique from Banachek himself).

There are so many other routines waiting for you in this book. So, get yourself a copy.

9. Master Mentalism – Ryan Clark

If you don’t know much about mentalism and would like to learn more about this interesting art that explores the potential of the human mind, Ryan Clark could be the best book for you to start with.

This 269-page book teaches the different elements of mentalism, including mind-reading, hypnosis, levitation, and card tricks, among others.


There you have it – these are some of the best resources on mentalism.

Whether you are getting your feet wet in the mentalism world, or you have some experience, these books will give you the guidance you need.