David Copperfield: TOP TEN BOOKS


“I wish I had more time to read,” David Copperfield says — it’s no wonder his time is limited, considering his schedule as the most commercially successful illusionist in history, according to Forbes. Among his achievements are 21 Emmy Awards, 11 Guinness World Records, French knighthood, a star in Hollywood, and being dubbed a Living Legend by the Library of Congress.

“Telling memorable, affecting stories is what I’ve strived to do my whole career. Anyone can pull a rabbit out of a hat. But how did the rabbit get in the hat? What’s he hiding from? Whose hat is it? Why a hat? How long has it been there? That’s what makes an effect memorable, engraving a story into it. (By the way, I’ve never pulled a rabbit out of a hat.)”

As for his list, Copperfield says, “The books that are on my top ten list are books by master storytellers. Writers who know their way around a narrative, and who tell it beautifully.”

Below are David Copperfield’s favorite books, available to purchase as a set or individually.


Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy
As good as they say. Tolstoy is a cardiologist. The man knew everything about the human heart. It's all on display here.
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Invisible Man

Ralph Ellison
Ralph Ellison's classic about race, racism, cruelty, hypocrisy, and the need for the truth is more relevant now than ever.
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Making Movies

Sidney Lumet
The late, great Sidney Lumet takes you by the elbow and tells you how he did it. Another great tour of the creative process by one of our greatest directors.
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Without Feathers

Woody Allen
Woody Allen is so funny and brilliant, I feel the astonishment I hope my audiences feel — I keep asking myself, "How does he do it?"
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Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu

Simon Callow
Welles is one of my heroes. Callow diagrams every aspect of this great artist's life like a sentence.
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Finishing the Hat

Stephen Sondheim
The man who gave us “West Side Story,” “A Little Night Music,” “Sweeney Todd,” and so many other acts of brilliance discusses his influences, his approach to his craft, why things work and don't work, etc. He takes you on a guided tour of his creative process. How often do you get to stroll through the mind of a genius?
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How to Be a Ventriloquist

Paul Winchell
I grew up watching Paul Winchell. Years later he became a friend. I have his vent figures in my museum. Ventriloquism is what got me into magic. This book takes me back to my childhood.
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Stephen King
I love Mr. King's work, and this is not just a great horror/sci-fi story, it's about the price people pay for being different, and about bullying, and parenting. As relevant as ever.
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A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens
Okay it's technically a novella. But what a story of redemption! Told by the past master of characterization and narrative. Dickens rules.
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Don Quixote

Miguel de Cervantes
I didn't know this existed until my parents took me to “Man of La Mancha.” What a book! Funny and sad at the same time and insightful about the human condition.
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