I would highly suggest that "13 Steps to Mentalism" by Tony Corrinda is a MUST STUDY (not merely a read, but actually study and learn EVERY chapter in the book, lesson by lesson) and while you are doing so, study and read Bob Cassidy's "Principia Mentalia" (all 4 volumes) and then continue on with "Art of Mentalism 1" followed by "Art of Mentalism 2" also by Bob Cassidy.
The Corrinda book will give you the "moves" and the Cassidy books will provide you with a mindset. Once you have those fundamentals down, you have a large variety to move to. I would highly suggest the following after the first few I have mentioned:
-"Peek Performances" by Richard Busch AND "The Perloined Though" by Al Mann (which will give you insight into the gaining of information)
-"Stunners-Plus" by Larry Becker (which will give you much insight into methods used for many effects)
-"Jinx" (the reprints of the magazine by Ted Annemann which you can get in a three volume, inexpensive hardbound set which has many effects to use)
-"MAGICK" (again, expensive reprint BUT one you will go back to repeatedly for useful tips, effects and ideas).
Those are some of the must haves on the shelf. Then you have many other books, pamphlets and effects that can provide you with much more, although with just the few mentioned above, you will have more than you will ever need to begin a life in mentalism. I consider others such as the works of PUNX, T.A. Waters, Banachek, Barrie Richardson, Dick Osterlind, John Riggs, Ted Lesley, Burling Hull, Richard Webster all worthwhile too BUT not until you have a sound foundation on which to add their knowledge. The collected works in "The Pentagram", "Seance", "Invocation", "The Phoenix", and "The Magic Menu" are also useful as are the books "Al Koran's Legacy" by Hugh Miller, "The Mental Mysteries of Wm.Larsen Sr." by W.Larsen Sr., "The Mental magic of Basil Horowitz", and the Phantini series are also very useful on the shelf BUT not necessary to your starting out.
I hope that helps,
Paul Alberstat http://www.stores.ebay.ca/ABstagecraft
(Last week to taker advantage of our January New Years Special)