Monday Mail Call #5

It's Monday and you know what that means... Monday Mail Call!

Each Monday (give or take), I use this feature to highlight a few of the things that have made their way in over the past week or so. Packages, purchases, and emails -- oh my!

Kicking things off, I received the book The Memory Arts by Sarah & David Trustman. This book is all about well, the art of memory. I was so excited to dive into this book that I pushed aside a lot of other things I was working on to go into it and holy crap, it's amazing. Look, I know that I need to actually finish the book first before I can give it a proper review, let alone put some of its teachings to practice but hear me out...

It starts off with giving a history of "the memory arts." I've known of the idea of a "memory palace" since as long as I can remember, heck, I've practiced it myself since I was in high school. But to learn that it's been around for thousands of years?! I really want to find some of the reference books that The Memory Arts calls out because it feels like there is a very rich story here and I would love to know a lot more about it.

After the history lesson though, we get into Sarah and David's shared memory palace and get to embark on a journey through different locations, each picture we can associate in our mind. Using these, we're then shown how to recall things, like playing cards. This is where I'm at in the book already. In one week, I'm already to remember 20 cards in just a few minutes and can recall them in any order, at any location, or recite what their location is when called upon. Next up, the full deck! Also mind you, when I say 20 cards, I mean I shuffle the deck, memorize them in a few minutes, do a few exercises and then start all over with a new shuffle.

There's a lot more to this book than just memorizing a deck of cards though; however, I want to get this lesson down before moving on. Reading up to this point was easy, but now I need to actually "do things" so it might take a little while before I finish the book. Once I do though, I'll be sure to let you know how it turned out!

Next up is this month's delivery of the "High Quality Kings Wild Cards". I have two subscriptions with King's Wild Project right now, the No. 13 Club (Standard Edition) and the Table Player's Club, so I get decks every month or two except the tucks don't really say which deck they are, so I had to go to my inbox to figure out which deck this was =P

This is the February Table Player's! I want to say that the tuck looks like a standard deck of cards, but to be honest it actually gives more of a cigarette pack vibe. The muted tones, but the all-around foiling are clean and right away I feel like it does in fact belong at a card table. I have too many opened decks on my desk right now so this one's going to have to wait a few days before I pop that cellophane, but I'll take some pics as soon as I do!

Last but certainly not least, the Dystopia Playing Cards by Joker and the Thief! I ordered this deck (or... six of them) back in November when they were released, and it took them until March to finally get here. I remember seeing at least one email or post or something from J&T saying there were production delays but hey, they're finally here!

This deck is a tribute to Mad Max: Fury Road and is all hotness. The level of detail on the tuck and the cards themselves is unbelievable. They really knocked this deck out of the park -- well worth the wait!

I'm super excited to get through The Memory Arts and put everything to practice. This will be one of the things that I devote a lot of my time to because I really believe that having that extra advanced skill in memory will pay off huge -- and not just with magic! If you follow me (@gbabbits) on Instagram, you'll be sure to see the Dystopia cards a lot soon too, and maybe even a sneak peek at the Table Players ;)

Stay tuned for the next iteration of Monday Mail Call, there's a lot more to come!

Oh also, if you'd like to offer suggestions for books, tricks, decks or if you have questions about magic (performing, routines, sleights, etc.), just reach out here.

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