Several years ago, when I got back into card magic, I wanted an advanced card magic book. A quick search on Google led me to The Card Classics of Ken Krenzel, by Harry Lorayne, and I happened to easily find a used copy.
Well, the book arrived and I dove right in. Page after page, I attempted to practice each sleight and routine. I wasn't able to do most of the tricks in the book -- they were just too difficult for me at the time and, though I wanted something "advanced", I was also hoping that it wouldn't be too hard to do. Go figure =P
Back then, the book was easily my hands-down favorite book on card magic. This might sound odd given that I couldn't do any of the tricks in it, but it was aspirational. I really enjoyed the writing style of Harry Lorayne -- straight to the point and rather blunt with "you'll need a lot of practice" call-outs. I also really liked the vast number of references throughout the book. As someone just getting into magic, that was really helpful.
Fast forward to today when I was finally comfortable enough to read the book all the way back through and whoa! I am finally able to perform many of the tricks (some are still out of reach, but only a few). I have a new respect for certain types of handlings -- i.e., anything with a faro shuffle -- and I have enough knowledge to know what'll work for me to make the trick work. Specifically, I can't do a pressure fan to save my life... but a tight thumb fan, let's go!
If you like Ken Krenzel's material (or would like to know more about it), check out my full review here: