In response to a formspring question, I listed five books other than my own, that magicians should read and understand. What I did'nt post was a blurb as to why.
Heartdrops of the Dharmakaya by Lopon Tenzin Namdak
To my mind, Dzogchen, is probably the highest form of spiritual practice on the planet and also the most suited to the modern day. That is just my opinion, you can and probably do disagree. Heartdrops is the ONLY publicly published text in English that covers the whole process of the Mengakide approach to Dzogchen, from Rushans, to Threkchod, to Togyal. For those that have an issue with being "Buddhist", it gets even better because heartdrops is not a Buddhist text, but Bon - the pre-buddhist religion of Tibet.
Initiation into Hermetics by Franz Bardon
Beyond any specific exercise in the book, Bardon presents a view of the magician as someone who works to develop powers rather than someone who knows lots of rituals and can summon the aid of spirits. The distinction is important. A magician should be a person of power, not just a person of knowledge. Specifically speaking, working with the five elements is a pillar of my practice and one of the most powerful approaches to using the forces of Level 2 in magic. Until I write my book on the Elements, this is still the best.
Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by Catherine Yronwode
The biggest failure point of magic from people in Pagan and Ceremonial magic backgrounds is the magical link, no clear path from ritual to target. Hoodoo is ALL about the magical link, specifically physical links, which also have the benefit of bringing your magic in to the material realm, increasing chances of material effect. This book is the best start to Hoodoo one could ask for.
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
If you are going to practice magic than you are adding a time consuming practice to an already busy life. This book will help you radically manage time by reducing the time you spend being busy but not productive. It also will give you the non magical keys to making your money magic work, and making long term travel possible. If you decide that you want to go pro with your magic, this book will be key in helping you get started.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
There is no more quintessential power of the Witch or Magician than the ability to fascinate and influence. What some people do not realize is that you can learn all the tanglefoot charms, rituals for promotion at work, and love spells in the world and none of it will do you much good if you are a social retard. I hate to say it, but the magic community, pagan community, and occult world in general has a higher than normal rate of social retards. I am being serious.
If you can't relate to people who are not occultists or Pagans, I am looking at you. If you get riled up when people wish you Merry Christmas and feel the need to rant for 5 minutes about Yule, I am talkingto you. If you introduce yourself as Lady Moonbow or Lord Ravenheart to people who are not in the craft (and actually to people who are) I am definately talking to you. If you cannot go an entire day without quoting Alesiter Crowley, I mean you. If you cannot meet someone at a social gathering and talk with them for an hour without telling them that you are a Witch or Magician, you are who i am talking about. You get the idea.
I am talking about some of you reading this. Don't feel bad. Sometimes I am talking about me too,
This book is 90% about just general politeness and respect for others. The other 10 percent are ways that you get respect and can use respectful ways to get your point accross. Read this book, and also a good book on etiquette, before you get into Covert Hypnosis, NLP, or Pick up tech.