Recommended Circus Books

You may know that I have actually run away with the circus: twice. Over the last couple years I have regularly found myself surrounded by acrobats and jugglers and people who can walk circles around their own heads.

Though I don’t currently work for a show, the following circus books have kept a little bit of that magic circus energy in my life.


1. Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen

This book cracks me up. I called one of my best friends as soon as I finished to tell her it’s A. Amazing and B. Has both of her favorite things: circus performers and old people. She’s a bit strange, but that’s neither here nor there. This book flashes back and forth from an old man in a nursing home dreaming about corn on the cob to his decidedly wilder days on the road with the circus as a psuedo-veterinarian. I think I liked this book because it was absurdly well-researched and vivid and utterly ridiculous yet somehow believable. Also, it’s kind of dark and dingy. But has the happiest of endings. I don’t even know. If you haven’t read it, you just need to.

“Life is the most spectacular show on earth.” – Water for Elephants

Get Water for Elephants, here:


2. The Spark – John U. Bacon

This is a non-fiction circus book! Like, it’s a real-life glimpse into the inner workings of the one, the only, Cirque du Soleil. A chance encounter leads the author deep inside the rabbit hole of the circus… where he finds himself learning the principles of no compromise, idea sharing, and even practicing his own circus tricks. But most importantly, he meets people who really, really love what they do, and eventually realizes he can apply his new creative circus principles to his own burn-out job.

“When you finally give voice to your dreams, you never know what’s going to happen.” – The Spark

Get The Spark, here:


3. The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

This circus book is magical and whimsical and not at all the kind of book that I usually read. A love story, a mystery…? The imagery in this book is so absolutely astounding it reads more like a fairytale. Like, how does someone’s imagination come up with these sorts of things without doing a lot of drugs? Huh. Maybe the author does do a lot of drugs, I have no idea. I do know, however, that this was a very enjoyable read full of suspense, love that can’t be, magic and mystery… and some good old-fashioned, running away with the circus.

“We lead strange lives, chasing our dreams around from place to place.” – The Night Circus

Get The Night Circus, here:


Read any of these? Have any circus book recommendations for me? Tell me in the comments below.

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Circus Books Recommendations

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