Book Recommendations

I  am always being asked to recommend storytelling resource books, so I thought I’d put some of my favourites up here.  All these books are available through a wonderful British online bookshop called Book Depository.

Why is it so wonderful? Because Book Depository ships  books  virtually anywhere  in the world, without any shipping charges.  That makes a big difference to  the price of buying online.  The basic  prices are reasonable too – in fact it sometimes works out cheaper to buy from Book Depository  than from your local bookshop.

So  click on the book to take a look….

ASIAN TALES AND TELLERS BY CATHY SPAGNOLI

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This book had to be my first recommendation.  I owe Cathy such a debt of gratitude. It was through  attending one of Cathy’s workshops that I  got my first spark of storytelling fire. And it was  Cathy who was such a great mentor to me when I  took my first tentative steps on the road to becoming a professional storyteller.

This book contains stories from all over Asia each carefully researched told in Cathy’s inimitable style.

To hear podcasts of Cathy telling stories go to www.koreasociety.org and type Cathy Spagnoli into the search box.


THE STORYTELLERS START-UP BOOK BY MARGARET READ MACDONALD

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If Cathy’s Asian Tales and Tellers  has to be the first on my list; this definitely has to be second. It is a book I read shortly after discovering storytelling in 1998.  Not too long after that I joined an international storytelling listserve called  STORYTELL. I wrote in to  introduce myself and to ask for advice and Margaret was one of the first people to write back  to me. I was thrilled that the author of  the book on the shelf above my desk was actually writing to me.  I was even more thrilled when Margaret offered to come to Singapore to help with our  first  Asian Congress of Storytellers in 2000.  She has been back many times since and her advice and support have  been invaluable  in my journey as a storyteller.

This book is just one of  the  many great books  she has written and you will no doubt see many more of them recommended here. For obvious reasons I think this  is good one to start with.  It is easy to read and gives very practical advice; exactly what a beginning storyteller needs.

STORY PROOF: THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE STARTLING POWER OF STORY  BY KENDAL HAVEN

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In  my years as a storyteller I have seen first-hand how powerful storytelling can be.  Stories have  the power to move minds and hearts, to motivate, to teach and  to stay in the memory for years on end  Kendall Haven also saw that power and it lead him from a job as a senior research scientist to a career as a professional storyteller and story-engineer.

In this book he has gone back to his scientific roots and has collected and analysed research that validates the importance of story, story reading and storytelling to brain development and the education of children and adults. It is a fascinating read  and  an uplifting one too, for it validates what I instinctively felt  all along, that stories are powerful things that offer us a host  of educational, social and emotional benefits.