My top five storytelling reads for summer

Hello! How’s your summer going? If you’re anything like me you’re after something fantastic to read. Maybe something educational? Perhaps you’re looking to add some structure to your communications? I’ve collected many books in my research over the years (really – there’s a lot). So if you like reading (…of course you like reading!) and you’re inclined, I’d like to share a few favourites with you!

So, what are you in the mood for today?

You like reading and you want to tell a better sales story

Try this! All Marketers are Liars Tell Stories” by Seth Godin

A classic, and a really enjoyable read to boot. It explains why we should tell stories with authenticity, and why we need to frame our stories to the worldview of the audience we’re trying to reach. Originally published in 2009, so it’s probably due for a revised edition, but the rules still apply, and it’s chock full of interesting anecdotes.

You like reading and want to tell better stories

Try this! “Long Story Short” by Margot Leitmann

Have this on of your “go-to” list if you’re interested in verbal storytelling, whether it’s for business, or giving a speech, or delivering a keynote to a big audience. Written by The Moth Grandslam champion, it takes you through the whole process of finding your story, from drafting and refining, to performing in front of others. It’s funny and relatable, and you’re likely to read the whole book in one sitting.

You like reading and you’re interested in Neuroscience

Try this! The Science of Storytelling” by Will Storr

Why are we so fascinated by story? Why do we crave compelling narratives and identify with well-crafted characters? What’s going on in our heads? This book explains the science of ‘why’; explaining how elements of story impact our brains and how great authors have employed these techniques in their works. It’s engaging, easy to understand neuroscience. Which, for me, is the best kind.

You like reading and want to inspire

Try this!The Storyteller’s Secret” by Carmine Gallo

This book reveals the art of master storytellers, using the stories of over 50 inspirational leaders, entrepreneurs and TED speakers who have changed the world or made an impact on business. It examines the tools of the storyteller, and why stories are the foundation of great communication; to inspire, educate, simplify and motivate. A good book for quick nourishing reads (each chapter is just a few pages long), it’ll get you thinking about the stories you’re telling.

You like reading and want a deep dive into what makes a great story work

Try this Into the Woods” by John Yorke

If you’re looking for a more in-depth understanding of story, this is a technical (though not academic) exploration of the structure of stories from screenwriter John Yorke. It touches on every aspect, from the building blocks of story, through characterisation, exposition and dialogue, to serials and the role of mythology,  pulling in references from film, theatre and tv, art, literature and advertising. And any book that name checks Doctor Who, even briefly, gets my recommendation!

So there’s just a couple of suggestions to get you started exploring the vast world of making story. Try them out and tell me what you think. Or just kick back and enjoy a jolly good read that’ll get your brain whirring. And if you don’t agree with my choices (it’s okay, its your prerogative – books are like marmite, if a little harder to keep on your toast), maybe you have an alternative I can check out! There’s always room on my shelf for a feeeeew more…