Books written by our associates

Nick Owen

Magic of MetaphorThe Magic of Metaphor: 77 Stories for Teachers, Trainers & Thinkers (Crownhouse 2001)                                                            In its 12th reprint and translated into 8 languages including Russian, Chinese, Polish, Spanish, and Italian this is a powerful collection of stories to engage, inspire, and transform the listener as well as the reader. It is also available as an AudioBook.

“A huge source of material for anyone seeking to influence or entertain others through story telling.”
~ Richard Holroyd. Head of Training & Development, HSBC

” .. one of the most richly rewarding books I have read in a very long time..” ~ Richard Reed. Better Business


More MagicMore Magic of Metaphor: Stories for Leaders, Influencers, and Motivators (Crownhouse 2004)                                        With a particular emphasis on leadership, the stories in this book offer inspiration, inner knowledge, and wisdom. It explores the nature of leadership in everyday life and provides effective tools for influencing, motivating, and leading others with elegance and integrity.

“Thought provoking and inspirational, this book is of use to those already in leadership positions and to those who seek to develop their leadership potential.” ~ Richard Coulthwaite. Director of Strategic Vision for Finance, Aviva plc.


The Salmon of KnowledgeThe Salmon of Knowledge: Stories for Work, Life, the Dark Shadow, and OneSelf (Crownhouse 2009)                            These stories invite us to wake up, stop taking ourselves so damned seriously, look at the world from perspectives other than our own, and recognise that only by changing ourselves can we reconnect with what is truly important in life.

“In this information-overloaded, mass-mediated world, we resonate not with data but with stories. Retold without a trace of folksiness, these tales engage us directly across the centuries, illuminating the dilemmas and paradoxes we often feel are new and unique to us; they leave us feeling , ‘how did the storyteller know this about me or my organisation?” ~ David Pearl. CEO David Pearl Group

Click here for information and reviews on Nick Owen’s page


Geoff Mead

Coming HomeComing Home to Story: Storytelling Beyond Happily Ever After (Vala Press, 2011)                                                                        This book tells of the magic of stories and storytelling, and of their power to liberate the human spirit. Master storyteller Geoff Mead takes the reader inside the experience of telling and listening to stories. He shows how stories and storytelling engage our imaginations, heal communities and bring adventure and passion into our lives. The narrative is interspersed with consummate retellings of traditional tales from all over the world.

” .. it shows how the practice of storytelling can inform life choices and heal old wounds, and help us think through significant issues such as leadership, masculinity, and our relationship with the natural world.” ~ Peter Reason, Professor Emeritus, University of Bath


Telling the Story Telling the Story: The Heart & Soul of Successful Leadership (Jossey Bass 2014)                                                                       Telling the Story opens a door into the world of narrative leadership, showing how leaders affect our understanding of what is possible and desirable through the stories they tell and embody. It supports practitioners to identify their own authentic story and use it to lead convincingly. It shows how we can use story to change ourselves, to engage others in the process of transformation, and to imagine the kind of future we would wish to live into.

“..refreshing in its frankness and insight. It left me feeling challenged, energised and inspired to think about the stories I want to live and tell through my own leadership.” ~ Lindsay Levin, Founder, Leaders Quest

Click here for information and reviews on Geoff Mead’s page


Barbara Houseman

FindingYourVoiceFinding Your Voice (Nick Hern Books 2002)                                                                                                                                                    A step-by-step manual, written by one of the UK’s top voice coaches, which offers everything that an actor needs to work on their voice. Suitable for actors at all levels and drama teachers in schools. Committed amateurs, leaders and storytellers who want to increase their vocal skills to express themselves with greater presence and impact will also find it invaluable.

” .. exercises and tools that can revolutionise the voice. It’s a boon!'”  ~ Joseph Fiennes



TacklingTextTackling Text [and subtext] (Nick Hern Books 2008)                                                                                                                An intensely practical handbook for students, actors, and teachers on how to cope with text, character, and situation. Barbara Houseman’s method is to state a precept and devise an exercise to explore it. The result is a book with a practical exercise on almost every page.

“Barbara’s wisdom flows off every page, her exercises are simple, profound and easy to follow and do, and her years of experience as a theatre director and voice coach underpin the practicality of all the ideas in her book. ~ Sue Weston

Click here for information and reviews on Barbara Houseman’s page


Books edited by our associates

Nick Owen

Engaging LearnersEngaging Learners by Andy Griffith & Mark Burns (Outstanding Teaching Series Crownhouse 2012)                                            This best-selling book is packed with proven advice and innovative tools developed in successful outstanding lessons. Written in the same humorous, thought-provoking style with which they both teach and train, Andy and Mark aim to challenge all who teach to reflect on their day-to-day practise and set an agenda for sustainable teacher and leadership improvement. Short listed for Educational Resources best Educational Book Award 2013.

“Readable and practical! A book full of suggestions, ideas and techniques which are grounded in a coherent outlook on what makes outstanding teaching …  makes us think about the very purpose of teaching.”                       ~ Mick Waters, Professor of Education at Wolverhampton University


TeachingBackwardsTeaching Backwards by Andy Griffith & Mark Burns (Outstanding Teaching Series Crownhouse 2014)                                    Where many teachers focus on delivering content in a linear fashion, those who teach backwards start with the end in mind. They know in advance what levels of knowledge, attitude, skills and habits they expect their learners to achieve, they define and demystify ambitious goals, and they establish their students starting points before they start to plan and teach. Teaching Backwards ensures that learners consistently make great progress over time.

“Vintage Griffith & Burns: an impressive melding of anecdote and outstanding classroom practice. White stuffSimultaneously compellingly readable and rigorously research-informed.” ~ Barry J Hymer, Professor of Psychology in Education, University of Cumbria in Lancaster


Do I look bothered cover

Girl Bullying: Do I Look Bothered? by Dr Sam (Osiris Educational Series, Crownhouse 2015)                                                 “This book makes for urgent reading. Dr Sam dissects the issue of girl bullying with chilling clarity and takes us from understanding the issue through to her compelling rallying-cry for action. The author is an expert who writes with extraordinary power in a style that is as illuminating as it is readable. We finish the book knowing that here is an issue in multiple guises that we need to address. Girl Bullying is a book that all of us working in schools should read and act upon.”  ~ Geoff Barton, Head Teacher, King Edward VI School



MagicModernMagic of Modern Metaphor: Walking with the Stars by David Hodgson (Crownhouse 2010)                                                         A wonderful collection of warm, funny and inspiring stories sharing ancient wisdom through a modern relationship between grandson and grandad. The grandad provides answers to his grandson’s questions with stories, challenges, games and provocations. Questions such as How can I be more popular? What should I do when I leave school? Why is Aunty Joan miserable all the time? are answered with humour and insight.

“…an outstanding feat of innovation and … immense creativity, curiosity and learning for both teachers and students. He reminds us about the importance and power of stories  I found myself strangely moved, if not a little tearful. Magic.” ~ Roy Leighton, educator, author and values consultant

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