100 books like Fierce Conversations

By Susan Scott,

Here are 100 books that Fierce Conversations fans have personally recommended if you like Fierce Conversations. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Bret Lyon Author Of Embracing Shame: How to Stop Resisting Shame and Turn It into a Powerful Ally

From my list on healing shame and trauma.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent many years deeply angry at my parents and not really understanding why. When I found out about shame, and how it was passed down from generation to generation, I was finally able to crack the code. Their “permissiveness” was actually neglect. Without meaning to, they had put their shame on me and I was still suffering from not really being seen. I made it my mission to help others heal their shame so they can be better people and better parents, and live fuller lives. I am the co-director of the Center for Healing Shame and co-author of Embracing Shame.

Bret's book list on healing shame and trauma

Bret Lyon Why did Bret love this book?

I love this book because it says that all conversations take place on 3 different levels. 

There is the content level, the most obvious; the emotional level, how important the subject is and the emotions around it; and the internal level of “what does this conversation say about me,” which is the shame level. This level may be the most important and the most hidden.

By Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Difficult Conversations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The 10th-anniversary edition of the New York Times business bestseller-now updated with "Answers to Ten Questions People Ask"

We attempt or avoid difficult conversations every day-whether dealing with an underperforming employee, disagreeing with a spouse, or negotiating with a client. From the Harvard Negotiation Project, the organization that brought you Getting to Yes, Difficult Conversations provides a step-by-step approach to having those tough conversations with less stress and more success. you'll learn how to:

· Decipher the underlying structure of every difficult conversation 
· Start a conversation without defensiveness 
· Listen for the meaning of what is not said 
·…


Book cover of I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships

Lida Citroën Author Of Success After Service: How to Take Control of Your Job Search and Career After Military Duty

From my list on success in a civilian life after the military.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an executive coach, personal branding consultant, and reputation management expert helping global executives, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders manage how they’re perceived and drive towards ideal opportunities. A long-time passionate supporter of the military, I volunteer to help veterans transitioning to civilian careers. My work with veterans comes from gratitude for their sacrifice. I regularly speak at military installations, podcasts, and events on veteran transition and hiring, teach in the TAP program at the US Air Force Academy, and serve on the Board of Directors at Project Sanctuary, which focuses on healing military families. Since 2012, I’ve also been a writer for Military.com.

Lida's book list on success in a civilian life after the military

Lida Citroën Why did Lida love this book?

There are so many books written about active listening and communications, but not many that focus on what the other person really needs: Validation.

As veterans re-integrate into the civilian workforce and lifestyle, the way they communicate is different from when they were serving in the military, and becoming mindful of how they communicate with others is important. This book will guide them through a key skill (validation) that will help them not only in their career, but also in their personal life. 

By Michael S. Sorensen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked I Hear You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What if making one tweak to your day-to-day conversations could immediately improve every relationship in your life?

In this 3-hour, conversational read, you’ll discover the whats, whys, and hows of one of the most valuable (yet surprisingly little-known) communication skills available—validation. 

Whether you’re looking to improve your relationship with your spouse, navigate difficult conversations at work, or connect on a deeper level with friends and family, this book delivers simple, practical, proven techniques for improving any relationship in your life.

Mastery of this simple skill will enable you to:

Calm (and sometimes even eliminate) the concerns, fears, and uncertainties of…


Book cover of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

Melanie Deziel Author Of The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas

From my list on to make your marketing more creative.

Why am I passionate about this?

You know how most young kids go through a phrase where they ask “why” about everything, and then they ask it again, and again, and again? Well, I never really outgrew that. I studied journalism because it gave me permission to be curious about new things every day, and to ask experts “why.” Marketing gave me a new way to chase my curiosity: Why are people clicking this ad, opening this email, following that social account or searching for that phrase? I’ve helped 30% of the Fortune 100 answer the questions about why their content is working, or isn’t, and my first book, The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas, was born from my introspective curiosity about how my own idea generation process worked. 

Melanie's book list on to make your marketing more creative

Melanie Deziel Why did Melanie love this book?

This book is a hefty one—I recommend the audiobook if you’ve got a bad back—but it will help you understand how your brain works in a way that almost no other book can. And the better you understand your mind, the better you’ll be able to make it do what you want, and how to protect yourself from the things that might otherwise sabotage your creative thinking.

By Daniel J Levitin,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Organized Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Organized Mind, New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin offers practical solutions to the problems of information overload.
___________________________________________________

Overwhelmed by demands on your time? Caught in an unproductive spiral of emails and multitasking?

You're not alone. When we're deluged with information our creativity plummets, our decision making suffers and we grow absent-minded. Nowadays, we drown in our inboxes, forever juggle several tasks at once and try to make complex decisions ever more quickly. This is information overload.

Combining the latest neuroscience with everyday examples, Daniel Levitin explains how to take back control…


Book cover of Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long

M.J. Clark Author Of Shut Up and Manage: A Quiet Leader's Guide to Engaging Others

From my list on become an exceptional manager.

Why am I passionate about this?

I use the knowledge I’ve gained as an executive coach for 14 years and with a master’s degree in organizational communication to help organizations and individuals more effectively communicate with and engage others in the workplace and in their personal lives. I actively practice what I preach and constantly look for new information to help myself and others become better leaders, managers, and people.

M.J.'s book list on become an exceptional manager

M.J. Clark Why did M.J. love this book?

This book is filled with great ideas about how to avoid distraction, how to avoid doing too much so our cognitive abilities are at a maximum, how to use mindfulness to more easily tap into your emotional states, and how to set goals that are more likely to be accomplished. There are so many useful tidbits in this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to be more productive and efficient.

By David Rock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Your Brain at Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A researcher and consultant burrows deep inside the heads of one modern two-career couple to examine how each partner processes the workday-revealing how a more nuanced understanding of the brain can allow us to better organize, prioritize, recall, and sort our daily lives.

Emily and Paul are the parents of two young children, and professionals with different careers. Emily is the newly promoted vice president of marketing at a large corporation; Paul works from home or from clients' offices as an independent IT consultant. Their days are filled with a bewildering blizzard of emails, phone calls, more emails, meetings, projects,…


Book cover of Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love

Marcia Naomi Berger Author Of Marriage Minded: An A to Z Dating Guide for Lasting Love

From my list on dating toward marriage.

Why am I passionate about this?

Marcia Naomi Berger's passion is to help people create lasting, fulfilling marriages. An experienced clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and medical school clinical faculty member, Berger has held senior-level positions in child welfare, alcoholism treatment, and psychiatry. She says, "I stayed single for a long time because of my parent's divorce. Now happily married for over thirty-four years, I fill my books with the hard-earned wisdom I've gained professionally and personally."  

Marcia's book list on dating toward marriage

Marcia Naomi Berger Why did Marcia love this book?

This book can help many communication-challenged couples. It offers specific guidance on how to talk about topics for partners to address to foster long-term happiness. Couples who are dating and not yet committed will learn if deal-breakers exist by having conversations about whether they want children, what fidelity means to them, whether they're likely to support each other's goals and dreams, and more.

I strongly agree with the authors' ideas about addressing conflict with the goal of understanding rather than winning, making your relationship your top priority to succeed in marriage, and having fun together.

Many happily married people implement the ideas naturally without following the Eight Dates formula. However, as a couples therapist, I know that many will benefit from having the kinds of conversations the authors prescribe. I'm recommending this book to couples in my practice.

By John Gottman, Julie Schwartz Gottman, Doug Abrams , Rachel Carlton Abrams

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eight Dates as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Happily Ever After is not by chance - it's By Choice.

John and Julie Gottman are cofounders of the Gottman Institute, bestselling authors, and award-winning researchers. Together, they have a deep understanding of what makes relationships work. Now, they bring that lifetime's worth of knowledge, research, and wisdom to bear in Eight Dates, a program of how, why, and when to have eight basic conversations with your partner that can result in a lifetime of love. Eight Dates is written for any serious couple, and its dates are structured around the concepts of trust, dealing with conflict, sex and intimacy,…


Book cover of How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide

Melinda Lewis Author Of Social Policy for Effective Practice: A Strengths Approach

From my list on igniting students’ passions about policy change.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a policy advocate, grassroots activist, university professor, and author committed to social change—at scale—to advance social work values of racial, economic, environmental, and social justice. Recognizing that most social workers are drawn to our profession because they want to make a difference in the lives of their clients, one by one, I invest my energies and skills to making policy study and practice accessible, relevant, and urgent. My students quickly get used to noting the book recommendations I sprinkle throughout class discussions and in assignment feedback, because when you see the world through a social policy frame, everything has a policy implication! 

Melinda's book list on igniting students’ passions about policy change

Melinda Lewis Why did Melinda love this book?

There are many examples in this book that make my students angry—which is one of the reasons I want them to read it.

As people committed to engaging with others to pursue justice, we have to become proficient—if never comfortable—in having conversations with people who do not share our worldview, and in using our active listening skills and deep regard for human relationships to find common ground.

The skills and practices in this book equip us for effective engagement beyond the silos we frequent, help us see our own arguments as others may encounter them, and catalyze the kind of thoughtful interactions social change demands. 

By Peter Boghossian, James Lindsay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Have Impossible Conversations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In our current political climate, it seems impossible to have a civil conversation with someone who has a different opinion. Dialogue is shut down when perspectives clash. Heated debates on Facebook and Twitter often lead to shaming, hindering any possibility of productive discourse. How to Have Impossible Conversations guides readers through the process of having effective, civil discussions about any divisive issues--not just religious faith but climate change, race, gender, poverty, immigration, and gun control.

Coauthors Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay distinguish between two types of conversations: those that are oriented toward arriving at truth, and those that may require…


Book cover of Burned

Barbara Kellyn Author Of Morning Man

From my list on romance if you’re a sucker for witty banter.

Why am I passionate about this?

Is there any better foreplay than great wordplay? Not in my book! After years of studying the romcom repartee gospel according to Nora Ephron and Nancy Meyers, I know this much is true: what’s said on the lips is first sparked in the hips! As a rom-com writer recently crowned “the Queen of Banter” by a reader (blush), I bow to the greats who taught me that witty banter is a symptom of unrealized or unsatisfied attraction. And as a lover of skillfully-written sparring, I squirm with delight whenever a sly remark, slick comeback, or sexy euphemism makes potential paramours pop. Want to enchant her? Use banter!

Barbara's book list on romance if you’re a sucker for witty banter

Barbara Kellyn Why did Barbara love this book?

Irresistibly sharp, realistic dialogue between the leads makes this cowboy romance the most memorable I’ve read to date. Immediately, I wanted to saddle up and ride off into the sunset with them. Second chance romance is arguably the best trope for sparks to fly, and Jack and Everlea’s history is living proof, as their gorgeous natural banter conveys depth and shows their destined connection growing from frenemies to lovers. Greta Rose West is a one-click author for me thanks to her obvious gift for writing her characters’ gab. 

By Greta Rose West,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Burned as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Internationally Bestselling Small-town Western Romance author, Greta Rose West...

Jack Cade already has enough on his shoulders with his four brothers, his struggling Wyoming horse ranch, and his adopted mama going through chemo again. He doesn’t have time for a woman, and he doesn’t trust them. But when Everlea Donovan falls into his life—literally—he can’t stop fantasizing about her.

Wanting her.

But Everlea’s hiding something, always looking over her shoulder, ready to run at any moment. She can’t risk putting Jack and his family in danger, but she’s never wanted anything—anyone—the way she wants him.

When she starts feeling…


Book cover of Chaos Is My Brand

Barbara Kellyn Author Of Morning Man

From my list on romance if you’re a sucker for witty banter.

Why am I passionate about this?

Is there any better foreplay than great wordplay? Not in my book! After years of studying the romcom repartee gospel according to Nora Ephron and Nancy Meyers, I know this much is true: what’s said on the lips is first sparked in the hips! As a rom-com writer recently crowned “the Queen of Banter” by a reader (blush), I bow to the greats who taught me that witty banter is a symptom of unrealized or unsatisfied attraction. And as a lover of skillfully-written sparring, I squirm with delight whenever a sly remark, slick comeback, or sexy euphemism makes potential paramours pop. Want to enchant her? Use banter!

Barbara's book list on romance if you’re a sucker for witty banter

Barbara Kellyn Why did Barbara love this book?

As someone who’s hooked on cooking reality TV shows, I was smitten with this spicy romcom with all the tantalizing ingredients for great banter. Peppery Gigi is a saucy-mouthed leading babe who goes toe to toe with any taker, whether she’s trading insults with her acidic-tongued celebrity chef or cooing seductive come-ons to the smooth-as-caramel southern charmer who’s whet her appetite. I loved that author Josie Juniper’s hilariously twisted love triangle definitely brings the heat, but it’s the sizzling banter that truly turns the flame up to 11.

By Josie Juniper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chaos Is My Brand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A hot-mess TV personality with a wild reputation. An enigmatic country boy with secrets behind his Elvis smile. Unlikely friends… trying to avoid a collision into benefits.

Irrepressible “comedy cook” Gigi Becker finds herself far from the comforts of Los Angeles when her on-paper husband – world-famous loudmouth chef Gavin Yates – relocates her show. But the spiteful plans of “culinary empire ogre” Gavin backfire when Gigi trust-falls into the safety of fast friendship with captivating cameraman Leo and talented director Bennett.

As Gigi navigates a new life of dramatic change and culture clash – and endures repeated sabotage by…


Book cover of The Dove in the Belly

Michael Cart Author Of Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism

From my list on beautifully capturing gay teens’ lives and loves.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a full-time writer since 1994 and have so far published twenty-seven books, three of them with gay themes: My Father’s Scar, a gay coming-of-age novel and two about LGBTQ+ issues: Top 250 LGTBQ Books for Teens and The Heart Has Its Reasons, a history of queer literature. I’ve been interested in this literature since I was a gay teen myself, because there were no YA books with queer characters then. I missed seeing my face in the pages of a good book and so I promised myself that when I became an adult. I would make sure there was an ample assortment for today’s queer kids. And, guess what? I’ve kept my promise!

Michael's book list on beautifully capturing gay teens’ lives and loves

Michael Cart Why did Michael love this book?

The story sounds simple: two college-age boys  Ben, a football player and brainy Ronny, his tutor – gradually fall in love even though their relationship is sometimes stormy, and readers may wonder anxiously if it will endure. But true love has a stubborn way of enduring and perhaps it will in this case, too. So, a simple story? No, for it’s as complex as the human heart. What also sets this one apart is its gorgeous writing, which is an undivided pleasure to read and which brings Ben and Ronny to vivid, fully realized life. Readers won’t forget them nor will they forget this haunting novel.  

By Jim Grimsley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dove in the Belly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

At the University of North Carolina, Ronny's made some friends, kept his secrets, survived dorm life, and protected his heart.

Until he can't. Ben is in some ways Ronny's opposite; he's big and solid where Ronny is small and slight. Ben's at UNC on a football scholarship. Confident, with that easy jock swagger, and an explosive temper always simmering. He has a steady stream of girlfriends. Ben's aware of the overwhelming effect he has on Ronny. It's like a sensation of power. So easy to tease Ronny, throw playful insults, but it all feels somehow...loaded.

Meanwhile Ronny's mother has moved…


Book cover of Shock Mount

Barbara Kellyn Author Of Morning Man

From my list on romance if you’re a sucker for witty banter.

Why am I passionate about this?

Is there any better foreplay than great wordplay? Not in my book! After years of studying the romcom repartee gospel according to Nora Ephron and Nancy Meyers, I know this much is true: what’s said on the lips is first sparked in the hips! As a rom-com writer recently crowned “the Queen of Banter” by a reader (blush), I bow to the greats who taught me that witty banter is a symptom of unrealized or unsatisfied attraction. And as a lover of skillfully-written sparring, I squirm with delight whenever a sly remark, slick comeback, or sexy euphemism makes potential paramours pop. Want to enchant her? Use banter!

Barbara's book list on romance if you’re a sucker for witty banter

Barbara Kellyn Why did Barbara love this book?

Rock star romances have been my jam since back when my teen bedroom walls were filled with Tiger Beat pinups. The beautifully-orchestrated banter that keeps the beat of a rock and roll love affair fraught with hit and miss encounters helps build the tension towards a satisfying crescendo. (Full disclosure: I begged author Kelly Kay to disclose her real-life inspiration, and it was exactly who I’d pictured!) The hotel pool scene where Meg and rockstar Ian do nothing more than talk (fully clothed) lives rent free in my head as one of the steamiest scenes I’ve ever read. 

By Kelly Kay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shock Mount as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

★★★★★"I LOVE this book."
A rockstar romance love triangle without crossover, and everyone gets a happily ever after. And it all begins with a spilled glass of wine and a broken watch.

If Meghan Hannah's not falling down, she's falling in love.

She's a mess of herself and always has been. She's an expert at putting her foot in her mouth, tripping over nothing, and being a very loyal friend but love, not so much. But she thinks she has finally got it all figured out. Until she spills her wine on the wrong Rock Star. Now Meg needs to…


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