The most recommended body language books

Who picked these books? Meet our 20 experts.

20 authors created a book list connected to body language, and here are their favorite body language books.
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Book cover of The Trouble with Trying to Date a Murderer

Debbie Iancu-Haddad Author Of Speechless in Achten Tan

From my list on fantasy with characters who can't talk.

Who am I?

Writing a protagonist who can't talk out loud is quite a challenge. I talk constantly as I'm both an extrovert and a public speaker for my day job, but I have had several bouts of severe laryngitis and have been under severe no speaking orders from the doctor. People react differently when you can't talk. Nowadays, we all have a convenient mobile device on hand to help, but that isn't always the case in the fantasy books we read. In Speechless in Achten Tan my main character Mila can't talk because magic took her voice. Her magic power is connected to her ability to speak, so she's pretty desperate to regain her ability to speak.

Debbie's book list on fantasy with characters who can't talk

Debbie Iancu-Haddad Why did Debbie love this book?

This is actually a humorous fantasy book, but I only discovered the fantasy elements about halfway through. It's also M/M romance. The MC lost his voice as a baby when his father cut his vocal cords. Pretty gruesome. He usually communicates with his phone, nonverbal cues, and lots of body language.

By Jennifer Cody,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Trouble with Trying to Date a Murderer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Romily:

Third time’s the charm, right? At least that’s what I tell myself when I witness the same hot guy commit mass murder three times in a few days. I’m either the luckiest mute boy ever or possibly the unluckiest. Who knows, maybe him kidnapping me will turn into the greatest love story ever told? Hey, it could happen! You never know how these things will turn out. I happen to believe in love and soulmates, and if nothing else, Arlington Fox doesn’t treat my disability like a nuisance. It’s not everyday you find someone who just gets you, and…


Book cover of On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals

Jane Miller Author Of Healing Companions: Ordinary Dogs and Their Extraordinary Power to Transform Lives

From my list on the healing power of animals and human-animal bond.

Who am I?

It all began at a very young age when I aspired to be Jane Goodall and save the lives of animals. Since then, her wisdom, courage, and activism have guided me throughout my life. Through my childhood, I nursed fledglings with eyedroppers, adopted turtles left on the curbside, and became an advocate for “Save our Seals”. In college, I immersed myself in the study of animal behavior. I explored the behavior of Red Kangaroos, "Megalia Rufas" in captivity, exploring ways in which zoos could improve their facilities to respect the needs of the animals. These experiences set the landscape for my work as a holistic psychotherapist with the healing power of dogs.

Jane's book list on the healing power of animals and human-animal bond

Jane Miller Why did Jane love this book?

This book had a huge impact on me many years ago when I started training Psychiatric Service Dogs. Turid opened my eyes to a complex understanding of how dogs communicate with us through subtle and not-so-subtle body language. I recommend this book highly to all of my friends that have dogs and my clients. You will learn to identify when your dog is stressed, how to recognize it, and then take appropriate action to help decrease and alleviate the dog’s stress. 

By Turid Rugaas,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked On Talking Terms with Dogs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Yawning, lip-licking, sneezing, even scratching are just a few of the 30-plus signals that dogs use to communicate with one another.

With On Talking Terms With Dogs you can learn to recognize these signals and use them yourself to interact with your dog.

Norwegian dog trainer and behaviorist Turid Rugaas has made it her life work to study canine social interaction. She coined the phrase calming signals to describe the social skills, sometimes referred to as body language, that dogs use to avoid conflict, invite play, and communicate a wide range of information to other dogs and also humans.

Every…


Book cover of How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication

Deborah Taylor-French Author Of Red Sky at Night: Dog Leader Mysteries

From my list on dogs and canine behavior.

Who am I?

When I’m not out rescuing lost dogs or walking our dog, Beau, in the hills of Sonoma County, I’m reading, writing, blogging, or offering writers' support. Our family started when we took in a baby for foster care, then a year later, after great effort, prayer, and help, we completed her adoption. As for canines, we’ve adopted four dogs, all from dogs returned to their breeders or an animal shelter. Three of our dogs happened to be only one year old when we took them in. I continue to research and edit my Dog Leader Mysteries blog. Twelve years blogging about saving dogs.

Deborah's book list on dogs and canine behavior

Deborah Taylor-French Why did Deborah love this book?

As a dog lover, I want to know what canine whines, squeaks, and whimpers mean. How to Speak Dog has confirmed and expanded my observations of dog communication.

I love these details on canine body language. If you want to understand your dog’s receptive language ability and productive language ability, read this book. I’m convinced that the Appendix alone is worth the price of this book and includes a Visual Glossary and Doggish Phrasebook.

By Stanley Coren,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How To Speak Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the man who explained why we love the doges we do, a lively guide to the languages, both verbal and physical, that help owners and pets alike get the most out of their cherished relationships. Communication is the crucial ingrediant in any relationship, especially when one of you happens to be a dog. Are you effectively expressing yourself to your hound? What about the other way around, are you catching his drift? Heady questions, to be sure. In HOW TO SPEAK DOG, renowned canine-psychology guru Stanley Coren provides all dog owners with a complete set of tools and skills…


Book cover of The Writer's A-Z of Body Language

Cara Bristol Author Of Naughty Words for Nice Writers: A Romance Novel Thesaurus

From my list on reference and writing for romance authors.

Who am I?

After writing more than sixty romance novels, I can sometimes find myself at a loss for words, unable to think of the right word or find myself using the same ones. Having a good thesaurus is invaluable. I use my own thesaurus, Naughty Words for Nice Writers, all the time. I wrote it as a survival guide—it was the book I needed that didn’t exist when I started writing romance. Besides Naughty Words, the thesauri/reference books I’m recommending are tools I couldn’t live without. 

Cara's book list on reference and writing for romance authors

Cara Bristol Why did Cara love this book?

I was so thrilled when I found this little gem. I had been desperately searching for a book like this!

Authors use body language to show emotion and to use as dialogue tags. But in typical nonfiction books on body language you have to weed through a lot of psychological explanation to find the gesture. Author Tim Ellis did the work for us. This book lists just the gestures and expressions for emotions from A to Z.

My copy is paperback; unfortunately, the author has since passed away, and only the Kindle version is available now.

By Tim Ellis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Writer's A-Z of Body Language as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book is for writer's to cherry-pick body language for their characters. It does what it says on the cover - it's an A-Z list of emotions, attitudes and feelings with the associated body language.


Book cover of Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance

Anne H. Janzer Author Of 33 Ways Not to Screw Up Your Business Emails

From my list on for boosting business writing skills.

Who am I?

After spending years as a freelance writer and content marketer, I turned my attention to exploring the inner workings of why writing works and how it fails. I’m an unabashed nonfiction geek on a mission to help people make a positive impact with their words—whether they’re writing emails, blog posts, or nonfiction books. 

Anne's book list on for boosting business writing skills

Anne H. Janzer Why did Anne love this book?

Have you ever found that you unintentionally offended someone with an innocuous message? Or perhaps no one responds to your emails, even when you think they should.

We lose so much meaning and context when we interact online rather than in person. In a world of virtual and hybrid work, it’s not enough to write well. We must also master the non-verbal signals that accompany our words. This book is an essential guide to mastering the subtle ins and outs of writing emails, messages, texts, social media posts, and more.

By Erica Dhawan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Digital Body Language
How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance

The book we all read right now: the definitive guide to communicating and connecting wherever you are.

Email replies that show up a week later. Video chats full of 'oops sorry no you go' and 'can you hear me?!' Ambiguous text-messages. Weird punctuation you can't make heads or tails of. Is it any wonder communication takes us so much time and effort to figure out? How did we lose our innate capacity to understand each other?

Humans rely on body language to connect and build trust, but…


Book cover of The Power of Charm: How to Win Anyone Over in Any Situation

Kurt Mortensen Author Of The Laws of Charisma: How to Captivate, Inspire, and Influence for Maximum Success

From my list on how to inspire, influence, and become more charismatic.

Who am I?

Kurt Mortensen is an international authority on charisma, negotiation, and influence. Kurt has spent over 20 years researching influence, leadership, sales, persuasive presentations, and he teaches at the university level. Kurt is the author of Persuasion IQ, Laws of Charisma, and the best-selling book Maximum Influence. His books have been translated into 28 languages. He is also the host of the popular podcast Maximize Your Influence. Mortensen teaches that professional success, personal relationships, and leadership all depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others. The key is to get others to want to do, what you want them to do and like doing it. 

Kurt's book list on how to inspire, influence, and become more charismatic

Kurt Mortensen Why did Kurt love this book?

Brian Tracy was one of my early mentors. He taught me the keys to success and happiness. He changed my life and gave me the personal development bug. He has studied all types of successful people and has written over eighty books. I love this book because charm is a big part of being charismatic. This book gives you more confidence by building trust and using that innate charm to be more likable and win the support of others.

By Brian Tracy, Ron Arden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Brian Tracy has devoted his life to helping others achieve things they never dreamed possible. Now, he gives readers the key they need to open any door and get whatever they want, every time.

This book gives you proven ways to become more captivating and persuasive in any situation. As one of the world's premier business consultants and personal success experts, Brian Tracy shows readers what charm can do, and how they can use simple methods to immediately become more charming and dramatically improve their social lives and business relationships.

In The Power of Charm, you will learn how to:…


Book cover of The Dictionary of Body Language: A Field Guide to Human Behavior

Cat Connor Author Of [Whiskey Tango Foxtrot]

From my list on to relive the 70’s if you’re surrounded by spies.

Who am I?

Crime and espionage are a lifelong fascination for me. I used to think my dad was a spy when I was young because he didn’t talk about work. Turned out he didn’t think I’d be interested in his day as a Quantity Surveyor, my Grandad was a LEO so talking about work wasn’t really a thing. Or they were both spies. Over the years I have made some good friends in the espionage community and various policing agencies and they’re kind enough to share their expertise with me. I’m a big fan of fast-moving stories with intricate plots and action and hopefully they'll draw you in as well. I hope you enjoy the books.

Cat's book list on to relive the 70’s if you’re surrounded by spies

Cat Connor Why did Cat love this book?

This book is a quick reference to body language whereas What Every Body Is Saying is a much longer more detailed look at body language. I use both when I’m writing.

I keep this book handy because if I use it often. I use it to add authenticity to scenes like an interrogation or I want a character to appear slightly nervous or maybe as if they want out of the conversation, then The Dictionary Of Body Language is a fantastic resource.

It’s also fun if you use it in conjunction with observing people. Just take yourself somewhere there are a lot of people and watch. It’s amazing what you’ll see. And yes, I love doing that. It’s a form of research for characters. Because I’ve read this book a lot, I can usually pick fairly quickly what is going on, and then I can always check later. 

By Joe Navarro,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dictionary of Body Language as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The ultimate body language reference. I’ll be both referring to and recommending this book on a daily basis for many years to come.” —Amy Cuddy

From the world’s #1 body language expert* comes the essential book for decoding human behavior.

Joe Navarro has spent a lifetime observing others. For 25 years, as a Special Agent for the FBI, he conducted and supervised interrogations of spies and other dangerous criminals, honing his mastery of nonverbal communication. After retiring from the bureau, he has become a sought-after public speaker and consultant, and an internationally bestselling author. Now, a decade after his groundbreaking…


Book cover of Cues: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication

Jenny Foss Author Of Do This, Not That: Career

From my list on taking charge of your career.

Who am I?

As a kid, I dreamed of becoming a California beach lifeguard. Considering I grew up in Michigan, this was a rather aspirational choice. To my parents’ relief, my career goals shifted over time, as I realized my gift for writing. I became a journalist then went into marketing. But after years of cranking out corporate content, I (sadly) burned out on it, dropped everything, and became a recruiter. Within months, I missed writing – so much so that I started a career-related blog, which became a thriving business dedicated to helping people move their careers forward. Gratefully, this work led to an amazing assignment, writing Do This, Not That: Career

Jenny's book list on taking charge of your career

Jenny Foss Why did Jenny love this book?

I devoured body language expert Vanessa Van Edwards’ first book, Captivate, and was thrilled when I learned that she’d written Cues. What I love about Vanessa’s writing, and particularly this book, is that she makes scientific research (in this case, research on how to become more charismatic) interesting, easy to digest, and (importantly!) actionable.

It’s a great read for anyone who finds themselves struggling to connect with and engage others in the workplace, at interviews, or in day-to-day life. The book teaches you the cues that will help you be more charismatic in any setting.

By Vanessa Van Edwards,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It's not enough to have great ideas. You also need to know how to communicate them.

What makes someone charismatic? Why do some people captivate a room, while others have trouble managing a small meeting? What makes some ideas spread, while other good ones fall by the wayside?

Cues - the tiny signals we send to others 24/7 through our body language, facial expressions, word choices and vocal inflection - have a massive impact on how we, and our ideas, come across. Our cues can either enhance our message or undermine it.

In this entertaining and accessible guide to the…


Book cover of Side Walk: 6' apart in New York City

Victoria Noe Author Of What Our Friends Left Behind: Grief and Laughter in a Pandemic

From my list on friendship and grief (and pandemics).

Who am I?

In 2006, I told a friend I wanted to write a book about grieving the death of a friend. Despite the fact that I’d never written a book before, she gave me her enthusiastic approval. Six months later she was dead. She inspired me to turn that book idea into a series of little books: the Friend Grief series. Just as I was finishing the last one, I began work on a full-length book that took me back to my work in the early days of AIDS. When COVID began, I returned to writing about friend grief. And I lost over a dozen friends while I wrote the book.

Victoria's book list on friendship and grief (and pandemics)

Victoria Noe Why did Victoria love this book?

One of the many wistful and beautiful photos in this book caught my eye in an exhibit at the New York Historical Society in 2021.

Her photography, and the attendant essays, evoke not only the isolation of quarantine, but the ways we rediscovered the desire for human connection. What could be easier than meeting a friend, careful to stay 6’ apart? Or sadder?

By Renate Aller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In April 2020, when New York was in lockdown and the epicentre of the pandemic, Renate Aller created the project side walk. She hosted friends and neighbors on her sidewalk or visited them in their street, her camera in self timer mode, recording these masked encounters at a safe 6 feet distance. With voices muted by masks we learn to communicate with our eyes and body language, finding our bearings in a new emotional landscape. These sidewalk visits created a deep sense of community where community had been forced apart. This project is in the spirit of Rainer Maria Rilke:…


Book cover of Master Lists for Writers: Thesauruses, Plots, Character Traits, Names, and More

Cara Bristol Author Of Naughty Words for Nice Writers: A Romance Novel Thesaurus

From my list on reference and writing for romance authors.

Who am I?

After writing more than sixty romance novels, I can sometimes find myself at a loss for words, unable to think of the right word or find myself using the same ones. Having a good thesaurus is invaluable. I use my own thesaurus, Naughty Words for Nice Writers, all the time. I wrote it as a survival guide—it was the book I needed that didn’t exist when I started writing romance. Besides Naughty Words, the thesauri/reference books I’m recommending are tools I couldn’t live without. 

Cara's book list on reference and writing for romance authors

Cara Bristol Why did Cara love this book?

Think of Master Lists for Writers as a collection of mini thesauri on topics of interest to writers including plot twists, settings, body language, character names, action scene words, funny plots, workplace plots, character quirks, and much more.

Many of the subjects could merit a book in and of themselves, so rather than an exhaustive list of words, Master Lists provides a high-level summary of the most common terms in each category. Often, that’s enough. I sometimes use this book for inspiration. 

By Bryn Donovan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Master Lists for Writers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Write faster...write more! Master Lists for Writers makes “show, don’t tell” a lot easier and helps you figure out your story more quickly. In this book, you’ll find: • lists of phrases for describing facial expressions, body language, gestures, physical appearance, and emotions • 175 master plot ideas, including romance, high-stakes, family, and workplace stories • lists of words for writing action scenes and love scenes • inspiration for figuring out character traits and quirks, backstories, occupations, motivations, and goals • lists for describing settings and writing dialogue • lists of good character names for contemporary stories...plus medieval England, Regency…