The most recommended communication books

Who picked these books? Meet our 53 experts.

53 authors created a book list connected to communication, and here are their favorite communication books.
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What type of communication book?


Book cover of Conversational Capacity: The Secret to Building Successful Teams That Perform When the Pressure Is On

Liz Davidson Author Of Money Strong: Your Guide to a Life Free of Financial Worries

From the list on gaining a mental edge in business, and in life.

Who am I?

I love books that shift my perspective, expand my thinking, and ultimately, change the way I work, lead, parent, and live for the better. That said, I am not usually drawn to self-help books because they can be very prescriptive in a “one size fits all” kind of way, and not necessarily backed up by a lot of research or evidence. In running a financial coaching company, I’ve seen what happens when you change a person’s perspective—almost inevitably, they end up following suit by proactively doing the work necessary to improve their lives. These books all have the power to do that for readers who are open to it.

Liz's book list on gaining a mental edge in business, and in life

Why did Liz love this book?

This book gave me such a huge epiphany that it changed how I communicate. I think about it every single day and consciously try to apply it in all areas of my life.

The author reveals that people tend to have one of two communication styles: candor, where they are very opinionated and generally dominate conversations, doing more talking than listening, and curiosity, where they tend to step back, question themselves, and become easily swayed by the more dominant personalities in a meeting or on a team.

Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and the key is finding balance, both within yourself and within your teams. When you figure that part out, you can achieve things you never thought possible.

By Craig Weber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


In a world of rapid-fire change, it's more important than ever to build teams that work well when the pressure is on-and quality communication can mean the difference between success and failure.

Conversational Capacity provides the communication tools you need to ensure that your team remains on track even when dealing with its most troublesome issues, that it responds to tough challenges with agility and skill, and performs brilliantly in circumstances that would incapacitate less disciplined teams.

Praise for Conversational Capacity:

"This book blows the lid off everything you have learned about…

Energize Your Workplace

By Jane E. Dutton,

Book cover of Energize Your Workplace: How to Create and Sustain High-Quality Connections at Work

Shannon Karels and Kathy Miller Author Of Steel Toes and Stilettos: A True Story of Women Manufacturing Leaders and Lean Transformation Success

From the list on real talk by women authors.

Who are we?

We are relatable women who have successful careers in a predominately male industry.  We have run businesses, built teams based on trust and inclusion, become authors, speakers, and advisors, while simultaneously raising children with our also working husbands.  This is not done with ease or without making trade-offs, but we will share our stories and hope to inspire other women.  We believe in supporting women in all areas of our lives and we love to lift up the ones who have impacted us.

Shannon's book list on real talk by women authors

Why did Shannon love this book?

Kathy loved this book by Jane Dutton, and found herself exclaiming, “Yes!” as she read through this book that validated the energy she did receive abundantly through small moments of connection at work!

As a senior executive, Kathy could have thousands of people in her organization. Wanting to know each and every one of them was a luxury she could not afford, so she did her best to make those opportunities she did have for meaningful connections, no matter how brief, to count for her and the other person with whom she was interacting.

Jane systematically provides the science of how and why this works, along with so many useful tools for those to whom this does not come naturally!

By Jane E. Dutton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Corrosive work relationships are like black holes that swallow up energy that people need to do their jobs. In contrast, high-quality relationships generate and sustain energy, equipping people to do work and do it well. Grounded in solid research, this book uses energy as a measurement to describe the power of positive and negative connections in people's experience at work. Author Jane Dutton provides three pathways for turning negative connections into positive ones that create and sustain employee resilience and flexibility, facilitate the speed and quality of learning, and build individual commitment and cooperation. Through compelling and illustrative stories, Energize…

Press Here

By Herve Tullet,

Book cover of Press Here

Patrick George Author Of Magic Colors

From the list on pictures that say a thousand words.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by color since childhood. I am not a very talkative person by nature and have always found that I communicate well through my illustrations. I have worked both as an illustrator and graphic designer. Through combining illustration with design, I learnt that I have the knack for distilling a complex idea into a simple image, or series of images. My illustrations combine visual trickery with simplicity, designed to make you think and smile. When my children were young, I decided to create picture books like this. The books in this list do the same. I hope you enjoy them!

Patrick's book list on pictures that say a thousand words

Why did Patrick love this book?

Hervé managed to have more success with this book than the app with the same title, I believe. I think this is because, by obeying a series of instructions - tapping, blowing, or shaking the book, for example, you appear to make the dots move. When you turn the page, the dots are where you ‘put’ them. Again, the colours and imagery are simple but the overall effect is very clever and a bit magical. My book transports the mind and makes magic connections in the same way.

By Herve Tullet,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Press Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

PRESS HERE, MIX IT UP!, LET'S PLAY!, and SAY ZOOP! Collect all four interactive books from Herve Tullet!

Press the yellow dot on the cover of this interactive children's book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey! Each page of this surprising touch book instructs the reader to push the button, shake it up, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size! Especially remarkable because the adventure occurs on the flat surface of the simple, printed page,…

Book cover of Words That Hurt, Words That Heal: How the Words You Choose Shape Your Destiny

Bradford Hall Author Of Among Cultures: The Challenge of Communication

From the list on communicating across differences.

Who am I?

I have been a Professor of Communication Studies for decades and I strongly believe that the quality of our communication is inescapably tied to the quality of our lives. For me, communication and intercultural experiences have always been marked by serendipity. Serendipities are unexpected finds or discoveries that eventually turn out to be insightful, pleasant, and stimulating even when they are difficult at the time. My time interacting with others in different regions of the U.S., Europe, and Asia has provided for surprising, scary, joyful, and frustrating experiences that have been full of serendipity. I hope that in reading these books you will also harvest serendipity. 

Bradford's book list on communicating across differences

Why did Bradford love this book?

This book shares insights and short vignettes that really bring home the power of words and it always leaves me inspired to see and treat others with greater respect. I also appreciate that it goes beyond just pointing out the many problems that can exist in our communication with others, but provides some ideas for how to communicate in ways that can help us, and others, heal from words that have done damage to our sense of self. 

By Joseph Telushkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Words That Hurt, Words That Heal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Rebbe comes this newly revised edition of Words That Hurt, Words That Heal—an invaluable guide in how choosing the right words can enrich our relationships and give us insight to improve every facet of our lives.

“I don’t know anyone whose life would not be blessed by this book.”—Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People and Nine Essential Things I’ve Learned About Life

Joseph Telushkin is renowned for his warmth, his erudition, and his richly anecdotal insights, and in Words That Hurt, Words That Heal he…

Book cover of Effective Data Storytelling: How to Drive Change with Data, Narrative and Visuals

Jeremy Adamson Author Of Minding the Machines: Building and Leading Data Science and Analytics Teams

From the list on for data science and analytics leaders.

Who am I?

I am a leader in analytics and AI strategy, and have a broad range of experience in aviation, energy, financial services, and the public sector.  I have worked with several major organizations to help them establish a leadership position in data science and to unlock real business value using advanced analytics. 

Jeremy's book list on for data science and analytics leaders

Why did Jeremy love this book?

Data scientists and analytics specialists are great at building models and algorithms, but often wrap them in a presentation or dashboard that diminishes their value and reduces the likelihood of their work being adopted. This book encourages practitioners to always consider the last mile and to pay as much attention to presentation and aesthetics as we do to the model itself. 

By Brent Dykes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Master the art and science of data storytelling-with frameworks and techniques to help you craft compelling stories with data.

The ability to effectively communicate with data is no longer a luxury in today's economy; it is a necessity. Transforming data into visual communication is only one part of the picture. It is equally important to engage your audience with a narrative-to tell a story with the numbers. Effective Data Storytelling will teach you the essential skills necessary to communicate your insights through persuasive and memorable data stories.

Narratives are more powerful than raw statistics, more enduring than pretty charts. When…

Book cover of Communicating with Grace and Virtue: Learning to Listen, Speak, Text, and Interact as a Christian

Tim Muehlhoff Author Of Winsome Conviction: Disagreeing Without Dividing the Church

From the list on to avoid an argument with someone close.

Who am I?

For the past 30 years I’ve focused on one question: Can individuals who have deep differences come together to cultivate common ground, compassion, and civility? Even with deep differences can we still engage in productive conversations? As an author, professor, and co-director of the Winsome Conviction Project my attempt to answer this question continues. The books I’ve listed have given guidance to not only come up with an answer but more importantly, live it out with those close to me. To hear me put theory into practice, listen to my Winsome Conviction podcast (with co-host Rick Langer) which tackles divisive issues with the hope of bringing diverse people together to talk.  

Tim's book list on to avoid an argument with someone close

Why did Tim love this book?

In discussing difficult issues with those close to us we all know the importance of listening, empathy, and the power of stories. However, is it possible to do this when communicating via text, email, or Facebook?  What Schultze has taught me is how to utilize these communication skills not only in face-to-face encounters but also when discussing issues via social media. How can I discern which media platform is best suited for sharing my opinions or perspective on potentially divisive issues? While social media is often cast as a source of our collective incivility, this book gives hope that it can also be part of the solution. While written for Christian communicators, the principles he shares are applicable to anyone interested in fostering productive conversations either in person or via social media.  

By Quentin J. Schultze,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Communicating with Grace and Virtue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Communications expert Quentin Schultze offers an engaging and practical guide to help Christians interact effectively at home, work, church, school, and beyond. Based on solid biblical principles and drawn from Schultze's own remarkable experiences, this book shows how to practice "servant communication" for a rich and rewarding life. Topics include how to overcome common mistakes, be a more grateful and virtuous communicator, tell stories effectively, reduce conflicts, overcome fears, and communicate well in a high-tech world. Helpful sidebars and text boxes are included.

The Little Ones of Silent Movies

By Loris Malaguzzi, Tiziana Filippini,

Book cover of The Little Ones of Silent Movies

Ann Lewin-Benham Author Of Parsley: A Love Story of a Child for Puppy and Plants

From the list on how infants and toddlers develop literacy.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by children’s language development and am a word hound. For over five decades I’ve been a teacher, teacher trainer, school founder/director, mentor, founder/executive director of a large children’s museum; author of 6 classic textbooks on how children think and learn, and author/self-publisher of one of my many story-poems. My passions are writing, studying new findings in brain development, and launching top-quality schools in underserved urban areas. Between 1969 and 1990, I founded six schools, five still running, three as private non-profit schools and two as essential entities (one called the “safety-net") in their public school systems. The MELC is the only U.S. school accredited by Reggio's founders.

Ann's book list on how infants and toddlers develop literacy

Why did Ann love this book?

At Gianni Rodare Scuola for 3-month to 3-year-olds, I watched 2 to 3-year-olds draw, a year-long project described in the book The Little Ones of Silent Movies by Loris Malaguzzi and Tiziana Filippini: The authors explain:

“Children are born with “insuppressible, vital, eager urges to build conversational friendships... Words that come later are not a sudden event born from nothing but emerge from a submerged silent laboratory of attempts, trials, and experiments in communication using tools children constantly improve through long preparation. The results—words and drawings—show the strong desire to communicate and interact, basic traits of children.”

I love this book because its text explains and drawings show the roots of language. It inspired me to observe babies more closely and introduce paints and markers.

By Loris Malaguzzi, Tiziana Filippini,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Little Ones of Silent Movies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

American Passage

By Katherine Grandjean,

Book cover of American Passage: The Communications Frontier in Early New England

Mark Dizon Author Of Reciprocal Mobilities: Indigeneity and Imperialism in an Eighteenth-Century Philippine Borderland

From the list on borderland mobility.

Who am I?

The past fascinates me because it is strange and different to the world we live in today. That is why I prefer looking at earlier centuries than contemporary times because the distant past requires an extra effort on our part to unlock how people back then made sense of their world. When I read an old chronicle on how Indigenous people spent days traveling to meet acquaintances and even strangers, it piqued my interest. Did they really need to meet face-to-face? What did traveling mean to them? The books on the list below are attempts by historians to understand the travelers of the past.

Mark's book list on borderland mobility

Why did Mark love this book?

American Passage’s portrayal of early New England as a fluid frontier where people, goods, and information traveled is excellent.

I like how Grandjean retells the English settlement of the region in terms of how people moved and communicated with one another. She forces readers to rethink our ideas of settler colonialism. In reality, English settlements were tiny islands in a vast sea of Indian lands.

By Katherine Grandjean,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New England was built on letters. Its colonists left behind thousands of them, brittle and browning and crammed with curls of purplish script. How they were delivered, though, remains mysterious. We know surprisingly little about the way news and people traveled in early America. No postal service or newspapers existed-not until 1704 would readers be able to glean news from a "public print." But there was, in early New England, an unseen world of travelers, rumors, movement, and letters. Unearthing that early American communications frontier, American Passage retells the story of English colonization as less orderly and more precarious than…

Canine Communication

By Sally Gutteridge, Dayle Smith (illustrator),

Book cover of Canine Communication: The Language of a Species

Jay Gurden Author Of Understanding Reactive Dogs: Why Dogs React and How to Help

From the list on to help you understand your dog.

Who am I?

At least one dog has accompanied me almost my entire life. Much of that time has revolved around working Border Collies, training them, and working sheep together. One particular young dog turned my perceptions upside down when he arrived, proving to be like no other dog I had ever encountered. Through the learning about fearful and anxious dogs I needed to understand him, I found myself developing a new passion – helping others to understand dogs. Since that dog entered my life, I have been on an intense educational journey and sharing my learning and experience with others, both on the topics of ‘reactive’ dogs and dogs in general.

Jay's book list on to help you understand your dog

Why did Jay love this book?

I am incredibly fortunate to count Sally as a mentor and friend. Her understanding of dogs and their needs is wonderful and this book is one of the easiest to read references on interpreting canine body language that I have ever seen. Our dogs cannot speak to us so it is up to us to learn how to understand the communication they do offer and, importantly, to respect and heed it. This process of reading their communication signals and really listening to the dog goes a long way towards understanding their needs and creating the best possible lives together.

By Sally Gutteridge, Dayle Smith (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Why do you need this book?

Excellent communication is relevant to interaction between all individuals whether sharing information within or outside our own species. Communication is paramount to excellent relationships.

As humans, we already have an entire range of listening blocks with each other, so with dogs with a completely different language. So, how do we even manage to communicate at all?

Thankfully dogs know our limits, so have spent hundreds of years perfecting their own communication skills to cope with the self-imposed boundaries of ours. The dogs in our homes are signalling, passing messages and displaying obvious requests most…

Writing to Be Understood

By Anne H. Janzer,

Book cover of Writing to Be Understood: What Works and Why

Tom Albrighton Author Of How to Write Clearly: Write with purpose, reach your reader and make your meaning crystal clear

From the list on to make your writing crystal clear.

Who am I?

I’ve been working with words for over 25 years, as a writer and editor in publishing houses, design studios, and now as a freelance. I help everyone from big brands and small businesses through to academics and consultants get their ideas out of their heads and on to the page. I was an original co-founder of ProCopywriters, the UK alliance for commercial writers. I’ve written and self-published four books, the most recent of which is How to Write Clearly. The books I’ve chosen all helped me to write as clearly as I can—not least when writing about writing itself. I hope they help you too! 

Tom's book list on to make your writing crystal clear

Why did Tom love this book?

Some writing guides can be a little bit “citation needed.” The author certainly sounds like they mean it—but where’s the proof? 

There’s no such problem with Anne Janzer’s superb Writing to be Understood. Setting out to get to the heart of what makes a piece of text clear and memorable, she offers a masterclass in clear and expressive writing. 

Along the way, she interviews experts in every area from non-fiction writing to psychology, risk management, behavioral design, and even comedy, bringing their authoritative guidance directly into her book. Read, learn, and see your writing improve.

By Anne H. Janzer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Writing to Be Understood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Have you ever wondered what makes your favorite nonfiction books so compelling, understandable, or enjoyable to read? Those works connect with you, as a reader. When you recognize what's happening, you can apply those same methods to your own writing.

Writing To Be Understood is the thinking writer's guide to effective nonfiction writing techniques, such as:

- Using analogies to illustrate unseen concepts
- Appealing to the reader's innate curiosity
- Balancing humility with credibility

For each topic, the book combines insights from cognitive science with advice from writers and expert practitioners in fields of psychology, technology, economics, medicine, policy,…