Read My Face: These Are The Best Books About Body Language

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Body language is an important tool of communication. We often send messages with our bodies without knowing it. The ability to understand body language is important to “read” others and know how others are “reading” us. Books can help us to do both.  

The ability to communicate is an important tool used by many animals.  

Animals communicate in many ways, both verbal and otherwise.  Body language is a basic way animals communicate.  People with dogs and cats know how they are feeling even without any barking or meowing.  Their body language alone can tell a lot.

Same with humans.  One problem with humans is that we often send messages with body language without knowing it.  Many dates and interviews (same thing?) go wrong based on body language, which we may not even know about.  But, others catch on, and we can lose out. 

It is important to know how to read body language and know what signals our own body language is sending.  Books on body language are a great help in doing so.  

Read All About It

My goal here is to provide some of the best books out there about body language.  

I will provide you with a link to where you can buy them and basic information to help you decide if they are good for your needs.  Good body language skills will pay dividends in the end which will make the price of the books well worth it in the end.   

Things to look for: the author’s expertise, the specific subject matter, what others are saying about the books, the skillset of the intended audience, and any deficits that might be red flags.


[1]  Definitive Book Of Body Language by Allan & Barbara Pease 

This couple is one of the most successful duos in the field of relationships.  They have written quite a few bestselling books on the subject of human communication and body language.  

This international bestseller is on the top of multiple lists of best body language books.  It covers both reading body cues and how to adjust your own body language with many illustrations to help you out.   It is a comprehensive look at the subject.  

Possible Problems: Some did not appreciate the “childish” humor.  If you want a book focused on solely business matters, this is not for you.  Some argue it is too “common” knowledge.  

[2]  The Dictionary of Body Language: A Field Guide to Human Behavior by Joe Navarro

Joe Navarro worked for twenty-five years as an FBI special agent in the area of counterintelligence and behavioral assessment.  He knows how to read people.

This is a useful reference tool; it’s a dictionary where you can look up what each gesture means.  For instance, “Women lift up the hair at the back of their neck quickly when concerned, upset, stressed, or flustered.”  It is a clear, simple guide on reading body language.

Possible Problems: Those looking for a more narrative-style book might not like this.

Also might like: What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People by Joe Navarro.

[3]  How to Spot a Liar by James Williams 

This book is focused on all the ways you can determine whether a person is lying.  

It provides tips from CIA agents, FBI agents, and law enforcement officers on how to read body language to spot deception the average person will miss.  Speed read people to see if they are liars.   

Possible Problems: Not enough citations to back up its scientific analysis.

[4]  Read People Like a Book by Patrick King

Patrick King is a Social Interaction Specialist and Conversation Coach based in California.

This book draws on a variety of sources, from scientific research, academic experience, coaching, and real-life experience.  King’s book is a more scientific account than some other body language books.  Know the science, learn the keys to reading people and influencing others.

Possible Problems: Scientific aspects are too dull.  

[5] Cues: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication by Vanessa Van Edwards  

Vanessa Van Edwards founded Science of People and has taught communication science for over a decade.  She leads workshops for leading companies including Amazon and Microsoft.  Read this book to see why people around the world find her talks so helpful and intriguing.

This book is about reading and using cues, the tiny signals we send to others through our body language, facial expressions, word choice, and vocal inflection.  Cues is a good book to improve your professional brand while also being useful in your personal life as well.

Possible Problems: Basic material can be obtained from online YouTube videos.  

[6]  You Say More Than You Think by Janine Driver and Mariska van Aalst

Janine Driver was trained as a lie detection expert for the ATF, FBI, and the CIA.  She also is the founder and president of the Body Language Institute. Mariska van Aalst is a writer/researcher who helped her put her knowledge into good writing form.

This book is a “7-Day Plan” for people to adjust their own body language. The book uses examples from her professional experience, exercises, and self tests to teach you how to adapt your own body language.  Good sense of humor.  

Possible Problems: The book is focused on your own body language, so if you want a book on how to read other people, this might not be the one for you.

[7]  Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life by Paul Ekman, Ph.D.

In this book, psychologist Paul Ekman explains the roots of our emotions and shows how they express themselves on our faces, providing clear signals to those who can identify the clues.  By usage of exercises and photographs, Ekman helps you to understand and control how your feelings are expressed by your body language.  

Possible Problems: Some readers found the writing style very boring. A person who wants a down-to-earth “beginner’s guide” might want to make sure the book is right for them. 

[8] The Power of Body Language: How to Succeed in Every Business and Social Encounter by Tonya Reiman

Tonya Reiman is a motivational speaker, consultant, and corporate trainer.  Many might recognize Tonya from her weekly Fox News segments.

This is another book that focuses on how you yourself can improve your body language.  It teaches us how to use gestures, facial cues, stances, and body movements to make a good first impression, ace interviews, and instill confidence.  The book also is helpful to gain insights on reading other people as well.  Book also has a lot of stuff on dating and relationships.  

Possible Problems: Limited illustrations; some fans of her t.v. work were disappointed with how she translated her knowledge on the page, saying the book was boring and repetitive. 

[9]  Body Language For Dummies by  Elizabeth Kuhnke 

Elizabeth Kuhnke has written multiple books about body language and communication skills.  She is a Positive Impact Coach and the Managing Director and founder of Kuhnke Communication.

Fans of the helpful if somewhat crudely named series will enjoy this book.  It explores why we give the signals we do, how to read the most common body expressions, and how you can use your new understanding of body language for success at work and in personal relationships.  

Possible Problems: Basic information in the opinion of some readers is better obtained in other books. Simplistic style. 

[10]  The Power of Face Reading by Mac Fulfer

Mac Fulfer gained his skill in reading faces while practicing law, it being a special aid in jury selection.  He has over twenty-five years of experience as a professional face reader, reading tens of thousands of faces.  

This is a comprehensive easy-to-use guide to face reading.  The book is well illustrated and organized in encyclopedia form.  Read this book to learn the stories faces tell us.

Possible Problems: Limited subject matter; too short.  


[11] Truth and Lies: What People Are Really Thinking by Mark Bowden and Tracey Thompson

Mark Bowden is a body language and behavior expert and the creator of TRUTHPLANE®, a communication training company.  Tracey Thompson works with him at the company.

This is a good book to understand people by body language such as posture, hand gestures, and eye contact.  It is an up-to-date guide, so you will know what to do when a date is fiddling with your smartphone.  Recommended by other body language authors.  

[12]  People Watching: The Desmond Morris Guide to Body Language by Desmond Morris

Desmond Morris is a famous expert on animal and human behavior, best known for his classic work The Naked Ape.  He is also familiar to many for his many television documentaries.

Desmond Morris uses his scientific knowledge to teach us how humans use body language to communicate. This is an updated version of his earlier book Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behaviour.   Morris explains that the book was written as a scientific exercise, not as a means to use body language for your benefit.  Nonetheless, it very well can do that as well.  

[13]  Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma by Patti Wood   

Patti Wood taught body language at Florida State and conducts research on first impressions and body language.  You might have seen her on television on any number of programs from morning shows, ESPN, to even the History Channel.  

This book will help you make a good first impression while being able to quickly read people you meet.  Patti Wood helps readers use their voice and body language to convey confidence and charisma, authenticity and authority.  Informative in an easy-to-read package.  

[14] Gestures: The Do’s and Taboos of Body Language Around the World by Roger E. Axtell 

The author was the vice president of Worldwide Marketing for The Parker Pen Company. Axtell spent more than 30 years traveling throughout the world. This provided him with hands-on experience with world cultures.  This book combines humor, hypothetical situations, and useful information to make the reader into a truly cosmopolitan business person.  

[15] Nonverbal Communication: The Art of Body Language by Liz Sonneborn

This book, by the author of many books for young adults, is a body language book aimed at teen readers.  It covers all of the basics such as body movement, conscious and subconscious gestures, universal expressions, and tips for being an effective speaker and listener.  

The book is part of the “Communication with Confidence” series, a comprehensive survey of the communication skills necessary for successful personal and professional relationships. The Library Media Connection recommends this series for struggling readers and students generally.

[16]  Without Saying a Word: Master the Science of Body Language and Maximize Your Success by Kasia Wezowski and Patryk Wezowski

The authors are founders of the Center for Body Language, a top body language training company for business people.  Kasia Wezowksi is also known for her  Emotional Management Method and Micro Expressions Training Videos.

This book is useful to decipher unspoken signals from facial expressions and fleeting microexpressions to positive and negative body language.  Microexpressions are basically concealed emotions; they come and go in a fraction of a second.  Apply what you learn on all types of occasions, from the professional world to personal transactions including dating.  

[17]  Body Language Mastery by Brandon Cooper

This is a box set of four small books on body language including: How to Analyze People, Emotional Intelligence, Manipulation, and Persuasion.  

Each is a complete psychologist’s guide to the subject; as a whole, you have a full look at analyzing people and knowing how to use your own body language for success in all that you do.  Includes instructions on how to use body language to manipulate people as well as to deceive, allowing you to hide your faults, and emphasizing your strengths.

[18] Caro’s Book of Poker Tells: The Psychology and Body Language of Poker by Mike Caro

Poker is now considered a sport; after all, you can find it on ESPN.  This book will help you play to win by learning about “tells,”  physical reactions that reveal information about a player’s cards such as shrugs, sighs, shaky hands, and eye contact.  The book has over 170 photos of players in action and play-by-play examples.  Interesting body language case study.  

[19]  Undercover Sex Signals: A Pickup Guide For Guys by Leil Lowndes 

Leil Lowndes gained her expertise in reading body language from a diverse professional life that included being a teacher, flight attendant, radio host, and motivational speaker. 

Let’s be honest.  You do not only want to learn body language for your own professional success and general self-improvement.  Body language is important for social relationships, including dating and hookups.  This book is a helpful guide to women’s body cues as well as some advice on how men themselves can act and dress for success.  

[20] The Body Language of Dating: Read His Signals, Send Your Own, and Get the Guy by Tonya Reiman

Fair is fair.  Here’s a book for women, by our old friend Tonya Reiman, to use body language to have success in the dating world.  This book will help you learn from body cues and other things to determine what a guy is thinking.  It is also helpful to show what you are communicating to guys with your body language.   And, the lessons can be used outside of dating as well. 


You now will have various books available to help use body language for fun and profit.  No “thanks” is needed.  I will be able to tell whether you are satisfied with your body language!