M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL.
Looking for the best books about acting of all time?
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Here's what you'll find on this page...
Why Acting Is Awesome (Even if You’re Not an Actor)
Acting is a difficult and fascinating vocation.
It demands high levels of emotional intelligence, listening, self discipline and empathy. It requires incredible courage, groundedness and vulnerability to lean in to thoughts and emotions (repeatedly and on demand) that we mostly spend our whole lives avoiding.
I’m not an actor. But I have enormous respect for its masters. And what limited acting I’ve done has taught me more about myself and other people than any other form of self-improvement.
If you ARE an actor, and you’re here today looking for the best acting books ever written then rest assured: the rankings below are driven by the reviews and opinions of your colleagues – not my unqualified choices.
For the rest of us, if I could recommend only one new experience this year that will teach you more about yourself than anything else I can think of, join an improv or acting course and lean in to the challenging places it leads you.
In either case, you’ll learn a huge amount from the books about acting below.
So without further ado… here’s the list!
The 40 Best Books About Acting Ever Written
Why these best books about acting and not others? To stay objective, I rank all my book recommendations by what’s most loved (Goodreads rating), what’s most popular (Goodreads review count) and what’s proven timelessly relevant (first publication date).
This isn’t a whimsical list. It’s a data-driven, crowdsourced collection of the best books about acting ever published as decided by book lovers just like you. (Note: To maximise diversity, I only include the top ranking book from any series in a list.)
And if you think something's missing? I LOVE book recommendations so if there are any other best books about acting that you think deserve mentioning, email me and I’ll be sure to include them in the next round of updates.
Until then, enjoy this ultimate list of the 40 best books about acting of all time...
Books 1-10: The Top 10 Best Books About Acting of All Time
The top 10 best books about acting of all time are...
Books 11-40: The Best Books About Acting to Read Next
Here are the next best books about acting from my database...
BONUS: The Top 10 Acting Biographies and MemoirsThe 10 best acting biographies of all time are...
Note: For more biographies and memoirs, check out this list of the 70 best biographies and memoirs of all time.
More Book Recommendations
Enjoyed this list of the best books about acting of all time?
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More Best Fiction Books (by Genre)
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Or, you can read all my book recommendations.
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