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Best Communication Books: 70 Top Books On Social Skills

Best Communication Books
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Best Communication Books

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Looking for the best communication books ever written? You’re in the right place!

Have you ever wondered how some people can start a conversation with anyone? Or connect with people instantly? Or make such powerful first impressions?

Have you ever wanted to feel more at ease during social and networking events? Or communicate with confidence and charisma? Or even just get better at negotiating the thousands of micro-transactions that make up our day-to-day lives?

Well, guess what? You’re not alone.

In fact, it’s estimated that an incredible 15 million adults in the US alone suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder. And that number’s even higher for teenagers.

And that doesn’t include the majority of us who’d just welcome a bit more courage in a room full of strangers. Or whose lives would instantly improve if we were even a bit better at winning friends and influencing people at home, at school and at work.

Anyone (And Everyone) Can Communicate Better.

But if you’re here, there’s a good chance I don’t need to impress how important social and communication skills are in almost every moment and every part of our lives.

The good news? Talking so people will listen (and listening so people will talk) is a skill. One you can greatly improve.

Whether you’re looking for the best books on social skills, the best interpersonal skills books or the best books on communication ever published; whether you’re looking to relieve social anxiety, become a more social person or simply get better at networking or sales – you’ll find a book on this list that will help.

How do I know? Because I’ve scoured every inch of my own reading lists, other people’s recommendations and the internet to create the most comprehensive and high-quality collection of books on improving your social and communication skills on the web.

So without further ado, here they are… the best communication books ever written.

P.s., If you enjoy this list, you may also like some of TAoL‘s other book recommendations including the best books on emotional intelligence, the best books on relationships and the best books on mindset. Check them out!

The 70 Best Communication Books Ever Written

Why these books and not others? The best books on communication below are the top picks from my master database, ranked by a combination of Goodreads rating, the number of Goodreads reviews and first publication date. The goal is to give a good balance of what’s most loved, what’s most popular and what’s delivered timelessly relevant advice.

Think something’s missing? Leave a comment or email me and I’ll add it to the next round of updates. I honestly love hearing from you so please, do get in touch!

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), Dale Carnegie (FREE Summary)
    The classic guide to greatly improving effectiveness and efficiency by mastering the ability to work with and through the people around you – by self-improvement guru, Dale Carnegie.
    288 pages. Rated 4.2 over 580,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  2. Influence (1984), Robert B. Cialdini (Summary)
    The Psychology of Persuasion
    320 pages. Rated 4.2 over 95,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  3. How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People (1956), Les Giblin
    192 pages. Rated 4.3 over 10,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  4. Boundaries (1992), Henry Cloud (Summary)
    When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
    314 pages. Rated 4.2 over 49,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  5. The 48 Laws of Power (1998), Robert Greene (FREE Summary)
    The ultimate guide to sociopathy gaining and defending against ultimate control – by author and your nearest dictator’s favourite leadership coach, Robert Greene.
    452 pages. Rated 4.2 over 73,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  6. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (1996), Adele Faber (Summary)
    286 pages. Rated 4.3 over 21,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  7. Personality Plus (1983), Florence Littauer
    How to Understand Others by Understanding Yourself
    208 pages. Rated 4.2 over 9,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  8. Nonviolent Communication (1999), Marshall B. Rosenberg (Summary)
    A Language of Life
    220 pages. Rated 4.4 over 17,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  9. Emotional Intelligence (1995), Daniel Goleman (Summary)
    Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
    384 pages. Rated 4.0 over 79,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  10. Getting to Yes (1981), Roger Fisher (Summary)
    Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
    224 pages. Rated 3.9 over 58,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  11. Skill with People (1965), Les Giblin
    44 pages. Rated 4.3 over 1,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  12. Emily Post’s Etiquette (1922), Peggy Post
    896 pages. Rated 4.2 over 2,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  13. Difficult Conversations (1999), Douglas Stone (Summary)
    How to Discuss What Matters Most
    250 pages. Rated 4.1 over 11,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  14. Crucial Conversations (2001), Kerry Patterson (Summary)
    Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
    240 pages. Rated 4.0 over 48,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  15. The Go-Giver (2007), Bob Burg (Summary)
    A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea
    133 pages. Rated 4.4 over 14,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  16. The 33 Strategies of War (2005), Robert Greene
    496 pages. Rated 4.3 over 10,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  17. Secrets of Power Negotiating (1988), Roger Dawson (Summary)
    Inside Secrets from a Master Negotiator
    319 pages. Rated 4.2 over 2,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  18. Games People Play (1964), Eric Berne (Summary)
    192 pages. Rated 3.8 over 26,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  19. Start with Why (2009), Simon Sinek (Summary)
    How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
    256 pages. Rated 4.1 over 112,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  20. It’s Your Ship (2002), D. Michael Abrashoff
    Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy
    212 pages. Rated 4.1 over 6,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  21. Winning with People (2005), John C. Maxwell
    Discover the People Principles That Work for You Every Time
    304 pages. Rated 4.3 over 6,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  22. The Art of Rhetoric (-322), Aristotle
    304 pages. Rated 3.9 over 4,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  23. People Skills (1979), Robert Bolton
    384 pages. Rated 4.0 over 1,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  24. Never Split the Difference (2016), Chris Voss (Summary)
    Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
    274 pages. Rated 4.4 over 50,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  25. The Definitive Book of Body Language (2004), Allan Pease
    400 pages. Rated 4.0 over 22,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  26. Quiet (2012), Susan Cain (Summary)
    The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
    333 pages. Rated 4.1 over 312,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  27. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (2003), Travis Bradberry (Summary)
    255 pages. Rated 3.8 over 70,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  28. The Speed of Trust (2006), Stephen M.R. Covey (Summary)
    The One Thing that Changes Everything
    384 pages. Rated 4.0 over 19,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  29. Just Listen (2009), Mark Goulston (Summary)
    Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone
    234 pages. Rated 4.1 over 6,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  30. Fierce Conversations (2002), Susan Scott
    Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time
    336 pages. Rated 4.0 over 4,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  31. How to Talk to Anyone (1999), Leil Lowndes (Summary)
    92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships
    345 pages. Rated 3.8 over 19,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  32. Influencer (2007), Kerry Patterson (Summary)
    The Power to Change Anything
    299 pages. Rated 4.0 over 12,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  33. Give and Take (2013), Adam M. Grant (Summary)
    A Revolutionary Approach to Success
    320 pages. Rated 4.1 over 22,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  34. How To Say It (1990), Rosalie Maggio
    512 pages. Rated 4.1 over 300 reviews on Goodreads.
  35. Bringing Out the Best in People (1993), Aubrey C. Daniels
    245 pages. Rated 4.1 over 600 reviews on Goodreads.
  36. Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them (2003), John Ortberg
    256 pages. Rated 4.1 over 1,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  37. Never Eat Alone (2005), Keith Ferrazzi (Summary)
    And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
    309 pages. Rated 3.9 over 40,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  38. Verbal Judo (1983), George J. Thompson (Summary)
    The Gentle Art of Persuasion
    222 pages. Rated 3.8 over 3,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  39. Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty (1997), Harvey MacKay
    The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need
    336 pages. Rated 4.0 over 1,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  40. What Every Body is Saying (2008), Joe Navarro (Summary)
    An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People
    250 pages. Rated 3.9 over 20,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  41. Conversationally Speaking (1980), Alan Garner
    Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness
    224 pages. Rated 3.9 over 600 reviews on Goodreads.
  42. How to Speak How to Listen (1983), Mortimer J. Adler
    288 pages. Rated 3.9 over 700 reviews on Goodreads.
  43. How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less (1999), Nicholas Boothman (Summary)
    160 pages. Rated 3.7 over 5,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  44. The Charisma Myth (2012), Olivia Fox Cabane (Summary)
    How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism
    264 pages. Rated 4.0 over 12,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  45. The No Asshole Rule (2000), Robert I. Sutton (Summary)
    Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t
    210 pages. Rated 3.6 over 6,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  46. The One Sentence Persuasion Course (2012), Blair Warren
    27 Words to Make the World Do Your Bidding
    34 pages. Rated 4.4 over 600 reviews on Goodreads.
  47. Little Black Book of Connections (2006), Jeffrey Gitomer
    6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships
    204 pages. Rated 4.0 over 1,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  48. The 3rd Alternative (2011), Stephen R. Covey
    Solving Life’s Most Difficult Problems
    456 pages. Rated 4.1 over 1,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  49. Pre-Suasion (2016), Robert B. Cialdini (Summary)
    A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade
    432 pages. Rated 4.1 over 5,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  50. Captivate (2017), Vanessa Van Edwards (Summary)
    The Science of Succeeding with People
    320 pages. Rated 4.2 over 3,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  51. Dealing with People You Can’t Stand (1994), Rick Brinkman
    How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst
    226 pages. Rated 3.7 over 1,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  52. I Hear You (2017), Michael S. Sorensen
    The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships
    149 pages. Rated 4.1 over 3,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  53. The Fine Art of Small Talk (1997), Debra Fine (Summary)
    How To Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills — and Leave a Positive Impression!
    224 pages. Rated 3.4 over 2,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  54. The Power of Persuasion (2003), Robert V. Levine
    How We’re Bought and Sold
    278 pages. Rated 3.9 over 400 reviews on Goodreads.
  55. Spy the Lie (2012), Philip Houston (Summary)
    Three Former CIA Officers Reveal Their Secrets to Uncloaking Deception
    288 pages. Rated 3.9 over 4,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  56. Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships (2004), Temple Grandin
    Decoding Social Mysteries Through Autism’s Unique Perspectives
    425 pages. Rated 3.9 over 700 reviews on Goodreads.
  57. Enchantment (2011), Guy Kawasaki (Summary)
    The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions
    240 pages. Rated 3.8 over 10,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  58. How to Work a Room (1989), Susan RoAne
    The Ultimate Guide to Making Lasting Connections–In Person and Online
    400 pages. Rated 3.5 over 700 reviews on Goodreads.
  59. The Like Switch (2015), Jack Schafer (Summary)
    An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over
    288 pages. Rated 3.9 over 4,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  60. It’s Not All about Me (2011), Robin Dreeke
    The Top Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport with Anyone
    102 pages. Rated 3.9 over 1,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  61. How to Be a People Magnet (2000), Leil Lowndes
    Finding Friends–And Lovers–And Keeping Them for Life
    288 pages. Rated 3.5 over 1,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  62. Win the Crowd (2005), Steve Cohen
    Unlock the Secrets of Influence, Charisma, and Showmanship
    208 pages. Rated 3.9 over 200 reviews on Goodreads.
  63. The 5 Essential People Skills (2004), Dale Carnegie
    How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts
    6 pages. Rated 3.8 over 600 reviews on Goodreads.
  64. Words That Work (2006), Frank Luntz (Summary)
    It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear
    350 pages. Rated 3.6 over 1,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  65. How to Be a Power Connector (2014), Judy Robinett (Summary)
    The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network Into Profits
    234 pages. Rated 4.1 over 300 reviews on Goodreads.
  66. Not Nice (2017), Aziz Gazipura
    Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty… And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself
    506 pages. Rated 4.1 over 800 reviews on Goodreads.
  67. The Likeability Factor (2005), Tim Sanders
    How to Boost Your L-Factor and Achieve Your Life’s Dreams
    224 pages. Rated 3.7 over 900 reviews on Goodreads.
  68. Peoplesmart (2000), Melvin L. Silberman
    Developing Your Interpersonal Intelligence
    272 pages. Rated 3.6 over 200 reviews on Goodreads.
  69. Click (2007), George C. Fraser
    Ten Truths for Building Extraordinary Relationships
    213 pages. Rated 3.9 over <100 reviews on Goodreads.
  70. Power Questions (2012), Andrew C. Sobel
    Build Relationships, Win New Business and Influence Others
    205 pages. Rated 3.8 over 1,100 reviews on Goodreads.

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Or, you can read all my book recommendations.
Arthur Worsley
Arthur Worsley
Arthur is a thinker and writer who helps people who want more from their lives learn to be more productive, find more balance and live life more meaningfully. Want to know more? Take this 2-minute quiz to discover your Productivity Quotient (PQ) and learn how to get BIG things done. Take the Quiz →

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  1. Max says:

    Curious — How do you determine the books on your master list? Because I’m surprised that some books with <100 reviews make the list assuming you're pulling from a giant database.

    • Arthur says:

      Hey Max, great point! The honest truth is once you get to the end of 70 books on social skills you’re starting to scrape the barrel a little.

      You’ll find 90% of the value on this list in the top 10-15 titles. I might shrink future versions of the list accordingly but have kept it long for now because it’s always nice to stumble across undiscovered gems at the tail end of the selection.

      If you have any titles to add, please do suggest them. I love a book recommendation!

      Best, Arthur

  2. Glen McNiel says:

    The 3rd Alternative by Stephen Covey should be near the top of that list. Otherwise, great list! Thank you.

    • Arthur says:

      Great suggestion – thank you, Glen! I’ve added The 3rd Alternative to my master list and from a quick look at its stats on Goodreads have no doubt it’ll appear on the next version of the short list! A

  3. MinhLe says:

    Interesting! The top 10 were written long time ago, if these books survive for so long, there must be something stands the test of time in there. Added #4 & #15 to April & May tickler. Thank you for the map to treasure Arthur.

    • Arthur says:

      You’re very welcome, Minh! Yep, I recently tweaked my book ranking algorithm to factor first publication date and it’s really thrown up some wonderful suggestions. Nothing like a dose of good, timeless wisdom. Enjoy!

  4. Colm says:

    Wow! So many of these titles are unfamiliar to me. I’ve added at least 40 to my reading list! Thanks for the solid gold leads Arthur.

    • Arthur says:

      You’re very welcome, Colm. I was amazed at how few of these I’d heard of – and looks like there are some fantastic books in here too! Enjoy!

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