The 9 Best Books On How To Read People

Best Books Book Recommendation Personal Development Psychology

Before we jump into the list of the books, let’s understand why learning “how to read people?” is important and what are the challenges you need to overcome to master the art of reading people.

Why read people?

Well, as you are searching for books on how to read people, you must know all the following benefits of reading body language and psychology of any person:

  • Helps you avoid threats.
  • Helps you avoid manipulation.
  • Helps you make better decisions.
  • Helps you predict future actions.
  • Helps you avoid verbal conflicts.
  • Helps you detect lies.
  • Helps you learn leadership qualities.
  • Helps you win high-stake negotiations.
  • Helps you close more sales.

The benefits are endless.

Reading people is one of the best skills you could ever learn in your lifetime.

What are the challenges of reading people?

Although reading people has many benefits, it’s challenging as hell.

There are many risks as well.

If you stare at people without letting them know that you are reading them, they might doubt your intentions.

And if you tell a person that you are reading their body language, they’ll become conscious about it, and feel threatened.

Most of the time, we make up our own stories and succumb to biases, and thus read other people incorrectly.

We all want to be Sherlock Holmes, but the reality is that “reading people is a skill, and thus it takes time to get used to.”

But don’t you worry.

In this article, I’ll share the best books that you help you master the ninja techniques used to read people.

The 9 Best Books To Read People

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Alrighty, so without further ado, let’s get started.

Before you proceed, please note that the list doesn’t follow any specific order. Every book below will teach you something new.

So feel free to pick anyone that intrigues you.

Here are the 9 best books you should read:

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Book #1: How to Analyze People with Dark Psychology by Jacob Anderson

Please don’t get afraid by the word “Dark Psychology.” It’s just psychology.

Psychology is simply a tool that is used by all kinds of people (both good and bad).

Almost all businesses and political parties exploit our psychological weaknesses to brainwash us and sell their products/services/propaganda.

We all are prone to such brainwashing. 

It’s subtle. 

And because it’s a subtle thing, we fail to notice it. 

We don’t always act logically. There are always weaknesses.

We all have minds with desires and fears.

And the worst part is that anybody with the knowledge of psychology can manipulate us by slowly triggering our emotions and feeding us lies.

This is why reading this book is so crucial to avoid any sort of manipulation or deception.

What’s covered in this book?

  • What is “dark psychology”?
  • What are the different methods or techniques of persuasion and manipulation?
  • How psychics, mentalists, and fortune-tellers cold read people?
  • What is brainwashing and how it works?
  • What is mind-control and how it functions?

Pros of this book

  • Doesn’t shy away from talking about dark topics (harsh truths) that we often ignore.
  • Helps you think critically.
  • Tells you about ways of deception so that you notice them instantly when someone tries to deceive you. It can be challenging, though.
  • Easy to understand as it’s written in layman’s language.
  • Helps you develop a skeptical eye.

Cons of this book

  • Requires some knowledge of psychology for more in-depth understanding.
  • The dark theme of the book will make you doubt people.

Buy the book on Amazon: Paperback | Audiobook

Get audiobook: Play on Audible

Best Tools for Bibliophiles

Book #2: Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel

Most books focus on reading body language, but this one focuses on reading the personality of a person.

A person is more than just a body. 

We all have feelings, emotions, and specific traits that make us all different.

We all have a personality type that can change over time.

But the prerequisite to reading personalities properly is that you first understand your own personality.

Usually, we immediately start analyzing other people without first assessing ourselves.

And this is often why we fail to assess others correctly.

In this book, you’ll learn about various personality types.

The author is an avid fiction-reader and podcaster. She also has a blog named ModernMrsDarcy where she shares her book recommendations and ideas.

What’s covered in this book?

  • How to identify personality types?
  • Why should you play your developed strengths?
  • How do identity shifts happen and why?
  • Personality frameworks.

Pros of this book

  • Focuses on personality types and not body movements.
  • Engaging personal stories to keep you hooked.
  • The book is short.

Cons of this book

  • This is a self-help book.
  • Lacks strategies for reading people.

Buy the book on Amazon: Paperback

Listen to Audiobook: Play free on | Listen on Audible

Book #3: How to Read People Like a Book: A Guide to Speed-Reading People, Understand Body Language and Emotions, Decode Intentions, and Connect Effortlessly by James W. Williams

Imagine if you could enter a room full of people and instantly be able to guess what everybody is thinking in their minds.

That’d be a superpower, right?

This book claims to help you do exactly that.

It might sound impossible at first, but all of us have unconscious beliefs that turn into actions.

People don’t realize how snap decisions are made without even thinking all the time.

You must have seen crime-thriller shows and wondered how do those cool detective protagonists figure out what’s going on in the suspects minds and get ahead of them.

Well, this book will not only teach you about body language, but also help you connect with other people. And see things from their perspective.

What’s covered in this book?

  • What is personality and its types?
  • Advantages and pitfalls of reading body language.
  • How culture impacts personality?
  • How to find out a person’s personality type?
  • Why not to rely too much on body language and focus on listening?
  • How being in a group can help you read people’s thoughts effectively?
  • How your mood affects how you read people?
  • How to tell when somebody is lying?
  • Understanding people’s motivations.
  • Myths related to body language.

Pros of this book

  • Simple and straightforward tips that anybody can apply.
  • Focuses on the basics instead of fancy techniques.

Cons of this book

  • The book focuses a lot on personality types. And finding out a personality type is often time-consuming in real-life scenarios, especially when you are talking to a stranger.

Buy the book on Amazon: Paperback | Audiobook

Listen to Audiobook: Listen on Audible

Book #4: What Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People

Our body says more than we do.

This book will teach you guidelines that will help you read people thoughts, feeling, and emotions by picking up cues or signal that they unconsciously give through the body posture and movements.

We might not realize how our torso, hips, chest, lips, shoulder, hands, feet, etc. tell how we are feeling at any given moment.

For example, when we are threatened, we tend to lean away our torso unconsciously.

Another example, when we are comfortable with a person, we tend to move our torso closer to that person and face in that direction.

You must also have noticed how many people compress and bite their lips when they are nervous or there is some kind of frustration.

Think about how much you can tell about a person just by paying attention to such cues.

If this interests you, you will enjoy reading this book.

The book has many images showing all type of gestures and postures, explaining what do they mean.

You will also develop keen observation skills after reading this book.

What’s covered in this book?

  • How to master non-verbal communication?
  • What is limbic brain, and what is its role?
  • How to detect deception?
  • What does our face tells about us?
  • What do our arm movements tell about us?
  • How our torso shifts according to how we feel?
  • Dos and don’ts while reading people.

Pros of this book

  • Images of body postures are given which make it easy to understand the message that the author is trying to convey.
  • The author is an ex-FBI agent. But frankly speaking, I didn’t find anything mind-blowing in this book. So if you are looking for a basic guide that teaches general tactics, this book is for you. Just don’t expect yourself to become an FBI agent, which demands special training.

Cons of this book

  • I found the book a little basic. Most of the things I already knew.
  • The book is a little longer than it should be. 
  • Lots of repetition. 
  • Lacks depth.

Buy the book on Amazon: Paperback | Hardcover | Audiobook

Listen to Audiobook: Play free on | Listen on Audible

Book #5: The Secrets of Body Language: An Illustrated Guide to Knowing What People Are Really Thinking and Feeling by Philippe Turchet

This book is similar to What Every Body Is Saying by Joe Navarro.

The author starts by discussing what emotions are and how to read them.

And then the rest of the book discusses almost the same things as the book I mentioned just now, like gestures, body movements, etc.

This is a simple guide that follows common principles of reading body language.

The book has 19 short chapters.

If you buy it today, it won’t take you more than 2 hours to finish this book, probably even lesser.

What’s covered in this book?

  • How to read emotions?
  • How to read emotions that are subtle and not apparently visible?
  • Types of gestures and what do they mean?
  • Is body language really universal?
  • What our limbs and torsos tell about us?

Pros of this book

  • Simple guide for beginners.

Cons of this book

  • Hardly has any new information if you have read other books on this topic.

Buy the book on Amazon: Paperback

Book #6: Reading People: How to Understand People and Predict Their Behavior — Anytime, Anyplace by Jo-Ellan

People give clues all the time through their body language and subtle behaviors.

But the question is: Can you read them all?

The author says that she has tested her methods on more than 10k subjects and predicted behaviors of thousands of judges, politicians, etc.

And that’s quite a good place to start because these are usually people with great influence and are master at lying.

After reading this book, you’ll be able to guess whether a speaker is lying or not.

How? Because they all give subtle cues.

For example, you can look at their hairstyles and clothing. Or look at how they behave in a certain way.

This book holds something for everyone.

What’s covered in this book?

  • How to read patterns in behaviors?
  • How to judge someone at first impression?
  • What environment tells about people?
  • How to frame your questions in such a way that would give you more insights about a person?
  • Is it alright to use intuition to judge someone?
  • How to find out if someone else is trying to read you?

Pros of this book

  • This book is a great start for beginners as it breaks down all the components clearly, like environment, exceptional cases, etc. Many books often ignore these minor components that impact our conclusions. 

Cons of this book

  • Despite the author claiming the techniques to be accurate, you’ll find that many techniques won’t always give the right assessment. 

Buy the book on Amazon: Paperback | Hardcover

Book #7: How To Analyze People: 13 Laws About the Manipulation of the Human Mind, 7 Strategies to Quickly Figure Out Body Language, Dive into Dark Psychology and Persuasion for Making People Do What You Want by Daniel Spade

Ever thought why some people hide their true intentions and make you feel bad for their problems?

Why do some people love to play victim?

Well, according to Daniel Spade that might be a sign of manipulation.

Manipulators often use such dirty techniques to manipulate people.

This book helped me realize that persuasion and manipulation are not very different from each other.

It’s just a matter of the intention of the other person.

Manipulators can persuade you to do something for their selfish cause, even if it’s not good for you.

In this book, you’ll learn simple rules that will help you catch sneaky tactics used by manipulators and detect any suspicious behavior of the people around you.

What’s covered in this book?

  • Laws of manipulation.
  • How to know if you are being manipulated?
  • Why are we so prone to manipulation?
  • The dark side of manipulation.
  • The 7 strategies to reading body language.
  • How to deal with manipulators in your life?

Pros of this book

  • Short book with only 5 chapters.
  • Easy to understand.

Cons of this book

  • Numerous grammatical errors. One may develop credibility issues after seeing lots of them.
  • Similar to Book #1.

Buy the book on Amazon: Paperback

Book #8: Read People Like a Book by Patrick King

The author claims to make you a mind reader. 

According to the author, if you read this book, you’ll be able to enter the minds of other people and find out what they are thinking or going to do.

The author begins the book by saying how some people seem to have magical ability of reading people.

But we all know reading people is just a skill, right?

The problem with this book is that if you are new, the book is alright, but if you have read even one book about reading people, you’ll have an idea of what the author is going to say next.

For example, the book starts by discussing what motivates people to act, which is very common.

A marketing guy or even someone with a little knowledge of psychology will already have that knowledge.

But it’s okay, as the book doesn’t target experts.

It targets a mass audience who has very little idea about human behavior.

What’s covered in this book?

  • How to predict behavior by understanding motivations and ego?
  • Reading face and body.
  • Understanding personality and MBTI.
  • Detecting lies.
  • How to use the power of observation for reading people?

Pros of this book

  • Best for beginners.

Cons of this book

  • Too basic.
  • Many readers complained about how it wasn’t engaging enough.
  • Lacks depth. Some techniques you might already know, while others you will find hard to believe.

Buy the book on Amazon: Paperback | Hardcover | Audiobook

Listen to Audiobook: Play free on | Listen on Audible

Read and watch the book summary

Book #9: Mindreader: The New Science of Deciphering What People Really Think, What They Really Want, and Who They Really Are by David J. Lieberman

These days, psychopaths or sociopaths know how to hide their true intention.

If you know basic people reading techniques, chances are, they know it too.

It’s far too risky to rely on old techniques.

Most books claims to teach you mind reading, but they fail because they assume many things.

They assume that a person is lying just because he is making too many movements.

Do you really think a mastermind criminal would do such a mistake in front of an FBI agent?

Obviously, not. Because he wouldn’t be a mastermind criminal if he didn’t know all the tricks of the trade.

There are loopholes in how we draw conclusions about people by reading cues.

Just because a person is saying religious verses doesn’t mean he believes in them and follows in his life. Isn’t it possible that someone is acting in a certain way to promote a propaganda? It is possible, right?

The opposite might also be true. 

Just because a person isn’t wearing a religious attire, it doesn’t signify that he is not religious.

But we assume many things and rely on old mind reading tactics that don’t work anymore.

In fact, we are losing even basic people reading abilities as we interact more through our digital screens these days.

This book brings you latest techniques that will work anywhere if you apply them correctly.

Before this book, the author also wrote:

  1. You Can Read Anyone
  2. Never Be Lied To Again

What’s covered in this book?

  • What subconscious mind of a person reveals about his behavior?
  • How to read the mood of a person?
  • How to notice a bluff from miles away?
  • Who are con-artists and how to spot them?
  • Figuring out psychological disorders.
  • Understanding value-system to read behaviors.

Pros of this book

  • Much more practical compared to other books.
  • Interesting read.

Cons of this book

  • Nothing.

Buy the book on Amazon: Hardcover | Audiobook

Listen to Audiobook: Play free on | Listen on Audible

My Favorite?

I enjoyed reading Dark Psychology and Mindreader the most out of all the other books I mentioned. But this doesn’t mean the others are not enjoyable.

Now it’s your turn

There you have it.

I hope these books will help you read people effectively in any situation.

Think I missed any important book on this topic? Just email me and let me know.

Thanks for reading.

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The Brain Behind

I am Shami Manohar, the founder of WizBuskOut. My obsession with non-fiction books has fueled me with the energy to create this website. I read at least one book every week on topics such as business, critical thinking, mindset, psychology, and more.

My mission is to educate and empower individuals with the knowledge that works in real life.

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