People are always asking me for book recommendations in their body language studies.  While my research has encompassed hundreds of books, some of which are out of print, the following list of my favorites should get you started.

Great Body Language books

  1. Walking Your Talk: Changing Your Life Through Magic of Body Language – Lavinia Plonka. This comprehensive tour of the self is a complete program of study that covers the entire body, combining contemporary research with wisdom from history.
  2. Emotions Revealed – Paul Ekman. Ekman was the inspiration for the TV series Lie To Me.  His research on facial expression is unparalleled.  He has many books and programs.
  3. The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals – Charles Darwin. The father of so much of contemporary science.  Few people realize his great contribution to body language!
  4. The Face – A Natural History – Daniel MacNeil. This is a fun book that looks the muscles of the face and how our understanding of facial expression has evolved over time. 
  5. Essays on Francois Delsarte – Mime Journal. Francois Delsarte was a pioneer in the science of body language in the early 19th century.  His work influenced some of the greatest artists of the 20th century, including Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham.  While he never wrote a book, his students tried to set his theories down.  Most is out of print, or outrageously expensive.  This collection gives you an idea of the man, as well as resources for further research. 
  6. The Potent Self – Moshe Feldenkrais. While all of Feldenkrais’ books are valuable for study of self-expression, this book offers the most comprehensive examination of the relation of posture to emotion. 
  7. Emotional Anatomy – Stanley Keleman. As the creator of Formative Psychology, Keleman’s pioneering work in understanding body shape and emotional development is a must for self-study.
  8. The Mime Book – Claude Kipnis. Kipnis was one of the greatest mimes of his time.  This book is a classic, especially the chapter on expression of emotion.