Wednesday, December 27, 2023

#bookreview of Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication

Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication

By: Ruth Finnegan
Publisher: Routledge; 3rd edition
Publication Date: October 30, 2023
ISBN: 978-1032484143
Reviewed by: Kathy Stickles
Review Date: December 26, 2023
Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication by author Ruth Finnegan is an interesting, educational, and well-written book covering the topic of how humans and even animals communicate with each other. After reading the book, I found myself really thinking about how we communicate, and I discovered that it is an extremely fascinating topic.
The author has a background in anthropology and the Classics and, by using that knowledge, she presents a very interesting and instructive array of examples from different historical periods and different parts of the world to make her points. By doing what is obviously a huge amount of research, the author gives so many examples of how humans and animals use a selection of sounds, smells, movements, and objects, to name just a few things, in order to communicate with others. Using research from different cultures, non-verbal as well as verbal communication, the animal community, and computers, she gives the reader an amazing account of how important communication is and how it is used in the world from the past to the present. Most importantly, she does it in a way that keeps it interesting to the reader rather than just writing a bland “textbook” that would bore most people.
Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication is a book that I honestly did not expect to enjoy as much as I did. That comes, simply put, from the author’s wonderful writing style and ability to take the topic and make it interesting. Although it is obvious that the author did impeccable research for the book, it was her gift to take all of that information and put it together in a way that makes it easy to understand and makes the read so enjoyable. This is a topic that could be very difficult for most of us to get into and comprehend, but the author’s passion for the subject matter comes through in the pages and takes challenging material and makes it appealing and easy to absorb. I was quite impressed.
Communicating may not be a book for everyone at first glance, but if you take the time to read it and really reflect on the writing and information that the book contains, you will be extremely impressed. It will allow the reader to obtain a much deeper understanding of how we communicate and therefore connect with others in the world. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to expand their own education on such an intriguing topic.
Quill says: Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication is a book that makes for a fabulous textbook for students studying language, anthropology, sociology, and the list goes on. It is one that will make the topic interesting rather than boring and that is something that cannot be said for most textbooks. The best part is, it is also a book for the curious reader to be used to increase their own understanding of a very complex topic. The best of both worlds is what I would call it, thanks to a great writer's understanding of her topic.
For more information on Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Communication, please visit the author's website:

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