The Enneagram, an ancient system of personality types, offers profound insights into our core motivations, fears, and desires. It serves as a map to understanding ourselves and others on a deeper level. In this exciting journey of self-discovery, we explore how our Enneagram type can guide us to find the perfect books that resonate with our souls. So read on to find your LitJoy with these book recommendations by enneagram.
Understanding Your Enneagram Type
Before we dive into the intersection of the enneagram and the books each type might be interested in, it's essential to familiarize ourselves with the nine Enneagram types. Each type brings a unique set of traits and tendencies, shaping how we perceive the world and interact with it.
Type 1 - The Reformer: Principled, Rational, Perfectionistic, Idealistic, and Purposeful.
Type 2 - The Helper: Warm, Empathetic, Caring, Selfless, and Supportive.
Type 3 - The Achiever: Ambitious, Confident, Goal-oriented, Driven, and Success-focused.
Type 4 - The Individualist: Creative, Sensitive, Unique, Introspective, and Expressive.
Type 5 - The Investigator: Curious, Analytical, Observant, Independent, and Knowledge-seeking.
Type 6 - The Loyalist: Loyal, Cautious, Committed, Dependable, and Prepared.
Type 7 - The Enthusiast: Enthusiastic, Adventurous, Optimistic, Fun-loving, and Versatile.
Type 8 - The Challenger: Powerful, Assertive, Strong-willed, Protective, and Decisive.
Type 9 - The Peacemaker: Peace-loving, Easygoing, Mediator, Harmonious, and Avoidant
While we each represent all of these types at different times, we are generally situated in one type with a wing in the number before or after our main number. If you don’t know your enneagram type, yet, you can use this online quiz or numerous others to get a sense of your unique enneagram personality. You can also read the same book, The Road Back to You,as most of the LitJoy staff has to help them determine their types.
Enneagram Type 1: The Reformer
Type 1 individuals are principled, rational, and strive for perfection. They possess a strong sense of justice and often act as catalysts for positive change. Type 1s may like books that help to establish harmony in their daily lives, embrace imperfections while striving for excellence, and fictional stories that explore themes of justice, redemption, and personal transformation.
Enneagram Type 1 Book Recommendations
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo - a renowned book on decluttering and organizing spaces to create a harmonious environment and a clearer mind.
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear - a comprehensive guide to building positive habits and breaking unproductive ones, promoting continuous personal growth.
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel follows the life of a young man who becomes entangled in a world of art theft, loss, and personal redemption.
Enneagram Type 2: The Helper
Type 2 individuals are warm, empathetic, and always ready to lend a helping hand. They find joy in caring for others and forming meaningful connections. So, for enneagram type 2 personalities, we look for soul-nourishing books that celebrate compassion and empathy, heartwarming stories of friendship and sacrifice, and inspirational books on love both for the self and others.
Enneagram Type 2 Book Recommendations
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown - a book that advocates for embracing vulnerability and cultivating self-acceptance, allowing Type 2s to better support themselves and those around them. We all love Brené Brown around here!
- The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune - this beautiful novel promotes the idea of offering unconditional love and support to those who are vulnerable, different, or misunderstood.
- The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley - a charming story of interconnected lives as strangers come together to reveal their truths in a shared notebook, leading to friendship and support.
Enneagram Type 3: The Achiever
Type 3 individuals are ambitious, confident, and thrive in achieving their goals. They are driven, hardworking, and often aspire to success. Type 3s resonate with books that explore ambition and success, biographies of visionary leaders and trailblazers, and motivational books that encourage taking action.
Enneagram Type 3 Book Recommendations
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - this classic novel portrays the extravagant world of Jay Gatsby and his pursuit of the American Dream, resonating with a Type 3's admiration for ambition and success. Check out LitJoy's Special Edition The Great Gatsby.
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: A beautifully immersive tale of a magical circus and a competition between two young illusionists, which can captivate a Type 3's imagination and love for grand spectacles.
- My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King - the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., reflects on her life and her work in the civil rights movement, sharing her vision for justice and equality.
Enneagram Type 4: The Individualist
Type 4 individuals are creative, expressive, and deeply in touch with their emotions. They long for authenticity and search for their unique identity. The types of books the individualist goes for are those that celebrate individuality and creative expression, explore the complexities of identity and the human experience, and embrace nonconformity.
Enneagram Type 4 Book Recommendations
- Circe by Madeline Miller - a reimagining of the Greek myth of Circe, the sorceress, explores themes of empowerment, self-discovery, and finding one's voice, which resonate with a Type 4's search for authenticity and individuality.
- Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Wholeby Susan Cain - from the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, this book explores the valuable lessons a melancholic outlook on life can teach us about creativity, spirituality, mortality, and love—all things that ignite enneagram type 4s’ souls.
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - an oldie, but a goodie for the enneagram type 4 with its exploration of existential themes and the struggle for identity resonating with their introspective and romantic nature. If you're a Mary Shelley fan, you should also read the super fun mashed-up history about Mary Shelley and Ada Lovelace called My Imaginary Mary. Or show your love of gothic horror with LitJoy's Frankenstein Book Tin
Enneagram Type 5: The Investigator
Type 5 individuals are curious, analytical, and seek knowledge. They are introspective, and their quest for understanding the world is insatiable. Enneagram Type 5s respond best to books that stimulate curiosity, offer new perspectives, and challenge the intellect.
Enneagram Type 5 Book Recommendations
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari - a sweeping exploration of human history, covering the rise of Homo sapiens and the development of human societies. Sapiens delves into the evolution of cultures, economies, and ideologies, providing a fascinating look at the factors that have shaped our species.
- The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle - This collection of Sherlock Holmes stories offers intricate mysteries, deductive reasoning, and a brilliant protagonist whose keen observational skills can captivate the Type 5's inquisitive mind.
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt - a dark academia psychological thriller that follows a group of classics students at an elite college and explores themes of guilt and obsession while also giving type 5s the opportunity to challenge the intellect. If dark academia is your thing, we've gathered our favorite dark academia book recommendations here.
Enneagram Type 6: The Loyalist
Type 6 individuals are loyal, cautious, and often seek security and support. They value trust and strive to overcome their fears. Loyalists seek books that demonstrate courage, build resilience in the face of adversity, and explore themes that appeal to their cautious yet adventurous nature.
Enneagram Type 6 Book Recommendations
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle - a memoir about finding courage and breaking free from societal expectations, encouraging Type 6 individuals to embrace their authentic selves.
- A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende - this historical fiction follows characters fleeing from the Spanish Civil War, exploring themes of loyalty and resilience during times of uncertainty.
- Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman - a novel that explores one woman’s journey to find a sense of belonging and purpose in a new phase of life that will appeal to Type 6’s need to seek security and support.
Enneagram Type 7: The Enthusiast
Type 7 individuals are enthusiastic, adventurous, and always seeking excitement. They embrace possibilities and have a zest for life. Enthusiasts look for books that ignite a sense of wanderlust, travel memoirs that whisk the reader away to new and exciting destinations, and humorous reads that bring laughter and lightheartedness into life.
Enneagram Type 7 Book Recommendations
- Greenlightsby Matthew McConaughey - a memoir by the actor that reflects on his unconventional life and shares valuable lessons about taking risks and living life to the fullest, resonating with a Type 7's adventurous spirit.
- The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by Chris Guillebeau - by showcasing the stories of individuals who embark on extraordinary journeys, both big and small, in pursuit of their passions and dreams, Guillebeau’s novel feeds enneagram 7s’ adventurous spirit
- Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett - presents 7s with a blend of humor and adventure with a story about an angel and a demon who team up to prevent the apocalypse. We are huge Neil Gaiman fans here at LitJoy, we've even teamed up with him to create special editions of several of his books. Take a look at our Neil Gaiman Collection.
Enneagram Type 8: The Challenger
Type 8 individuals are powerful, assertive, and natural-born leaders. They value strength and seek to empower themselves and others. Challengers reach for books that showcase strength and assertiveness, explore the lives of bold and influential personalities, and empower leadership skills.
Enneagram Type 8 Book Recommendations
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston - a story of empowerment, resilience, and defiance against oppressive norms can resonate with the assertive and determined nature of Type 8s who often admire characters that challenge the status quo and navigate life on their terms.
- Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes - a compelling retelling of the Medusa legend, portraying her as a survivor of sexual assault and challenging the traditional narratives of female monstrosity. Enneagram Type 8s will enjoy the narrative of strength, defiance against injustice, the challenge to established norms.
- Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer E. Eberhardt - a book that explores how stereotypes are shaped by media, history, culture, and families is in line with 8s' core value to empower themselves and others. Equipped with understanding how our biases work, 8s will better understand the world around them.
Enneagram Type 9: The Peacemaker
Last, but certainly not least, Type 9 individuals are peace-loving, harmonious, and value serenity. They seek inner peace and strive to maintain balance. Peacemakers like to reach for books that promote inner peace, encourage being present in the moment, and explore how to create mindfulness when life gets out of balance.
Enneagram Type 9 Book Recommendations
- Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer - a book that combines indigenous wisdom with scientific knowledge, and offers a unique perspective on the relationship between humans and the natural world. Braiding Sweetgrass aligns with Type 9s' desire for unity and interconnectedness.
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - a book that makes readers want to get outside and enjoy the littlest moments that life offers, like spring flowers blooming, is right up the type 9 peacemaker’s alley. Even if you’ve read it before, it definitely deserves a reread, and what better way to reread than with LitJoy Classic's The Secret Garden.
- Joan Is Okay by Weike Wang - a thoughtful and humorous novel about a Chinese immigrant's struggle with cultural identity and family expectations while being her own person. Wang’s novel is a reminder that fulfillment comes in all forms which speaks to 9s' need for harmony in all things.
When we choose to read the book recommendations by enneagram, the stories we read become more than mere words on pages. They become mirrors that reflect our inner selves and guides that lead us towards growth. Books have the ability to open our minds and change our hearts if we let them, and choosing books aligned with our personality types help to allow us to understand ourselves more fully while also learning more about the world around us.
We love talking about the Enneagram; if you do, too, check out these articles where we speculate the enneagram types of characters in our favorite books: Enchanting Insights: Unveiling ACOTAR Character Enneagrams and Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments Character Enneagrams.