Books for Each Enneagram Type | Recommendations

23 May 2020

I have always found personality types so fascinating. I know people debate the usefulness of personality types a lot, but I think learning about different personality types has helped me to better understand myself and the people around me. My latest exploration in personality types is the Enneagram. The Enneagram is nothing new, and I'm sure you have heard of it and have some idea of what number you are.   

I think books can have a certain personality to them just as people do. Based on the characters, themes, tone, and writing style, books can be categorized into different personality types as well. I thought it would be fun to take the characteristics of each Enneagram type and match them with a book. 

Of course, I am not an expert on the Enneagram by any means. I enjoy learning about it, and I like to think I have a good grasp on the basics of each type. Also I can only attempt to type the books I have already read. There may be books I suspect would fit in certain types, but since I haven't read them I'm not including them.

1: The Reformer

The Type 1 Reformers are characterized as perfectionistic, purposeful, and self-controlled. Just like one of the main characters in this book, Elena Richardson, 1s see things in black and white without shades of gray. The whole premise of this book is based on how a rigid, suburban community is divided by a huge, hard-hitting issue. Elena's sense of security in the way things have always been is challenged throughout the story, and the reader watches as she has to overcome her own desire for control over the situation. The writing style of this book is straightforward, and it makes you think about how some issues aren't as black and white as you might think.   

2: The Helper

Helpful Type 2s are caring, demonstrative, generous, and people pleasing. In this sweet, contemporary novel, Weston very much embodies a Type 2. After Tessa temporarily loses her eye sight in a car crash, Weston takes on the responsibility of helping her believe that there is still beauty in life, even if she can't see it. He is a selfless, caring individual toward Tessa and the other people in his life, despite dealing with his own disability. This book is overall a comforting ray of sunshine, and shows the value of Type 2s, while also allowing them to see that sometimes they can't fix everything and that's okay.

3: The Achiever

For the driven and image conscious Type 3, I wanted to focus on characters who are focused on success. Lois, the main character of Sourdough is very much career oriented, but is forced to learn that there is so much more to her worth than just her successful career through the events of the story. This book is a strange exploration of how success and technology has overshadowed the simple things in life, such as baking sourdough. The themes reflect a lot of the qualities and struggles of a Type 3, and it's overall a fun and interesting novel.

4: The Individualist

It was difficult to decide which book best represented the sensitive and dramatic Type 4, but for me The Forgotten Garden is a great representation of a whimsical and heartfelt story a Type 4 would relate to. This book follows a duel timeline as the mystery of a lost little girl and an abandoned garden is unraveled. There are lovely imaginative fairytales woven throughout that begin to reflect the sweeping family saga. The writing is also decadent and beautiful. It creates a dramatic, intriguing story with imaginative characters. To me, it's a perfect read for a Type 4!

5: The Investigator

I'm sure there's no surprise that I chose this book for a Type 5. Since Type 5 are generally described as being secretive, isolated, and perceptive, this academic murder mystery is very characteristic of a 5. At the heart of this story is a group of college students studying ancient Greek. As they study under an eclectic professor, they begin to experiment different ideas that they learn about in their class. Events eventually take a dark turn that includes the death of a fellow student. This book is moody and makes you think about morality. Donna Tartt is a master at weaving together an intriguing, intelligent plot that makes you feel torn between your concern for the characters and the horrible things they do in the name of academia. 

6: The Loyalist

While Type 6s are responsible, anxious, and suspicious, the most defining characteristic of a Type 6 is loyalty. To me The Time Traveler's Wife is the perfect story of loyalty and love against all odds. This book is a romance story at its heart, but there's so much more to it. The man in the relationship has a genetic condition that makes him time travel sporadically. He has no control over where or when he time travels. Despite this complication, he falls in love with a girl as he gets to know her at various times in her life that he travels to. The characters struggle with remaining loyal to one another when their relationship is anything but ordinary. As a Type 6 myself, I absolutely loved this book, the characters, and its themes.

7: The Enthusiast

For the optimistic and spontaneous Type 7, I knew I had to pick a book that reads like a ray of sunshine. Since You've Been Gone follows Emily who's best friend, Sloane, leaves behind a list of spontaneous activities to do throughout the summer until she returns. Sloane is definitely a Type 7, and even though she isn't present much in the story, the whole book is a testament to the effect a Type 7 can have on those around them. This book has so many great themes of finding yourself, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone,  and opening yourself up to new people. It's a fun, easy going book that's perfect for a Type 7. 

8: The Challenger

I have never read a book that's more Type 8 than Vicious by V.E. Schwab. This story follows two college students who work together on an experiment to get superpowers. When this experiment takes a dark turn, a rivalry is formed between the two characters that spans decades and comes to a suspenseful head in this book. Types 8's are known for being confrontational, for challenging the status quo and being confident in themselves. I thought this book would be perfect for a Type 8 because it's full of anti-heroes and gray morality. It tackles interesting questions surrounding power and corruption, but it's also fast-paced and exciting from beginning to end. Vicious can be read on its own, but the sequel is also incredible for those who might want more.

9: The Peacemaker

The peaceful, agreeable, and reassuring Type 9 can be recognized perfectly in this beautiful novel. When a family in Australia begins to fall apart, the peace keeper brother, Clay, takes it upon himself to hold them together. He works with his estranged father to build a bridge, literally and figuratively, to reconnect his family. Clay is the embodiment of a Type 9 as the reader can see when he takes on the burdens of others. Markus Zusak's writing is also powerful in this book and makes you feel for all the characters involved.

Do you agree with my list? What books would you recommend to each Enneagram type?


  1. Wow, what a creative way of writing a book recommendation list! I love it. The book suggested for my "type" (Number 2) is actually one that's already on my TBR list, so I'd say you were pretty accurate with that ;)


  2. What an excellent post idea!! I think The Time Traveler’s Wife is an EXCELLENT type 6 recommendation. The story is so wonderful. Have you seen the movie? It’s so so beautiful.

    I read Little Fires Everywhere a while ago, but I might have to reread it with the Enneagram in mind (pretty sure I’m a type 1, so : )

    I SO enjoyed this post, Hannah.