Book Recommendations For Your Enneagram Numbers

Enneagram. So hot right now. (That should be read in the voice of Will Ferrrel’s Mugatu from Zoolander, of course.) Podcasts, Instagram accounts, my mom…everywhere I turn I’m hearing about the enneagram. You might be sick of it, but I’m not yet. (Then again, as you’ll probably quickly diagnose from my Instagram account and the rest of my blog, I’m a 4w5, so soul-searching=joy.)

One of the things I like most about reading is that it’s the only way I can think of where you can be inside someone else’s head.  You get to experience so many perspectives and live so many lives through reading in a way that even through the screen or conversation you don’t have in the same way. I think that’s the appeal of the enneagram and other personality typing systems for me, too: a chance to get a good peek into the way someone else experiences their world.

My first foray into the enneagram was through The Sorta Awesome Show podcast and then Anne Bogel provided an insightful overview in Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything.  After that, I decided to dive in deeper with Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile’s The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery and I’m pretty confident that’s one that I’ll return to, as I found it immensely helpful in understanding myself and some of the people in my life.

While I’ve seen the enneagram numbers matched to characters, I have yet to see book recommendations, so I thought I’d have fun giving it a try. What would you do without us precious and unique 4s? (I’m sure it’s out there.) Those sources above are the majority of my experience with enneagram and I’m not even close to being an expert, so take these all lightly, of course.  Enjoy!

Enneagram Type 1 

The book match: Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project

The reason: Here’s the perfect opportunity to laugh at yourself and your need for people to follow rules as you read about Don struggling to keep his scientific approach to life while navigating the complex path of love during his Wife Project. Quiet that inner critic while you escape into this compelling and satisfying story.

Enneagram Type 2

The book match: Winifred Watson’s Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day

The reason: Finally! Someone who is helping someone else gets something in return for themselves. Put aside all those tasks you’re doing for everyone else and find somewhere comfortable to sit and enjoy this delightful book in an afternoon. You’re going to feel so good watching two people find out that they are worthy and can speak up for what they need in this beautiful Cinderella story.

Enneagram Type 3

The book match: Michelle Obama’s Becoming

The reason: If Michelle Obama isn’t a 3 then I’ll eat my hat. I don’t wear hats often, so I’m not putting a lot on the line, but you 3s can get pumped seeing a fellow 3 kick butt in this beautifully written memoir. Bonus points that everyone is talking about it, plus it’s nonfiction and about politics and current events sooo you’re basically crushing it.  Oh, and maybe her inspirational messages will give you the chance to think about who you are outside of all of those achievements you keep checking off because, guess what, you’re awesome just being you.

Enneagram Type 4 

The book match: Claire Legrand’s Some Kind of Happiness

Why: First of all, don’t worry, I don’t see this book very often, so you’re unique. This book is that beautiful blend of heartwarming and melancholic and you’ll find the main character, Finley Hart (you like that name, don’t you?), with her quirky lists and blue days and forest kingdom of Everwood wonderfully charming. It’s a complex and imaginative story…just like yours.

Enneagram Type 5  

The book match: Anthony Doerr’s Four Seasons in Rome

The matchmaking algorithm: So you read All The Light We Cannot See and thought you’d deep dive the author’s back catalog? We’re not surprised. This book will have you immersing yourself in Rome’s amazing history and landmarks, plus give you insight into new parenthood and the writing process. You can probably read it in one sitting while you’re hiding from everyone to recharge and will come out of it with plenty of fun facts, plus the writing is jaw-droppingly good.

Enneagram Type 6 

The book match: Bianca Marais’s Hum If You Don’t Know The Words

Why: You know you’ve thought about it before: What if my child goes missing? What is my partner and I die and there is no one there for my child? You’ve thought through all these types of scenarios because you’re ready for anything. This story of friendship and overcoming fear and the importance of showing up for someone time and time again will leave you feeling secure and happy while you absorb yourself in this beautiful story with all the snacks you’ve prepared for yourself beforehand.

Enneagram Type 7 

The book match: Marissa Meyer’s Cinder

Why: Maybe you’re in need of a little escapism. This is the first in a super fun young adult series, perfect for super fun you. When I first heard that this was a retelling of Cinderella with a cyborg protagonist, I was skeptical, but you’re probably already pumped and ready to go, so I’ll just that the whole series is already out (so you won’t have to wait) and there are so many engaging characters and crazy adventures that you’re bound to stay excited.

Enneagram Type 8

The book match: Laurie Frankel’s This Is How It Always Is

Why: I want to tell you not to read the description for this book because it might make some of you not read it, but is that going to make you want to do it all the more? This is a story that confronts a challenging topic through the lens of one of my favorite families in fiction. It will give you a lot to chew over and let sink into your soft core that just wants to do everything you can to protect the ones you love. You’ll want to talk it out after.

Enneagram Type 9 

The book match: Karina Yan Glaser’s The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street and The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden

Why: The next time you’re squirming over something uncomfortable, take out this series and let yourself relax into these cozy charmers.  The Vanderbeekers are a large family growing up in Harlem and you’ll love the different perspectives and the fact that, even when facing conflicts, there is a  peaceful, relaxing feeling that pervades.


Alright, what’s your type and how I’d do? BE GENTLE, EIGHTS! Tell me some of your enneagram number and book pairings!

If you would like to join in on the fun, please go to the submissions page!


Leave a Reply