Book Recommendations For Your Enneagram: Pandemic Edition

Enneagraaaaaaam.  You’re so sick of them, but YOU’RE HERE.  It’s kind of like those tests from our teen magazines: You. just. can’t. resist. How are you going to understand yourself until you know what hot dog topping you are?

I’ve been thinking about doing this since March and here we are in August.  That’s this year in a nutshell.  A while ago, I picked book recommendations for your enneagram number, which you can find here.  The book recommendations you’ll find in this post are more specific to your 2020 self, your pandemic self, the self that keeps asking “is this really happening?”.

I’ll get to it.  The links below are affiliate (thank you for using them or shopping independent!) and, of course, I want to hear if I got your number right!  I am an enneagram expert, so I’m sure I did*.

*I am an expert on nothing.

Type 1 

The book match: Emily P. Freeman’s The Next Right Thing

The reason: Frustrated about all the rules everyone is ignoring? What the rules even are?  The routines you can’t have? Let the gentle voice of Emily P. Freeman soothe your soul.

Type 2

The book match: Louise Erdrich’s The Birchbark House

The reason: Your desire to help others is feeling a little out of control, so follow Omakayas as she learns to trust her instincts with nature, realizes her powers as a healer, and discovers how the people we love are always with us. Bonus points if you do this in one sitting and ignore everyone around you.

Type 3

The book match: Mary Laura Philpott’s I Miss You When I Blink

The reason: You’ve mastered sourdough. You’re dominating your house projects.  You’ve set up several groups for supporting your local community.  What are you supposed to do now??  Check out this collection of essays.  Philpott writes about her driving need to be the best with self-effacing humor and thought-provoking wisdom. This book reads like a great conversation with a friend, so take a moment to take the long break you so deserve, laugh about how she makes everything into a competition, and notice how her writing can remind you how to just live, rather than measure the value of everything.  No shade. You’re awesome.

Type 4 

The book match: Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow

Why: Let your soul be filled up with the beauty that can be found in isolation and the heartwarming truth that happiness is about taking great pleasure in simple things.  Afterwards, put on your favorite nostalgia playlist, grab your favorite pen, and add to your journal: “if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.”

Type 5  

The book match: Madhur Jaffrey’s Climbing the Mango Trees

Why: Research is comforting, but you’re driving everyone up the wall with your daily stats. Put on your noise-cancelling headphones and mix it up some with the evocative, detailed, and thoroughly enchanting descriptions of Jaffrey’s childhood in India. There are so many deep dives you can go on from here, plus your partner and friends would probably rather hear about this for a bit.

Type 6 

The book match: R. Eric Thomas’s Here For It

Why:  Take a break from your bunker outlines and become utterly absorbed in the hilarious, tender, thoughtful writing of Thomas.  Thomas kept me laughing aloud (rare) and I have a sneaking suspicion you might relate to how he read Choose Your Own Adventure books and his theories about babysitting in the suburbs.

Type 7 

The book match: Emma Lord‘s Tweet Cute

Why: Life’s a bummer this year, huh?  Escape into this playful YA romance with all the sass and You’ve Got Mail magic and drool-worthy food.  Then fill up your cup by chatting with some friends while you make some of the aforementioned food.  Remind yourself to keep recognizing the happy parts in life and focus on one thing at a time: e.g. that monster cake in front of you.

Type 8

The book match: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ‘s Americanah

Why: So compelling that you’ll be able to temporarily set aside that pull to go on social media and lay.down.some.truths.  Try relaxing into someone else’s world in the hands of the extremely gifted Adichie.  Let Imfelu empower you with her spot-on observations and lift you back up to a place where you can use that fighting spirit for good (or yelling at the idiotic people on your town Facebook page).

Type 9 

The book match: Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass

Why: You are so overwhelmed by all the disharmony and instability.  Here’s a book that can pull you out of your malaise and absorb you into beautiful reflections on the natural world.  Kimmerer’s ability to weave together opposites and flood your heart with peace is going to be just the balm you need.

Alright, what’s your type and how I’d do? Keep in mind that I’m a very sensitive four, please and thank you.


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

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