Best Enneagram Books That Will Help You Know Yourself Better
Enneagram is a great system that helps you understand more about yourself and other people. Ennea stands for “nine” and grammos means “figures” or “symbols” in Greek. Put together, you’ll have a “nine-pointed figure”.
As the name suggests, there are nine personality types, ranging from type 1-9. Similar to the Myers Briggs personality test, you can take free enneagram tests online or the paid ones such as the rheti test (Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator) to help you discover your personality type. If not, there are also some books below that will help you to determine your type.
Enneagram can be complicated. The nine personality types can be further subdivided into their wings and instinctual variants. The list of books below will cover everything you need to know about enneagram.
Pick a book that best suits your needs.
Top 10 Best Enneagram Books
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1. The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson
Probably the two of the best and most famous authors on enneagram, Don, and Russ combines both psychology and spirituality in this book. Not only does it help you to understand your motivations and increase your self-awareness, it is also a great book for people who want a more practical and customized approach to their personal and spiritual growth.
Even though the book is comprehensive, the authors have organized the book in a manner that is simple to understand. They extract and group key information such as spiritual jump starts, wake-up calls, and red flags for each type systematically into text boxes.
People who already have some direct experience or understanding of spirituality will love this book and find it helpful.
2. Personality Types by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson
This book is suitable for beginners, general and advanced readers. Even though it doesn’t help you find your personality type, reading the in-depth enneagram type descriptions in this book will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of what personality type you are.
Unlike most other books, the authors give you a glimpse of how each type behaves at their best and their worst. Each type is divided into 9 levels of healthy, average, and unhealthy behaviors. Not only does this helps you understand your fear, desire, and motivation better, you become more aware of your own unhealthy behaviors.
3. Understanding the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson
Sometimes, it’s difficult to identify your Enneagram type just by reading the profiles or doing the tests online. Most people can relate to more than one personality type.
If you are unsure of your own Enneagram type, this is the book for you. Not only does it has a questionnaire to help you identify your type, it has a whole chapter dedicated to misidentification. In the chapter, the authors compare each type against one another so that you know exactly what their differences are.
Written by the same authors of the Personality Types, the authors share new connections made on our three centers — the Thinking, Feeling, and Instinctive Center. They show you which center to focus on first for your type and near the end of the book, they also recommend the steps that each type can take to grow themselves.
4. The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels and Virginia Price
If you need a book that helps you to determine your Enneagram type quick, this is the book to get. Right in the beginning of the book, the authors provide a simple self-test that consists of nine different paragraphs and let you select the top three descriptions that are most like you.
This book is concise and to-the-point. It is suitable for beginners or people who don’t want or need to understand the enneagram in-depth. To help you find your type more effectively, the authors also include a comparison between each type and share with you how each type is different from one another.
5. The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
If you want a resource that is easy to read and understand, this book is suitable for you. Filled with personal stories and examples from the authors, the book is both witty and engaging. Unlike most Enneagram books too, the writing tone is less academic. So it is accessible to all types of readers.
Written from a Christian perspective, you will learn to be more understanding and compassionate not just towards yourself, but towards other people too. For those of you who don’t know your number yet, you might also want to check out their companion study guide.
6. The Enneagram by Richard Rohr and Andrea Ebert
If you are a Christian and using the Enneagram makes you feel uneasy, this book will put you at ease. Within the book, you will find many references to Scripture and important events in Christian history. You will find it interesting to learn how enneagram relates to Christianity.
The book does not provide a test to help you find your personality type, but reading the description for each type will naturally bring you to your type. The authors clearly identify the greatest need for each type, their gift, and their root sin.
7. The Complete Enneagram by Beatrice Chestnut
The nine Enneagram types can be further divided into 27 subtypes based on the three instinctual variants — sexual (sx), social (so), and self-preservation (sp).
In this book, the author provides an in-depth analysis and description for each of the 27 subtypes. If you find that you don’t completely identify with your personality type, it might be because of the instinctual variant. Reading this book can give you more insights and clarity into your personality.
This book is suitable for advanced readers who want to know more details about their personality type and the people around them. It is also great for counselors and coaches who want to provide customized help to their clients.
8. The Enneagram Made Easy by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele
If you feel that the other Enneagram books are too overwhelming and lengthy, this is the book for you. Filled with cute cartoons, this book is fun and simple to read.
This book gives you a good introduction and summary to Enneagram. You might not understand the concept after reading this book, but you will have a basic idea how each type shows up in this world.
If you want to introduce the system to someone you know or your kids, this book is a good starting point to get other people interested.
9. The 9 Types of Leadership by Beatrice Chestnut
Even though people who have the Type 8 personality take on the role of a leader easily, the other eight types can be a great leader too.
This book is suitable for both leaders and employees to understand how they can work with the other types more effectively. Not only does it help you increase the awareness of your motivation and strengths, it also helps you to improve your relationships with your colleagues and bosses.
If you want to become a better leader in your business or company, this book is for you. It will help you recognize your blind spots and habitual behaviors when you are under stress at work.
10. The Enneagram in Love and Work by Helen Palmer
One area that gets a lot of interests from people who study personality types is dating and relationships. Many people are curious about enneagram type compatibility and how each type relates to one another. If this is what you are interested in, then this book will be great for you.
This book provides a directory of relationships of each type against the other nine types. You will learn what is important to your partner, friends, and family, and how you can build a better relationship with them. This book is not limited to intimate relationships. It is also useful for work relationships.
Hey there, I’m Yong Kang, best known as Nerdy Creator. I’m an author of seven books. I write about spirituality, self-compassion, and mindfulness. I love reading books, especially non-fiction. The list above is a combination of what I have read and my research. Each year, I create a Top 10 list of my favorite books.