ENFJs, often touted as the “inspirers” of the typology community, enjoy books that give them a sense of meaning and understanding. They crave books that plant them in other people’s shoes and show them a new way of existing, feeling, and responding to life. As intuitives they are often drawn to stories rich with symbolism and philosophical insights. When I spoke to ENFJs they were split between loving grand, emotionally resonant stories and inspiring, profound non-fiction works by self-help gurus and psychologists. As I surveyed my email list and clients I discovered ten books that they mentioned again and again as favorites. I hope you can find some books here that you’ll absolutely love!
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Table of contents
- 10 Favorite ENFJ Books
- #1 – The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- #2 – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- #3 – Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
- #4 – A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- #5 – The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
- #6 – The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- #7 – East of Eden by John Steinbeck
- #8 – A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
- #9 – Essentialism by Greg McKeown
- #10 – The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
- What Are Your Thoughts?
- Other Articles You Might Enjoy:
Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
10 Favorite ENFJ Books
#1 – The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
Hazel Grace Lancaster, a 16-year-old cancer patient, believes her short life is already laid out ahead of her, complete with an early death. It’s hard to feel a sense of magic and wonder when you’ve always been terminal. But when a surprising interruption to her life in the form of Augustus Waters appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story becomes completely rewritten with new and beautiful possibilities.
ENFJs love stories with rich, complicated characters and The Fault in Our Stars gives them that with Hazel and Augustus. The author of the book, John Green, worked as a student chaplain at a children’s hospital and based this book on a cancer patient he met there. He aimed to show people with illnesses and disabilities as richly complex but also real and relatable. The insights from The Fault in Our Stars are profound. You walk away from reading it wanting to make the most of the day you’re in, making newfound peace with the pain in life, and becoming more intentional about the moments you have.
Find out more about The Fault in Our Stars.
#2 – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
An Andalusian shepherd named Santiago keeps experiencing a troubling dream. During the dream, a child tells him to seek the treasure at the foot of the Egyptian pyramids. Believing the dream to be prophetic, he embarks on a journey that makes him face powerful emotions as well as interesting and profound characters. Along the way, he learns that he can change his destiny with his own actions and that he can maintain hope even when the odds seem stacked against him.
ENFJs love the life-lessons found in The Alchemist. Not only is the story beautiful and riveting, but one walks away from it with a certain bravery about life, overcoming challenges, being honest, and seeing the beauty in every single day.
Find out more about The Alchemist.
#3 – Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”
This 1922 novel by Herman Hesse deals with the spiritual journey of a man named Siddhartha during the time of Gautam Buddha. Siddhartha enjoys a near idyllic existence, but while on the outside his life looks perfect, on the inside he is dissatisfied and feels empty. He believes that his father has passed on all the wisdom he possibly can so he decides to follow a new path in order to find enlightenment. Along the way he meets wandering ascetics, Buddhist monks, courtesans, and merchants. Throughout his journey he comes to the realization that true wisdom is guided from within.
ENFJs will relate to the hunger for wisdom and understanding that Siddhartha also yearns for. As intuitives they’ll be drawn to the way Siddhartha connects various philosophies like Eastern religion, Jungian archetypes, and Western individualism. They’ll relate to Siddhartha’s quest for truth and his search for spiritual enlightenment.
Find out more about Siddhartha.
#4 – A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
“To love is to be vulnerable; and it is only in vulnerability and risk – not safety and security – that we overcome darkness.” – Narrator
A Wrinkle in Time is an award-winning young adult novel that won the Newberry Medal in 1962. It follows the life of a young, awkward Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe as they go on an epic, cosmic journey to find their lost father, a scientist who has been studying time travel. Assisted by three eccentric women – Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which – the children travel to the planet Camazotz, where they come face to face with a repressed society controlled by IT, a disembodied brain that represents evil.
ENFJs will enjoy the epic adventure of A Wrinkle in Time not only because there are varying and fascinating interpersonal dynamics throughout, but because of the way the story blends theology, fantasy, and science. The intuitive mind of the ENFJ will enjoy the way the author crafts a suspenseful young adult story while also touching on deeper and more complex themes than most young adult novels ever broach.
Find out more about A Wrinkle in Time.
#5 – The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
“Imagine if you used relationships to get to know other people, rather than to satisfy what is blocked inside of you. If you’re not trying to make people fit into your preconceived notions of what you like and dislike, you will find that relationships are not really that difficult. If you’re not so busy judging and resisting people based upon what is blocked inside of you, you will find that they are much easier to get along with—and so are you. Letting go of yourself is the simplest way to get closer to others.”
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to free yourself from self-imposed limitations and boundaries? Many of the trials and tribulations we experience in life are brought about by our own perspectives. The Untethered Soul teaches us how to unchain ourselves from our ego, harness our inner energy, and experience life with openness and joy rather than tension and a need to “control.”
ENFJs appreciate the themes that The Untethered Soul covers with such compassion and eloquence. Themes like letting go, being liberated, being open, conscious, and transcendent. “I felt like I knew myself a hundred times better after reading this book than I ever did before. I learned how to find a more consistent peace, joy, and openness to life itself.” – Sofia, an ENFJ
Find out more about The Untethered Soul.
#6 – The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
“There are two ways of seeing: with the body and with the soul. The body’s sight can sometimes forget, but the soul remembers forever.”
Everything is looking bright for the handsome young sailor Edmond Dantes. He’s about to become captain of a ship as well as be married to the beautiful Mercédès. However, four jealous and corrupted men conspire to have Dantes thrown in prison, in solitary confinement no less. No one has ever escaped from this prison, the Chateau d’If, before. For many years, Dantes withers away, nearly losing his sanity in agony. Then unexpectedly his luck changes when he befriends another prisoner who tells him about a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo.
ENFJs love a story about love, devotion, and redemption, and The Count of Monte Cristo embraces all three of these themes. The depth of this story and the way Dumas crafts Dantes’ inner struggle makes the reader feel like they are really there. There are profound, emotionally intense moments where Dantes grapples with issues like emotional debts, moral conundrums, and even the complexity of God’s will. The scope and passion of this story is one that will draw ENFJs in over and over again.
Find out more about The Count of Monte Cristo.
#7 – East of Eden by John Steinbeck
“I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. . . . Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. . . . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?”
Set in the fertile farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this rich and emotionally intense novel follows the intertwined destines of two families – the Trasks and the Hamiltons – whose generations inadvertently reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.
ENFJs are fascinated by stories rife with symbolism, rich characters, and conflicts between good and evil. East of Eden dives deep into issues of free will and the perpetual moral struggle each individual faces every day of their life. The characters are artfully crafted and ENFJs will find a lot to mull over in this sweeping, meaningful story.
Find out more about East of Eden.
#8 – A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
“People aren’t either wicked or noble. They’re like chef’s salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.” “People aren’t either wicked or noble. They’re like chef’s salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.”
A Series of Unfortunate Events follows the tragic lives of three extremely unlucky Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, as they try to survive their difficult lives and the pursuit of their nemesis, Count Olaf. Olaf is obsessed with gaining their inherited fortune and will go to any means necessary to try to secure it. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny use their wits, kindness, and resourcefulness to try to stay one step ahead of Olaf, meeting with many bizarre scenarios along the way.
For ENFJs, A Series of Unfortunate Events is a reminder that even in the most dark and desolate moments there is hope. The dark humor will make anyone laugh, but the story is also comforting. One ENFJ I spoke with said that reading this series helps her to get through hard times and find solace. Another said they like the intricately-woven plot points and quirky characters. Reading about how the Baudelaire orphans step into the unknown with courage can help readers to face their own demons bravely.
Find out more about A Series of Unfortunate Events.
#9 – Essentialism by Greg McKeown
“What if we stopped celebrating being busy as a measurement of importance? What if instead we celebrated how much time we had spent listening, pondering, meditating, and enjoying time with the most important people in our lives?”
Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed by an excess of information and tasks? Do you feel overworked and uninspired? Do you feel busy but unproductive? In Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, author Greg McKeown gives you a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential and meaningful in your life. He helps you get rid of emotional clutter and time sucks that rob you of energy, passion, and resources.
ENFJs are driven to live a life of meaning and purpose. Essentialism helps them to prioritize the things that give them meaning without risking financial collapse or wasted time. It’s a wonderful book for anyone feeling overwhelmed with life and needing simplification and direction.
Find out more about Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.
#10 – The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
“Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”
This story follows an unnamed man who returns to his childhood home for a funeral and recalls a magical struggle he was involved in as a young boy. Although many years have passed since he lived here, he is drawn to a farm at the end of the road. Here, many years ago, he encountered a fascinating girl, Lettie Hempstock, who was wise beyond her years. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, yet as he sits by the pond (a pond she’d claimed was an ocean) the past comes flooding back bringing with it all its mysteries.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is both haunting, heartbreaking, and beautiful. It travels the bittersweet roads from childhood to adulthood and shows us how we alter our perception of reality and why. This book combines supernatural and real worlds in a way that’s unsettling but also compelling. “I feel like this book taught me how to fight against my own fears in ways that no self-help book has ever been able to accomplish.” – Samuel Powell, an ENFJ reader.
Find out more about The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Have you read any of these books? What are your favorites? Share your recommendations with fellow ENFJs in the comments!
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, The INTJ – Understanding the Strategist, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!