One of my goals for the year 2023 is to read one book per week. I know this goal isn’t for everyone and some books take longer to absorb and understand than others, but I’m looking forward to the challenge! One of the things I do when I’m looking for a good book is check out the New York Times best-seller list. Occasionally a pick will disappoint me (I wasn’t a fan of Verity, for example). But typically there are some gems in their best-seller list that take me on a literary adventure like no other.
In today’s post, I’m selecting one fiction or poetry book off the New York Times Best-Seller list for each of the 16 Myers-Briggs® personality types. My hope is that this list will give you the inspiration to go on your own literary escape and discover some new stories and memorable characters.
I’m not including any books that are part of a series simply because I hate starting a new book and realizing I was supposed to read 7 other books beforehand because I’m missing something!
Let’s get started!
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Here’s the 2022 New York Times Best-Seller You’ll Love, Based On Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type
ENFP – Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
“The wonder is that you could start life with nothing, end with nothing, and lose so much in between.”
Damon “Demon” Copperhead has had the odds stacked against him since the moment he was born. Entering the world in a single trailer to a teenage alcoholic, he realizes his status as the lowest of the low early. “I was a lowlife,” Damon says, “born in the mobile home, so that’s like the Eagle Scout of trailer trash.”
It seems to Damon that the world has summed him up and spit him out before he’s even had a chance to live. But there’s a fire in his spirit that won’t be squelched, and there’s still time for him to make something of himself. As he journeys through the foster care system, working on a tobacco farm, and dealing with an abusive stepfather, we see Damon seek out his humanity in some of the most desolate conditions.
Why Did I Pick This Book For ENFPs?
ENFPs are known for their ability to see the beauty in unexpected places, and I think they’ll find that same beauty in Demon Copperhead. The emotional richness of this story and its complete lack of pretense will draw them in. ENFPs are interested in the human condition, in people who overcome hardships, in messages that have more to say in a big-picture sense.
Demon Copperhead explores the humanity in all of us, even the people who come from the messiest places. It points a finger at America’s condescension, hypocrisy, and the broken systems that so many of us have to suffer from. This book is an invitation for the ENFP to explore complex emotions and a world they may not be familiar with. It’s a story about being human, no matter what situation you find yourself in.
Discover more about Demon Copperhead
Find Out More About ENFPs: 10 Must-Read Books for ENFPs
ENTP – Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
“Once again I’m struck by melancholy. I want to spend the rest of my life studying Eridian biology! But I have to save humanity first. Stupid humanity. Getting in the way of my hobbies.”
When Ryland Grace wakes up from a coma attached to a bunch of tubes, he has no memory of how he got to where he is. All he knows is that he’s millions of miles from home and his only company are two corpses who he believes to be his crewmates.
Over a matter of time, memories begin to hazily emerge in Ryland’s mind. He remembers that he has an impossible task: to save the earth from a star-eating microbe. And he’ll need to use every ounce of scientific knowledge to make this happen.
Why Did I Pick This Book For ENTPs?
Project Hail Mary is a book that takes you on a fast-paced, absorbing journey through science and space. ENTPs enjoy thinking outside the box, and they’ll appreciate joining Ryland on a mission that seems destined for failure without the help of his creative mind. The logical exploration of Ryland’s problem coupled with the mystery concerning Ryland’s past make it a stimulating read. On top of that, the book doesn’t ever get slow and it even has humor sprinkled in, making it both palatable and thought-provoking.
Discover more about Project Hail Mary
Find Out More About ENTPs: 10 Must-Read Books for ENTPs
INFP – Fairy Tale by Stephen King
“There’s a dark well in everyone, I think, and it never goes dry. But you drink from it at your peril. That water is poison.”
Fairy Tale is a coming-of-age story that follows 17-year-old Charlie Reade as he copes with a life filled with heartbreak. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and his father sought solace in alcohol. In the wake of his mother’s death, Charlie had to be the responsible one and fend for himself.
Charlie tries to look normal, but he’s carrying a huge load of grief everywhere he goes. Then, when Charlie is seventeen, he meets a recluse named Howard Bowditch, and his dog, Radar. They form an unlikely and beautiful friendship. After Mr. Bowditch’s death, Charlie finds that he has left him a house, a huge amount of gold, and a cassette tape telling a story that seems too fantastical to be possible. Charlie soon finds that he’s inherited the keys to a parallel universe where good and evil are at war, and both this world and our world hang in the balance.
Why Did I Pick This Book for INFPs?
INFPs enjoy stories that are rich with imagination, redemption, and nuanced, misfit characters. Fairy Tale opens the windows to another world; one that is in desperate need of a hero. While some moments are terrifying and grim, there is an underlying feeling of hope that pervades Fairy Tale. This is the perfect story to read on a stormy night with a hot cup of tea and a comfy chair. INFPs will find solace in this beautifully written book and be inspired by the courage of Charlie Reade as he embarks on a journey to vanquish evil.
Discover more about Fairy Tale
Find Out More About INFPs: The INFP Learning Style
The INTP – The Maid by Nita Prose
“I’ll never understand it – why people find the truth more shocking than lies.”
Molly Gray struggles to understand people, and people struggle to understand her. Often misreading the intentions of others, she finds the human race overwhelming and confusing. As a result, her gran created a “code” that Molly could use to interpret the world and people around her.
Since her grandmother’s death, Molly has thrown herself into her work as a hotel maid. Her fastidious love of cleaning makes her perfect for the job. She loves donning a crisp uniform, perfecting each room, and having a quiet simple life.
But Molly’s orderly world suddenly gets upended when she enters the suite of one of the hotel’s most famous guests. Inside she finds him dead in his bed, and rapidly the police are targeting her as the suspect thanks to her unusual demeanor. Surprisingly to Molly, friends show up that she never knew she had and work to find clues to what really happened. What results is a Clue-like, closed-room mystery and an inspiring tale of the human spirit.
Why Did I Pick This Book for INTPs?
Molly Gray, while not an INTP, has to deal with a lot of the misunderstandings and judgments that INTPs have to deal with in daily life. They’ll relate to her logical approach to life, her introverted qualities, and her analytical, skeptical mind. Plus, they will love the mystery of this book, with the clues and puzzles that Molly finds as she navigates through a murder investigation. INTPs will appreciate how The Maid not only entertains them but also makes them think and try to solve the clues for themselves.
Discover More About The Maid
Find Out More About INTPs: The INTP Cognitive Function Stack
The ENFJ – Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman
“Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true.
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried.”
Call Us What We Carry is an empowering and inspiring collection of poems by Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in history. In this collection of poems, Gorman explores issues of identity, grief, memory, and America’s history. As well as being an incisive and relevant commentary on the current state of the nation, these poems are a celebration of human resilience and the human spirit.
Why Did I Pick This Book for ENFJs?
ENFJs will appreciate Gorman’s ability to connect with her readers through her heartfelt words. They’ll be moved by her compassion and power to make sense of the world in which we live. This collection speaks deeply to ENFJs and their natural love of metaphor and meaning. Amanda Gorman doesn’t shy away from complex issues like race, feminism, or even the pandemic. Yet no matter where you come from or what political affiliation you have ties with, you’ll find something deeply moving and inspiring in her words.
Find out more about Call Us What We Carry
Find Out More About ENFJs: 10 Must-Read Books for ENFJs
The ENTJ – Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
“Chemistry is change and change is the core of your belief system. Which is good because that’s what we need more of—people who refuse to accept the status quo, who aren’t afraid to take on the unacceptable.”
Lessons in Chemistry does not look like an ENTJ book at first glance (if an “ENTJ book” could be described by looks alone). It’s bubblegum pink cover and “chick-lit” appearance make it seem like it will be something akin to a romance novel. But this book is much more than it appears to be on the surface. In fact, author Bonnie Garmus received “hate mail” from indignant readers who expected a light, romantic beach read and were shocked by the actual contents.
In Lessons in Chemistry, Elizabeth Zott, a chemist living in the 1950s, tries to work out her scientific theories while being continually belittled and undermined. Eventually she finds herself in an impossible situation and taking on a job she never would have dreamed of. As the reluctant star of Supper at Six, Elizabeth uses chemistry to teach women how to make robust, healthy meals. Her no-nonsense, inexpressive approach is terrifying to her producers (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) but Elizabeth never “dumbs down” her audience. In the end, Lessons in Chemistry is a story about power and overcoming adversity and less about cooking or romance of any sort.
Why Did I Pick This Book for ENTJs?
ENTJs have a passion for learning and admire people who beat the odds. In Elizabeth Zott they’ll find a kindred spirit of sorts. While I think Elizabeth is more likely an INTP/INTJ hybrid than an ENTJ, she still has the curious mind and logical, big-picture insight that all NT personality types strive to have. Her directness, ambition, and unwillingness to accept her role in a sexist society make her a powerful protagonist that ENTJs can get behind.
Find out more about Lessons in Chemistry
Find Out More About ENTJs: 10 Must-Read Books for ENTJs
The INFJ – The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
“Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices… Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”
The Midnight Library is a story about the power of choice and second chances—themes that are deeply resonant with INFJs. In this book, protagonist Nora Seed finds herself in the titular midnight library after feeling hopeless and unable to bear her current life any longer. Here she discovers an infinite number of books filled with alternate versions of her life, each one representing a different choice she could have made. As Nora navigates through these possibilities, pondering which life she should choose to lead, readers are asked to think about their own lives and the choices they’ve made along the way.
Why Did I Pick This Book for INFJs?
INFJs are drawn to stories that infuse meaning and purpose into the reader’s life. As introverted intuitives, they are very familiar with ripple-effects, and how one small decision can ripple out into eternity and change everything. The Midnight Library offers INFJs an opportunity to see Nora Seed play with these ripple-effects when she’s at the brink of giving up. The book will raise up questions about identity, free will, and the power of choice—ideas INFJs can ponder deeply and use to their own benefit.
Discover More About The Midnight Library
Find Out More About INFJs: 10 Must-Read Books for INFJs
The INTJ – The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
“Somehow grasping at vanishing snowflakes is like grasping at happiness: an act of possession that instantly gives way to nothing. It reminded me that there was a world outside this house: a world of vastness and unimaginable beauty; a world that for now, remained out of my reach. That memory had repeatedly returned to me over the years. It’s as if the misery that surrounded that brief moment of freedom made it burn even brighter: a tiny light surrounded by darkness.”
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides is a psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end. And for INTJs, this is no small feat. Psychologist Theo Faber has become increasingly curious with the mysterious case of Alicia Berenson. Berenson, an introverted and mysterious artist is accused of murdering her husband and has been living in complete silence ever since. As Theo gets closer to the truth, he is forced to confront difficult questions about life, madness, and the power of silence.
Why Did I Pick This Book for INTJs?
INTJs love a good mystery, and The Silent Patient offers up a doozy. Theo Faber is the kind of protagonist who will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of a complex puzzle—and INTJs can easily relate to this ambitious streak. What’s more, the underlying themes of The Silent Patient—the power of silence, the questioning of reality—will give INTJs much to reflect on after reading. I also believe Theo Faber is an introverted intuitive. I couldn’t clarify whether he was INFJ or INTJ, but there’s a definite streak of introverted intuition mind-candy in this book that INTJs will appreciate.
Discover More About The Silent Patient
Find Out More About INTJs: The INTJ Cognitive Function Stack
The ESFP – Run, Rose, Run by James Patterson and Dolly Parton
“Dark night, bright future
Like the phoenix from the ashes, I shall rise again”
Run, Rose, Run is what you get when you combine the skills of award-winning thriller writer, James Patterson, with the talents of country music superstar Dolly Parton. In this story, AnnieLee Keyes is a small-town woman with big dreams of leaving her oppressive life behind. She hitchhikes to Nashville, Tennessee and finds solace in music after a lifetime of tragedy. But soon AnnieLee’s past catches up with her, and she must find the strength to keep on running—or risk getting caught in its grasp forever.
Why Did I Pick This Book for ESFPs?
ESFPs are all about living life to the fullest, so it only makes sense that they would love this book. AnnieLee’s journey is an inspiring one—flashy, yet heartfelt. The music of Nashville provides the perfect backdrop for her story, as it reflects a longing to break free from the past and start anew. On a deeper level, ESFPs will find solace in the messages of hope and resilience that this book offers. It’s a reminder to them of their own strength and courage, and how they can use it to create positive changes in their lives. This book is a page-turner that you’ll likely read in one sitting so don’t start it too late at night!
Discover More About Run, Rose, Run
Find Out More About ESFPs: 7 Ways That ESFPs Make an Impact
The ESTP – Billy Summers by Stephen King
“God doesn’t have a plan, He throws pickup sticks.”
Billy Summers is a fast-paced, high-stakes story of crime and punishment. It follows the life of Billy Summers, a mercenary who only kills people who can be proven to be evil. After a lifetime of fighting, either in the Iraq war as a sniper, or as a mercenary, he’s ready to start over and begin his retirement with a “clean” identity. However, trouble seems to follow Billy wherever he goes and he soon finds himself in the middle of a dangerous game.
Why Did I Pick This Book For ESTPs?
ESTPs want a book that has a quick pace, a lot of action, and an engaging and clever storyline. Billy Summers delivers just that. They will be captivated by the exciting and thrilling events as Billy navigates his way through danger. They’ll also appreciate the book’s clever dialogue and sharp wit. The underlying themes of trauma, morality, and justice give readers plenty to contemplate after the story is finished. Overall, I feel like this book will leave ESTPs wanting more and feeling inspired to take on their own challenges.
Find Out More About Billy Summers
Find Out More About ESTPs: 10 Reasons Why ESTPs Make Amazing Friends
The ISFP – The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
“This is the thing about good and evil. They aren’t so far apart – and they often start from the same valiant place of wanting something to be different.”
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles away a note to his wife of one year. All the note says is “Protect her.” Filled with terror and confusion, Hannah Hall tries to understand why her husband left, and what his warning means. All she knows is that it refers to his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey. It would be one thing to protect Bailey if she got along with her stepmother, but Bailey can’t stand her and wants nothing to do with her.
Over time, it becomes clear that Owen Michaels is not who he said he was, and his past has come back to haunt him. Hannah and Bailey are thrown into a dangerous world of deception and secrets as they try to uncover the truth about Owen’s disappearance.
Why Did I Pick This Book for ISFPs?
ISFPs love a story that keeps them on their toes but also contains ethical dilemmas and nuanced, conflicted characters. The Last Thing He Told Me has a thrilling plot that’s full of twists and turns, but also contains a message of resilience and courage in the face of adversity. It features strong female characters who are determined to take matters into their own hands, and the reader can’t help but be swept away on their journey of discovery and danger.
Find Out More About The Last Thing He Told Me
Discover More About ISFPs: The ISFP Personality Type
The ISTP – The 6:20 Man by David Baldacci
“When in doubt, say nothing. When not in doubt, double down on that advice.”
Travis Devine is a man of routine and ambition. Every day he boards the 6:20 commuter train to Manhattan, where he works as an entry-level analyst at the city’s most prestigious investment firm. He dreams of climbing the ranks and becoming one of the uberwealthy, with a comfortable life and a comfortable home. In his past he was a decorated Afghanistan and Iraq war combat veteran. Now he’s ready for an easier, less dangerous life.
But everything changes when he receives an anonymous email that only says “She is dead.”
Sara Ewes, Devine’s coworker and prior girlfriend, has been discovered hanging in the storage room of his office building – presumably a suicide, and it’s only a matter of time before the NYPD come calling on Devine. On top of that, Devine receives an ominous visit where a confrontation occurs that threatens to dredge up disturbing secrets from his past. The only way to protect himself is to join in a clandestine investigation of his law firm.
Why Did I Pick This Book for ISTPs?
ISTPs love problem-solving and they’re interested in stories that get the wheels in their minds turning. They crave challenges and want to figure out the truth, and this is exactly what The 6:20 Man provides. ISTPs will get a rush from the book’s suspenseful sequences and clever plot twists. The pace is fast, the dialogue is smart, and the intrigue grows by the minute!
Find out more about The 6:20 Man
Discover More About ISTPs: 24 Signs That You’re an ISTP, the Vigilante Personality Type
The ESFJ – The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
“When deep August arrives, a certain melancholy sets in, the kind people get on a Sunday afternoon.”
Fresh out of a messy breakup with her longtime boyfriend, Nantucket sweetheart Lizbet Keaton is looking for a change – a second chance at life. When she applies for, and gets, a job as hotel manager of the run-down, abandoned Hotel Nantucket, her life is about to get much more interesting.
Faced with the challenge of turning the hotel around and making it profitable again, Lizbet hand-picks a charismatic, yet inexperienced staff to revive the reputation of this once gilded-age gem. Yet as she pursues this dream, she discovers a hidden history buried deep within the walls of the hotel. With all the complicated lives of the guests, the staff, and now these buried secrets, does Hotel Nantucket stand a chance at success or will it only reach its doom?
Why Did I Pick This Book for ESFJs?
The Hotel Nantucket is a book filled with emotional depth and complex, highly-nuanced characters who each have their own secrets. ESFJs are fascinated by people and their stories and this book gives them an inside-look at the secrets people carry. This is also a story that really puts you in the center of its rich atmosphere. As you read The Hotel Nantucket you really feel like you’re gliding through the rooms at the hotel or living amongst the mysterious beauty of the historic Nantucket island. With its sweeping visuals that are just detailed enough, ESFJs will find their imaginations taking flight to new places and new people.
Find out more about The Hotel Nantucket
Find Out More About ESFJs: 24 Signs That You’re an ESFJ
The ESTJ – Sooley by John Grisham
“We are all South Sudanese. Our country is torn by civil strife, where warlords fight for power and our people suffer, but this team will be united as one.”
John Grisham usually centers his stories around the courtroom. But in Sooley, he takes us to a different kind of court. Here is a story that revolves around basketball on the surface, but tells a much deeper tale about survival and hope in the midst of suffering.
In the summer of his seventeenth year, Samuel Sooleyman gets a chance that will change his life. He will embark on a trip to the United States with his South Sudanese teammates to play in a showcase basketball tournament. He has never been away from home and certainly never been on an airplane. Now he has the opportunity to do both, with the potential to be scouted by dozens of college coaches.
But everything takes a nightmarish turn when, part way through the tournament, Samuel receives devastating news from home. A civil war is raging throughout Southern Sudan, and rebel troops have ransacked his home village. His father is dead, his sister is missing, and his mother and two youngest brothers are in a refugee camp.
Samuel must change his goals and focus even harder, even as his heart is breaking. He must do whatever he can to stand out on the court in hopes that he can rescue his family from South Sudan and bring them to America.
Why Did I Pick This Book for ESTJs?
The story of Sooley is one that will captivate ESTJs. They love stories of courage and strength in the midst of adversity, as well as tales about people who work harder than everyone else to do something selfless. This book has all of these elements plus a powerful message about overcoming great obstacles and making a difference in the lives of those around you.
ESTJs will also find themselves drawn to Samuel’s inner strength as he fights to make something great out of nothing and become a hero to his family. His conviction and work ethic will be appealing to ESTJs who also strive to embody these characteristics.
This is a book that shows how one person can rise above tragedy, inspire others, and make the impossible possible.
Find Out More About Sooley
Find Out More About ESTJs: A Look at the ESTJ Leader
The ISFJ – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
“She knew the years of isolation had altered her behavior until she was different from others, but it wasn’t her fault she’d been alone. Most of what she knew, she’d learned from the wild. Nature had nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would.”
When Kya Clark is abandoned by her family at the age of six, she finds herself alone in the Marsh—a rural and isolated area near the North Carolina coast. Over time, she learns how to survive with the animals who live there; how to work hard to get food, scavenge oysters to get money, and protect herself from the dangers of both people and animals.
But when the popular Clark Andrews is found dead near the marsh, Kya is accused of being involved. People have always thought she was strange, calling her “the marsh girl” and believing her incapable of being a part of the community. Now, if she fails to prove her innocence in court, she could lose everything and be sent away from the only home she has ever known.
Why Did I Pick This Book for ISFJs?
ISFJs want to read a story that will transport them to another place and time, and Where the Crawdads Sing is a perfect fit. This book has all the elements that will draw them in: beautiful descriptions of nature, characters that are full of heart, and an emotional story about finding your way when you feel alone in the world.
ISFJs will be inspired by Kya’s resilience, courage and creativity. They’ll feel like they are eyewitness friends to Kya as she tries to create a life for herself when all who should support her have vanished. They may also relate to her struggle with being a quiet outsider, someone who is always underestimated.
This is a story that shows how one person can make something extraordinary out of nothing, even when the odds are stacked against them.
Find Out More About Where the Crawdads Sing
Find Out More About ISFJs: 10 Fictional ISFJ Characters
The ISTJ – The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham
“Great trial lawyers aren’t born; they’re made. The great ones simply tell the jury a story.”
Set in the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, The Boys from Biloxi follows the lives of Keith Rudy and Hugh Malco, two boys who bonded over playing baseball in opposing all-star teams. Both came from immigrant families and had similar experiences to draw from. Life seemed full of promise and possibility.
But as teenagers, life took a different turn. Keith’s father became a renowned prosecutor, determined to “clean up the Coast.” Hugh’s father, in contrast, became the “Boss” of Biloxi’s criminal underground. The two families were headed for a collision that would change both of their futures. And that future was in the courtroom.
Why Did I Pick This Book for ISTJs?
I felt like ISTJs would like the linear, slow-burn progression of Grisham’s book. The Boys from Biloxi is filled with fascinating bits of history, as well as a mounting progression of intensity that leads to an emotional implosion at the end.
Everything in this book is highly researched and it really makes you feel like you’re there in Biloxi throughout the decades. Issues of good versus evil, betrayal, and friendship will be of particular interest to the ISTJ, and they are sure to appreciate the smart courtroom dialogue Grisham is so adept at delivering.
Find Out More About ISTJs: 21 Hobbies That ISTJs Love
What Are Your Thoughts?
Did you enjoy this article? Do you have any book recommendations for other people with your personality type? Have you read any of these books? Let us know in the comments!
Discover 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!