Enneagram Resource Roundup: Books

“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.” ― Anais Nin

I am the typical Type Five with my head always buried in a book. My love for reading extends to literally all the things, I love a good romance novel as much as a tome on quantum mechanics! Many people ask me about good Enneagram resources where they can dig in and learn all the nuts and bolts of this ancient wisdom, psycho-spiritual tool. And my Five self has books to share! I hope you find this list helpful, though it is not exhaustive, much to my chagrin. There are many Enneagram books still on my TBR List!

Primers

The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson

This is my go-to Enneagram primer and one of the first books I always recommend to anyone starting out with Ennealiterature. It’s written in textbook format which makes the book easy to navigate and skip around, perfect for someone who isn’t sure of their Type yet. Thick and exhaustive, this book is worth the investment, you’ll use it and refer back to it forever.

The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr & Andreas Ebert

Rohr’s take on an Enneagram primer is serious and thorough, giving readers what feels like every spec of information possible. This book is a take on the Enneagram through a Christian lens, substituting the word sin instead of passion for each Type as one example. I liked this book, but it did feel a bit more somber than others I have read.

The Modern Enneagram by Kacie Berghoef & Melanie Bell

A quick and easy primer, this book is a fast rundown on all the Enneagram topics you could dream up. Not only do they go over history, type, wings, subtypes, and arrows, the authors discuss Types in relationships and at work. They provide stories as learning tools through which the reader can see different Type interact with a fictional situation. The back of the book has tips for each Type and questions to consider for healthy daily living.

Millenneagram by Hannah Paasch

Millenneagram is an Enneagram primer written by a Millennial and especially for Millennials, though it can be enjoyed by any age group. The author has an irreverent, witty, unique take on describing the nine EnneaTypes. The book will make you laugh and cry, though it does contain a good amount of swearing. LGBTQ+ and Exevangelical friendly, there is a definite edge to this tome, but I think it’s well worth the read no matter who you are.

Self to Lose Self to Find by Marilyn Vancil

This is another book about the Enneagram from a Christian perspective, though I found it to be light and easier to get from start to finish than Rohr’s book. This has a great take on the Authentic Self and lovely healing prayers at the back that could be adapted as mantras for people of other faith’s or spiritual traditions.

Relationships

The Path Between Us by Suzanne Stabile

A true gem of a book, this resource is all about relationships. Suzanne takes readers through how the nine Types interact and possibly react to each other with wisdom, good humor, and deep insight. This is a must read for anyone seeking to use the Enneagram as a tool to better understand and love the people in their lives.

The Enneagram in Love & Work by Helen Palmer

This book is exactly as described, an investigative peek into how different types would predictably behave in intimate relationships and in the workplace. Palmer is one of the Enneagram greats, and this book is a must read for its detailed, helpful, and informational take on the drives and motivations of the Types in relationships and at work. She takes the reader deep into the psyche with wonderful and realistic insights that have practical, real-life applications.

Are You My Type, Am I Yours? by Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele

This book is full of cartoon illustrations, a good resource for more visual learners. The authors have an interesting take on the Types in relationships, pointing out what each might think or say about the others. A lighthearted read that has a couple moments of depth.

Deep Dives

Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery by Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson

If ever you wanted a peek beneath your own skin, down into the abyss of your psyche and soul, this is the book for you! Riso & Hudson provided nine detailed levels of each type, with Level One being the healthiest version of the number and Level Nine being the darkest, most disintegrated space. This book is for people wanting to do serious Enneagram work on self-discovery and awareness.

The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge by Beatrice Chestnut, PhD

This is one of my favorite Enneagram resources with Chestnut diving into Subtypes, the three survival modes, if you will, for each Type. The book is divided into sections that describe the three subtypes for each number. I’ve found it an invaluable tool for being able to distinguish the differences in motivation and behavior within Type. A bunch of Type Two’s can all seem so different, and yet be the same number. This book explains why.

Niche Topics

The Art of Typing: Powerful Tools for Enneagram Typing by Ginger Lapid-Bogda, PhD

If you are at all uncertain of your Type, or trying to help a friend, family-member, or client figure out their number, this is an amazing resource! The author goes through every combination of Type and asks insightful questions—then provides the answer each Type might say. She really helps readers dig into motivations and drives behind Type, rather than simply typing by behavior alone. Highly recommend.

The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth by Christopher L. Heuertz

This book is a lyrical and beautifully written take on the Enneagram with a special emphasis on the pathways illuminated by Type back to the True Self and God. Heuertz provides in-depth contemplative practices for each number. He further explains and identifies why each Type would respond to a practice well and how everyone can experience healing within stillness, silence, and solitude. This book is written from a Christian perspective, but it’s so open and encompassing, people of different faiths could easily adapt it to fit their beliefs.

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4 thoughts on “Enneagram Resource Roundup: Books

  1. Thanks, Melissa. This is a great summary of the resources available out there. The things I like about The Sacred Enneagram and Self to Lose, Self to Find is that they offer some practical ways forward for each type, such as suggested practices for each type (TSE) and a method of using your type as a way to work with your reactions (STL,STF).

  2. Thanks for the recommendations. I’ve read about half of them, and look forward to tracking down the rest. Rohr seems to be the best teacher I have found so far (someone also put up his lectures on the types on YouTube recently) in terms of outlining each type very, very well, but he is a little somber, yes (he is a 1 after all ;).

    I tried to read one of Palmer’s other books and found that one a bit depressing. She seemed to focus on all the negative stereotypes associated with the numbers, so it was much harder to see myself (a healthy 6w5) in the “extremes” of her 6 descriptions. I am not nearly that paranoid or neurotic. Of course, there’s a bit of a problem in that since she does not acknowledge MBTI, a lot of her descriptions for 6 are ISXJ based and being an ENFP, they would not fit me, since my brain does not work that way.

    1. I love how different authors resonate with people! It shows how much we need diversity, to be able to reach everyone where they’re at. Thank you for giving your take on which books work well for you and some insight as to why. So interesting!

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