MBTI: A Book Recommendation for Every Type

Gabby Sevita, Arts & Entertainment Writer

Crash Course on MBTI: 

The MBTI (Myers-Brigg Type Indicator) is a tool often used to aid individuals with understanding themselves and how they interact with others. MBTI is a measure of personality type based on the studies of psychologist Carl Jung. Though the MBTI personality system may seem simple at first glance, the framework is built upon eight different cognitive functions, and each personality type consists of a complex stack. 

Jung identified four cognitive functions; sensation, intuition, thinking, and feeling. He explained that everyone would have one dominant function and one supporting (auxiliary) function. Being able to classify each person according to their specific functions can indicate a lot about how they process information or make decisions.

Isabel Briggs Myers used Jung’s ideas to create a new system that included eight cognitive functions. Although she kept Jung’s original four functions – which are now identified by the letters S, N, T, and F in the MBTI typing system – she also built on an extraverted and introverted option for each function. 

ENFP, as an example, is defined by the functional stack of NeFi whereby Ne is an extroverted intuition function – the dominant function – and Fi is the introverted feeling function – the auxiliary function. Conversely, an ISTJ would be described as SiTe, where Si is the introverted sensing function, and Te is the extraverted thinking function. 

The extroverted and introverted roles don’t refer to how socially outgoing an individual is. Instead, it pertains to how someone relates to each function’s outward or inward focus. In other words, extroverted functions enjoy exploring the external world as a means of self-expression, whereas introverted functions relate more to self-reflection. 

Which personality are you? 



Must Read Book Recommendations for All Types


ENFP’s are warm, lively, imaginative and selfless individuals who bear a creative love for new ideas, people and ventures. They often enjoy providing guidance to help others explore their potential.

ENFP’s enjoy books that evoke a strong sense of possibility and artistry. They crave books and ideas that fill their brains with wonder, as well as novels that touch their emotions and delve deeper into their values.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Anne Shirley’s ambition, passion and dignity in Anne of Green Gables are all hallmark ideals that ENFPs possess. Anne of Green Gables tells the story of an eleven year old orphan who has arrived in the care of Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert on Prince Edward Island, only to find out that the Cuthberts had expected a boy on their doorstep, not a vivacious redhead girl. Before they get the chance to send her back, Anne charms them with her spirited heart and resourcefully brilliant mind.


Being people-focused individuals, ENFJ are deeply ethical humans who are outspoken, charismatic and introspective. Because they’re motivated by appreciation and enthusiasm, ENFJ are well versed in making connections with others, regardless of their differences or backgrounds. 

As intuitives, ENFJs are greatly enlightened by analyzing complex topics and are often engulfed by stories containing rich symbolism and intricate philosophical ideas. Although ENFJ is drawn to earnest non-fiction novels, they’re also interested in books that allow them to feel and understand life in a different way, such as emotional or romantic stories and characters they can resonate with. 

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi 

Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a bittersweet novel about a cafe in Tokyo that has the ability to send its customers back in time. The only restraint is that they must return before their coffee gets cold. It addresses the age-old question: “What would you change if you could go back in time?” This book is hopeful, yet acknowledges the irrationality of time travel; it’s not a magical phenomenon that marvelously eliminates all problems. Rather, time travel was used to give people a second chance to say “goodbye” and “I’m sorry.” The novel is split into four sections, illustrating stories of unique travelers, but throughout each chapter, the life of Kazu Tokita, the waitress whose coffee allows for time travel is also detailed. This book provides a new perspective on life, one where we can get our final goodbye. ENFJs will find comfort in this heartwarming story, teaching us that difficulties can be overcome with fortitude.


ESTPs are enthusiastic “doers.” Thriving in a world of action and excitement, they aren’t afraid of living on the edge or getting their hands dirty. Making decisions based on logic rather than emotion, they’re ruled by the head and prefer to place concern on facts instead of feeling. Though they are pragmatic individuals, many have a flexible approach to life.  

Due to their high energy and flair for the dramatics, ESTPs get bored quickly. Therefore it’s crucial for this personality to engage with books bound to keep them engrossed the entire time. 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is renown for its formidable commentary on abortion and reproductive freedom. Author Maragret Atwood argues that legally dominating a woman’s reproductive freedom is both politically and ethically incorrect. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a response to individuals who believe that an oppressive, authoritarian and totalitarian government that has grasped other countries throughout history “could never happen here.” 

Atwood tells us the story of life in a dystopian future, where a great sum of the country is enslaved, and women are forced to conceive children in a society controlled by religious fanatic government officials. When the birth rate declines, due to pollution and chemicals, pregnant women are forced to become “handmaids”; women possessed by the male elite. 


Described as composers, ISFPs are goal-driven and incredibly peaceful people. They enjoy living life at their own pace and rejoicing in the moment, despite being very quiet and reserved. Being explorers, they like to experiment with new ideas, and have a strong affinity for the arts. 

ISFPs are adventurers; any novel with nuanced characters, a maze-like style, and nonlinear drama used to break convention, will immerse an ISFP. 

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a beautifully poetic novel exploring themes of war, trauma, abuse, gender, family and language. This painfully extraordinary coming-of-age story tells of a Vietnamese American writer whose family was torn apart by their experiences during the Vietnam War and after the fall of Saigon. Breaking from conventional structures, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a series of letters written from the narrator to his illiterate mother, Rose. The letters reflect upon his childhood and troubled adolescence as a gay working-class immigrant. Vuong analyzes the text as he writes it, he creates woeful symbols and complex motifs to create a novel of a both narrative and braided essay. All of which leads back to the fundamental question of what it means to be human. 


INTJ’s are notorious for being the “masterminds” of all personality types. They value intelligence and efficiency, yet detest mundane surface-level thinking. With a strong natural intuition and judgment, INTJs are able to easily see the big picture, and are persistent in attempting to improve their communities and life around them. 

INTJs might find themselves absorbed in books on science, philosophy and ideology. To INTJs understanding life, and questioning prearranged customs, is a crucial part of living it. Stories filled with thoroughideas, big-picture themes, and futuristic inventiveness, will engross the intellect of the INTJ mind. 

The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Stranger focuses on Meursault, a man living in French-occupied Algeria. After his mother’s death, he inexplicably murders an Arabic man on the beach and is soon sentenced to death. As the novel progresses, Camus explores the question of how individuals find meaning and warmth in a world that’s so deceptive and cold. Because of its themes of absurdity and existentialism, The Stranger is a persisting classic. It  analyzes philosophical viewpoints and questions preestablished customs of meaninglessness and life, relationships and isolation, something that would catch the mind of an INTJ. 




ESFPs are people who love vigorous experiences, engaging in life head on, and discovering the unknown. ESFPs have strong interpersonal skills, they’re spontaneous, friendly, optimistic, and very concerned about the well being of others. People with this personality are diplomats who live in the moment. For them, life is a stage. 

Being a natural entertainer, ESFP would revel in books sparking contagious laughter and fun humor as well as novels containing characters who reflect their free spirited energy. 

Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch 

Love & Olives is a romantic and whimsical coming of age story. Inspired by Mamma Mia! this narrative is about a teenage girl, Liv Varanakis, yearning for romance whilst also trying to reconnect with her absent father. At the heart of the book is Liv and her father’s shared love for Greece and the lost city of Atlantis. Liv’s father fled to Greece when she was only eight to hunt for Atlantis. 

Blocking out these memories for most of her life, Liv receives a postcard from her father and finds herself flying out to Santorini, Greece to help her father with a documentary. funded by National Geographic, the documentary would focus on her father’s theories on Atlantis. When arriving at Santorini, Liv is overwhelmed by emotion and the desperation for reconciliation, but also romantic feelings toward her fathers pupil, Theo. This book beautifully expresses the themes of betrayal and forgiveness, whilst also provoking the question of why her father brought her back to Greece. 


INTPs highly value intelligence, and are arguably the most logical of the personality types. Typically, INTPs are very independent and unconventional, placing value on deeper merits. They live in the world of theoretical possibilities, and have a knack for discovering discrepancies. 

With their daunting knowledge comes creativity. Science fiction will challenge INTPs to use their formidable intellect to search for patterns and new ways to learn. 

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch 

Jason Dessen, a devoted family man and psychologist,  is abducted and sent to a disoriented universe in which another version of his life unfolds. Every belief and assumption he once had about his life was deprived of him. In the world Jason’s placed into, his wife is not his wife, and his son was never born. Jason must find his way back to his family, and the answers he yearns for will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself. 

This book draws on The Many-Worlds Interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics, which proposes that every possible outcome of any event creates a new universe that runs parallel to our own. In one novel, Black Crouch was able to devise a whole multiverse where various versions of the world exist all at once. Dark Matter is a fascinating science fiction read with mind-bendingly strange perceptions of reality. It provides answers to the humanistic question: “What components make up who I am, when stripped of family, lifestyle, and personality?”


ISFJs are truly charitable. They have a natural tendency to exceed all expectations, while also possessing philanthropist beliefs. ISFJs are filled with generosity and altruistic faith, with the desire to provide support and give back. 

Finding some degree of comfort within the pages of books reflecting true defenders and both conventional and unconventional people, ISFJs will indulge in novels based upon true events, whether it’s an inspired book, notably realistic, or even a memoir. They’ll relate to characters who put the needs of others above their own. 

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom, Morrie’s final student, faces a final class where they touch upon a challenging theme. For the past 13 weeks, they have met every Tuesday in the solace of Morrie’s home to discuss the meaning of life. Together they dissect what it takes to create your own culture, exempt yourself from regrets and unfulfillment, but most notably, how to appreciate your family and acknowledge death. All while still giving love to your partner, friends and family. Taught via the other’s experiences, Mitch expressed the profound impact Morrie had left on him in this memoir. Tuesdays with Morrie is a remarkable chronicle of their time together, whereby Mitch exhibits Morrie’s magical gift of thoughtfulness, wisdom, and individuality to the world, condensing all the lessons and anecdotes he learned into one book.


ESFJs are extraordinarily caring and social people, always eager to help. As true altruists, they take great care to adhere to the responsibility of doing the right thing. Filled with warmth and genuine love for the people around them, ESFJs are social butterflies who prefer to live in the present. 

As the “consul,” ESFJs know exactly how to provide comfort for others, whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, or words of encouragement to get you back on your feet. Their optimistic personalities draw them toward romance novels, but their remarkable compassion deserves to be reflected in the literature they read.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a novel set in El Paso, Texas in 1987 following two Mexican-American teenagers and their struggles with ethnic identity, gender, sexuality, and family. Throughout their friendship, Ari and Dante help one another unfold the difficult questions surrounding their identities and who they are. Told through the perspective of Ari, he begins to fall in love with Dante, but faces difficulty opening up to himself and others. This novel is an honest exploration of oneself, and a passionate reminder that one should never shut away the people who love you. It ultimately reminds us that love should be free and without shame. 


Being unable to resist an intellectual challenge, ENTPs are quick thinkers who are swift to recognize and analyze complex correspondence between people, things, and ideas, with earnest portrayal. They can be charismatic, charming, and sweet, discovering possibility everywhere. 

ENTPs are debaters, knowledgeable and savvy, they pine to prove their point. Despite thinking that a thriller falls much below their intellectual level, a good psychological thriller will excite the ENTP psyche. 

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Sometimes I Lie dissects the missing pieces of Amber Reynolds memory, a woman in a coma after a deathly car accident. Although she’s aware of the people around her, she’s unable to move or communicate with them. The narrative fluctuates between “Now”– Amber in the coma, “Then”– leading up to the coma, and “Before”– a series of diary entries from when she is eleven years old, which drops hints as to who Claire, Amber’s sister, truly is, and how Amber’s poor relationship with her mother changed her life. This thriller challenges the readers to untangle the intricate web of lies and manipulation formulated by the characters in this book. Complicated by compulsive liars, hysterical family, and toxic relationships, Sometimes I Lie is bound to mess with your head; packed with red-herrings and deceptive twists, examining the fine line between love and hate.


Artistic and gifted, INFJs view the world as full of possibility and symbolism. INFJs are gentle with much knowledge in caring for others. Sustaining an extraordinary imagination, these individuals are visionaries who are regularly trying to make sense of life and can provide astounding insight to any situation. 

It’s no secret that INFJs are book lovers. Reading for these individuals isn’t just an escape from reality, but also a chance to understand the world and humanity from a different approach. INFJs value novels that compel them to utilize their intuition to anticipate how an event might occur. Detesting superficial books with weak themes, INFJ become immersed by novels that ask formidable questions about our culture, and are open about the hardships of the human condition. 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre tells the story of a struggling orphan who faced both physical and emotional abuse as an adolescent, only to develop as a young woman with astounding passion and courage. When Jane is employed as governess of Thornfield Hall, she meets and falls in love with Mr. Rochester. Unfortunately, like Jane’s upbringing, her love story is filled with mysteries and hidden secrets. As she searches for meaning beyond traditional Victorian society, she must seek out independence and love. Finding comfort in the mysteries of human nature, INFJs will discover beauty in the pages of Jane Eyre as Jane discovers possibility within herself. 


ENTJs are natural leaders, born into a world they view as full of endless possibilities. ENTJs are take-charge individuals who take initiative quickly, yet analytically make decisions. Being somewhat perfectionists, they tend to be active, organized, and strategic, with  strong work ethic and communication skills. 

ENTJs are productive, believing that every activity they engage in should have some degree of productivity. As highly ambitious humans, they lean toward non-fiction books with ambiguous thought-provoking ideas and facts. Despite not having a strong love for fiction ENTJs yearn for fiction books that stimulate their brains by addressing various meanings of life and vast metaphors and symbols. 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Set in a futuristic oppressive society which attempts to strip all means of complexity, confusion and gainsay to ensure happiness for all its citizens, Fahrenheit 451 documents the story of Guy Montag, a fireman. Montag’s job is to destroy the most wretched and illegal item an individual can own: a printed book. 

Blindly following his role in society, Montag fails to question or reevaluate his actions. Living a rather mundane life, each night he returns home to his wife and his television, reliving the same routine over. Clarisse, Montag’s neighbor, is a free-spirited young woman who helps Montag discover the importance of writing. Clarisse symbolizes individualism in a society that has outlawed all means of personality. Fahrenheit 451 explores themes of conformity and the desire for knowledge in a society that expects ignorance. 


Being the idealist of all 16 personalities, INFP holds a naturally warm and compassionate energy. They are peaceful souls who are thoughtful, considerate and good listeners. As a mediator, INFP sincerely cares about understanding others. They attempt to find the good in life, discovering different ways to serve humanity and appreciating every aspect of what life has to offer. 

INFPs have vivid imaginations and explore feelings through their intuition. Therefore, INFPs find joy in the fantastical and exuberant world of fantasy books, which allows them to think analytically about others’ feelings or thoughts.  

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Stephen Chbosky’s debut novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, narrates the emotional story of Charlie’s first year of school. The book follows Charlie as he discovers the strange nature of being in between adolescence and adulthood. From first dates, new friends, drugs, abuse, and suicide, we’re given a glimpse inside the mind of a “wallflower.” Through an accurate portrayal of PTSD, anxiety, and depression in adolescence, both the emotionally perceptive and analytical sides of the INFP mind will find fulfillment.


Possessing a robust degree of integrity, wisdom, practicality, and logic, ISTJs are often described as both physically and mentally organized. Being excellent analysts, they take great pride in their work and work tirelessly toward their goals. 

ISTJs are nonfiction junkies. They’re stimulated by statistics and material, and tend to gear away from mushy cliches. Any book, based upon a true event, holding new information, such as science, or even journalism, refreshes ISTJ. 

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an unloved orphan in 18th-century Paris, is born with an exceptional olfactory sense, capable of distinguishing the thousands of scents surrounding him. Grenouille uses his gift to create the world’s finest perfumes. His work, however, grows grim when he encounters a girl with the most marvelous scent he’s ever endured. 

Perfume analyzes motifs of obsession, power, and control, as well as the hypnotic abilities of evil. At its heart, Perfume is about power. It examines how people obtain power, and the lengths they’d go to to maintain it. Scrutinizing the ideas of hatred and love within humanity, Grenouille finds strength in being hated, and teaches us the moral lesson of loathing vs intimacy. Perfume was inspired by the real-life story of the Spanish serial killer, Manuel Blanco Romasanta, whose murders resembled many of Grenouille’s throughout the novel. 


Taking a very practical approach to life, ESTJs are guided by their matter-of-fact personalities. These individuals are natural born leaders who follow where their morals take them and prefer to live in the familiar. 

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

This is Where it Ends is a harrowing minute-by-minute account of a mass murder at a high school by a dropout student. Four students, all of different backgrounds, at Alabama Opportunity High, each have history with Tyler Browne, the gunman. The four students take turns relaying the story in first person. Tyler attempts to take revenge on the classmates he holds responsible for his feelings of loss and abandonment. This is Where it Ends navigates the story behind a school shooting and allows the readers to not only understand the situation and the culprit, but also those who were majorly affected by it. The topics touched upon by Nijkamp are demanding and horrifically tragic. At times this novel is hard to get through as Nijkamp puts such wounding topics into words. 


ISTP’s are very rational, yet logical people despite being spontaneous, and at times incredibly enthusiastic. Living in the present, ISTPs are always open to new experiences and ways of thinking. They’re very realistic, efficient, and fiercely independent, holding a great degree of generosity and confidence.

ISTPs are drawn to books with fast-paced and riveting accounts of people who either beat or challenge unassailable quarrels. They’re hands-on builders, taking a liking to breaking things down to see how they work, including people and communities. 

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple documents the life of Celie, a poor, uneducated 14-year-old African American girl living in the Southern United States in the early 1900s. Ceile narrates her traumas, abuse and eventual triumph through painful letters to God. Ceile writes to God because she has no one else to tell about all that her father had put her through, from manipulation to sexual abuse and pregnancy. This novel movingly depicts the search for identity and self-realization, overcoming oppression and abuse to find independence.