What Book to Read Based on Your Personality
Myers-Briggs goes to the bookstore
Your introverted mom loved All the Light We Cannot See, your outspoken best friend recommends The Girl on the Train and your adventurous Aunt Sheila thinks Fifty Shades of Grey is more your style.
Here’s a better idea: Pick your next read based on your Myers-Briggs personality type. (If you don’t know yours, go find out immediately.) Then get back to avoiding Aunt Sheila’s recos at all costs.
INFP: “THE EXPATRIATES” BY JANICE Y.K. LEE
You’re curious by nature, and you love a book that opens up a new world you’ve never seen before. Check out this much-buzzed-about novel following three American women living in an expat community in Hong Kong: a lonely housewife trying to have a baby, a recent Columbia graduate and a mother who has recently experienced a terrible loss.
ENFP: “LOUISA MEETS BEAR” BY LISA GORNICK
You love excitement and are always looking for a new adventure. Get lost in the story of Louisa, a sexually adventurous geneticist’s daughter, and Bear, an explosive son of a plumber, who meet at Princeton in 1975 and have an affair that changes their lives.
ISTJ: “MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON” BY ELIZABETH STROUT
You’re traditional, sensible and logical, so no stories about aliens or vampires for you. This new novel by the author of Olive Kitteridge is perfect. When Lucy is hospitalized for two months, her estranged mother visits and the two try to reconnect over stories of Lucy’s childhood in rural Illinois.
ISTP: “THE CHILDREN’S HOME” BY CHARLES LAMBERT
You’re an explorer who loves new things, and you’re also a bit of a daredevil. Go headfirst into this dark and eerie horror story about a disfigured recluse who begins to take in children who mysteriously arrive at his doorstep…if you dare.
ESTP: “INFINITE HOME” BY KATHLEEN ALCOTT
You’re outgoing, charming and march to the beat of your own drum, and that’s exactly how you like your novels. Fall in love with Edith, a widow who rents her Brooklyn brownstone to an unlikely collection of characters: a stand-up comic, a gorgeous agoraphobe, a disabled man and his overburdened sister and a young artist recovering from a stroke.
ESTJ: “THE KINDNESS OF ENEMIES” BY LEILA OBOULELA
When you sit down to read, you’re not looking to get lost in an alternate universe. You want something realistic, pragmatic and matter-of-fact. Chart the story of a Scottish-Sudanese lecturer who is deep in the study of a 19th-century leader, Imam Shamil, when she discovers her student is his direct descendant.
ISFJ: “A LITTLE LIFE” BY HANYA YANAGIHARA
You’re a quiet, observant person who loves maintaining harmony among her friends, so you’ll find yourself mesmerized by the story of four graduates from a small college in Massachusetts who move to New York to follow their dreams and escape their demons. Chart their paths as their relationships deepen and painful secrets from their past emerge.
ISFP: “BETTYVILLE: A MEMOIR” BY GEORGE HODGMAN
You’re peaceful, easygoing and caring, so you can totally identify with George, who takes a trip from Manhattan to Paris (uh, Missouri) to visit his aging mother, not realizing he’ll wind up staying for an indeterminable length of time and become her caregiver.
ESFP: “BIG LITTLE LIES” BY LIANE MORIARTY
You love living in the moment and experiencing life to the fullest. This New York Times best seller has it all: an acerbic protagonist, a murder (maybe), scandal and lots and lots of secrets.
ESFJ: “MIDNIGHT IN BROAD DAYLIGHT” BY PAMELA ROTNER SAKAMOTO
You’re a literal and concrete gal, and you like your books that way, too. (Fantasy? Um, no.) Immerse yourself in the true story of a Japanese family who finds themselves on opposite sides of World War II when two siblings must return to America and two must stay in Japan.
INFJ: “BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME” BY TA-NEHISI COATES
This extraordinary winner of the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction is a must-read, especially for a confident idealist who stands by her morals. Written as a letter to the author’s teen son, this stirring work explores the often-bleak reality of what it’s like to be black in the United States.
ENFJ: “QUEEN OF SPIES” BY Paddy Hayes
You’re full of passion, charisma and strength, so this story about a kickass female spy is right up your alley. Follow Daphne Park, a woman in the British Secret Intelligence Service, through covert missions during the Cold War. It reads like fiction, but it’s all true.
INTJ: “MR. SPLITFOOT” BY SAMANTHA HUNT
You’re analytical and love looking at things in a new way. Dive into this contemporary gothic novel that follows the dual storylines of an orphan living in a house of abandoned children run by a religious fanatic, and decades later, her pregnant niece.
INTP: “WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR” BY PAUL KALANITHI
You’re thoughtful with a brain for science. Read up on Kalanithi’s journey as a neurosurgeon who must switch roles and become the patient when he is abruptly diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. It’s insightful, poignant and heartbreaking.
ENTP: “THE BLUE LINE” BY INGRID BETANCOURT
You’re a vibrant personality always bursting with new ideas, so you’ll love the story of Julia, a young woman in '70s Buenos Aires who has the gift of visions. She uses them to prevent catastrophic events in her country, even when her own political beliefs put her in danger.
ENTJ: “THE CONFIDENCE GAME” BY MARIA KONNIKOVA
You’re a great leader and you love analytical thinking--check out this Malcolm Gladwell-esque exploration of why humans are duped time and time again by manipulative, confident people. (Bernie Madoff, anyone?)