I've lost track of how many books and online resources I've read on the Enneagram. It's my favorite personality type system. I've been plumbing the depths of my type for several years now and still keep learning new aspects about it. It truly is a dynamic system.
These books are my go-tos. I use them for different reasons and I've tried to mention what I like (and dislike, as it were) about each one. Any questions? Let me know in the comments.
The Enneagram Made Easy- Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele
The title says it all: this is a quick and easy overview of the nine types. Baron and Wagele's books also feature fun cartoons to illustrate each type's strengths and weaknesses. The book also highlights how to get along with each type, what's great and what's hard about being each type, and closes out the chapter with practical suggestions.
The Road Back To You: An Enneagram Journey To Self-Discovery- Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
This provides an introduction to the Enneagram and why it's beneficial to figure out your type. They then devote a chapter to each type. As I read, it struck me how truly readable the book was, as opposed to others which, while worth reading, have a more academic, almost clinical tone.
Cron includes many examples from his and Suzanne's lives, including their friends and family, and this roots the type descriptions better than other Enneagram resources. His writing style is engaging, though his attempts at humor didn't always work for me. This is written from a Christian perspective but I believe non-Christians could still get a lot out of it. Cron is able to depict the types in a way that is personable, gracious, and incising. People will see themselves reflected on the pages and gain more compassion and understanding for themselves and others. (Full review here.)
The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective- Richard Rohr
This was my introduction to the Enneagram. A friend told me he thought I'd find it interesting and I've been off and running ever since. Rohr devotes time to explaining the origins of the Enneagram and the nine types. As the subtitle shows, it's very much rooted in his Christian beliefs. If you're not a Christian, you'll probably want to skip it. If you are a Christian, you may appreciate his care in showing how growing within your type mirrors sanctification. At times, his type descriptions rely on stereotypes and I don't find some of his assumptions helpful (i.e. I don't think entire countries have an Enneagram type.) It'll forever have a special place in my heart.
The Wisdom Of The Enneagram: The Complete Guide To Psychological And Spiritual Growth For The Nine Personality Types- Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson
Dense with information, Riso and Hudson lay out their approach to the Enneagram, particularly focusing on each type's biggest fears, desires, and motivations. This is considered by many to be the foremost resource when it comes to the Enneagram- and I agree. If you don't already know your type, this could be overwhelming. But once you do, dive on in. Riso and Hudson spend a lot of time illustrating how wings and arrows work, as well as showing how each type can grow. Some people may find small sections to be a little too woo-woo but it's easy enough to skip those and focus on the rest. One of my favorite chapters includes the Healing Attitudes for each type, which has been life-changing.
The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths To Greater Self-Knowledge- Beatrice Chestnut
Chestnut has her own spin on the Enneagram. I particularly liked how she lists the key beliefs and assumptions for each type and the way she laid out practical applications. She offers one of the most thorough explanations of the instinctual subtypes (self-preservation, social, sexual) that I've come across and while that particular part of Enneagram theory has yet to resonate with me, a ton of friends were able to identify their specific type because of this. I had a huge personal breakthrough while reading the chapter on Fours. However, I find her explanation of arrows to be confusing and even misleading and would point people toward Riso and Hudson's explanation in The Wisdom of the Enneagram instead. I also didn't like the insets on each type's Greek archetype, though I can see why others will appreciate it. Overall, a solid resource.
Improve Your Relationship With Others
Are You My Type? Am I Yours? Relationships Made Easy Through The Enneagram- Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele
A basic but thorough resource comparing how each Enneagram type pairing gets along. I like how they clarify what each type likes and dislikes about the other types and then gives concrete advice on how to support each type. This is fun to bring to a gathering of Enneagram lovers and pass around. Much interesting conversation ensues.
Fantastic resource for anyone with children in their life, whether or not they're a parent. I'm glad the emphasis is on children containing qualities of a type, instead of typing children. Their personalities can change so much! Still, the concrete information and practical applications will be helpful.
The Enneagram in Love and Work- Helen Palmer
I use this more as a reference tool, rather than a book to read from start to finish. It has proven to be very helpful thus far. Palmer shows how each type interacts with other types in both relationships and at work.The analysis for each type pairing's dynamic at work and in relationships is different, which makes sense because we relate to each other differently if we're coworkers vs. dating/married. I had a tricky dynamic with a colleague and Palmer's suggestions helped me stay on track.
Disclosure: Affiliate links included in this post.