Do you wish you had expert knowledge of the secrets of personality type? Do you long to be able to type the people around you and immediately understand where they're coming from? Do you wish you knew how to apply your knowledge of personality styles to make communication easier, calm conflict, and connect with the people in your life?
If you want to become an expert in personality type, you don't have to spend thousands of dollars on a professional typology course. Save money and learn at your own pace with this comprehensive list of the best type books available. Pick and choose from this list to build your knowledge in the areas that interest you most, or read them all to become a true type expert.
Getting Started: The Essentials
What Type Am I? Discover Who You Really Are
An accessible, straightforward introduction to the concepts of personality type. For those just starting their studies on the subject, this book gives an excellent overview of the basics.
However, those who have a solid understanding of basic type concepts and wish to go deeper can safely skip this one and move on to some of the more advanced texts below.
Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
Go straight to the source with this primer on personality type written by Isabel Briggs Myers, the creator of the MBTI (a registered trademark of the MBTI Trust, Inc). This book was her labor of love, and her appreciation for the gifts of each type is apparent in her warm, empathetic writing.
Although not the most accessible of the type books (Briggs Myers' writing style is complex and sometimes obtuse) this is an essential addition to any type library.
Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence
Please Understand Me expands on Isabel Briggs Myers' type theory by introducing the concept of temperaments, broader categories of personality type which provide additional insight into how people approach relationships, decisions, and the world around them.
Besides this useful concept, Keirsey also provides some of the most comprehensive descriptions available on each of the types. Although the writing is highly theoretical and sometimes challenging, the dedicated reader comes away with a deep understanding of how each type functions in the world.
Expanding on the Basics
Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work
In this readable overview, Otto Kroeger gives his expert take on typology and offers highly readable descriptions of each of the sixteen types. Along with an in-depth profile, each type is given a "catchphrase" which offers a quick mnemonic for recalling the essence of a type.
Those who wish to get a better handle on the personality profile of each of the sixteen types will find this book an excellent resource.
The Art of SpeedReading People: How to Size People Up and Speak Their Language
Expert type authors Barron and Tieger offer a different perspective on type and provide the reader with an indispensable resource when it comes to understanding type in other people.
The authors explain how the four dimensions of personality manifest in a person's appearance and behavior, and provide a description of each of the sixteen types from an observer's point of view. A must for those using type to better relate to others.
Choosing a Career
Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type
If you only buy one book about personality type and careers, this should be it. Barron and Tieger offer an overview of type basics for those who aren't yet familiar, and then offer a chapter dedicated to each type.
For each type, the authors provide profiles of real people in satisfying careers; lists of suggested occupations; and important principles to remember when choosing a satisfying workplace. If you are trying to choose the right career for you, the powerful information in this book might just change your life.
What's Your Type of Career?: Find Your Perfect Career by Using Your Personality Type, 2nd Edition
For readers who are serious about using type to choose a career, this resource is an excellent complement to Do What You Are.
This book's strength is really as a reference manual, as it provides lists of suggested careers for each type that correspond with national career information databases. This feature makes it easy to use as a springboard for further research into occupations.
Succeeding in the Workplace
Type Talk at Work (Revised): How the 16 Personality Types Determine Your Success on the Job
Straightforward, highly readable descriptions of personality types at work. Otto Kroeger and his colleagues have a refreshingly practical take on personality types, and do a wonderful job of explaining to the reader exactly how personality type manifests in the workplace.
We're partial to this book because of its applicability; the authors leave out the jargon and instead get down to business with real-world descriptions and suggestions to help you understand personality type in the workplace.
Quick Guide to the 16 Personality Types in Organizations: Understanding Personality Differences in the Workplace
A handy, easily referenced handbook for understanding the sixteen personality types at work. In addition to an overview of each type on the job, the authors also provide a description of each type in leadership roles and on teams, as well as in problem-solving and creative situations.
This is a slim booklet, not a full book, but a worthwhile addition to a comprehensive reference library about type.
Family and Relationships
Just Your Type: Create the Relationship You've Always Wanted Using the Secrets of Personality Type
If there's one question we receive more than any other, it's "What personality type am I compatible with?"
The answer is not quick or easy, but for anyone wishing to use personality typing to improve their romantic relationships, this book is the ultimate resource. The authors have done an amazing amount of work in researching relationship satisfaction between all combinations of personality types. The results are here, both in data about which pairings are happiest, plus profiles of a typical relationship between every possible combination of personality types. Whew!
Nurture by Nature: Understand Your Child's Personality Type - And Become a Better Parent
Barron and Tieger do it again with this compassionate, highly applicable book about parenting to your child's personality type. Naturally, they provide a user-friendly guide to understanding what your child's type might be. They follow up with practical suggestions to improve your empathy for your child's personality style and thus, your parenting to their individual strengths and challenges.
Highly recommended for any parent, but especially those who find themselves parenting children with very different personalities from their own.
Soultypes: Matching Your Personality and Spiritual Path
Are you wondering how your type maps to your spiritual life and calling on this earth? This comprehensive book describes how different types approach spirituality, and how each type can use their own natural gifts to maximize their spiritual life.
From traditionalist ISFJs to questioning ENTPs, every type can feel spiritual fulfillment—but on their own terms. Soultypes helps the reader to appreciate their own approach to spirituality, even if it's not the typical one, so that everyone can feel a sense of higher purpose in their lives.
Knowing Me, Knowing God: Exploring Your Spirituality with Myers-Briggs
Written specifically for people of the Christian faith, this book assists the reader in an intensive self-exploration of their own approach to their faith and how their personality affects their path. Interspersed beautifully with prayers, hymns, and psalms, this slim volume guides the reader to a new understanding of how their personality type may affect their individual experience of their faith, including everything from their style of prayer to the "shadow" that leads them away from God. The author also includes a discussion of the personality type of Jesus.