I’m an Enneagram type 4, and I’ve been finding lots of things that feel like they were made for type 4s.
So here are some lists of things I’ve come across that Christian 4s might find meaningful.
The Auralia Thread series by Jeffrey Overstreet
Book 1: Auralia’s Colors
Book 2: Cyndere’s Midnight
Book 3: Raven’s Ladder
Book 4: The Ale Boy’s Feast
This series helped me acknowledge who I want to be–I want to be someone who makes beautiful things and makes a positive difference in the world. It’s not an allegorical series, by the way. If you try to find allegorical parallels in it, you will be disappointed. The prose is gorgeous, and it is the kind of writing style that you will want to take your time with.
Till We Have Faces by C S Lewis
This was C S Lewis’ last fictional work, arguably his best-written novel, and it is a little bit like Narnia for adults. I recommend it even if you’re not a 4. It’s not very well-known and more people need to read it. It forces you to think about common struggles of faith and what love is and isn’t.
The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien
Nowadays, few people read the books. I’ve only read the Fellowship so far, and it was mostly on audiobook, but it made me really appreciate the books even more than the movies that I grew up watching (extended edition). If you can find a good audiobook, you’ll be set. Or if you can handle the writing style, the physical books are great.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
You might be surprised to find this book listed on a recommendations list for Enneagram type fours, but this book was super therapeutic for me in many ways. Fours can often feel like they are beyond redemption, but this book shows that that is not the case. Fair warning for this one, it is a little bit graphic in one or two brief places in the book, as a murder takes place, and a few mentions of suicide. Also, it is a classic, so be prepared for the old writing. However, this book swept me up and while I did read it for a class on Dostoyevsky, I was pulled in by the suspense. This is a well-written book–the last half is more contemplative while the first half has more plot. This is a book for people who like to think about theology and the problem of sin, and those who seek God. Unconditional love is shown beautifully in this story in a powerful way. I feel like this book helped heal some deep parts of my soul.
Also, C S Lewis fans, I recommend this book to you as well (really, any of Dostoyevsky’s major works) because C S Lewis was inspired by Dostoyevsky’s works.
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
This is a book that is commonly on the 100 Must-Read Classics lists, and for good reason. It is arguably one of the most theologically and philosophically rich books I have ever had the pleasure to read. This is not light reading, and it is longer than Crime and Punishment–it also may be a bigger challenge to get into than Crime and Punishment. I think taking a Dostoyevsky class is what really helped me grasp this book, because understanding the historical context of the book and having read a few other works by Dostoyevsky first helped me get into this one and understand where Dostoyevsky was coming from when he wrote it. It was the last book he wrote before he died–it was completed and published three months before he died actually–and it is commonly called his masterpiece.
The reason this book may resonate with Enneagram fours is the intensity and depth of it. The value of Dostoyevsky’s writing comes partially because of his profound understanding of the human soul and ability to portray human characters with subtlety and all their mannerisms in such a way that hits me hard.
Now, all of the fictional books I have just listed are books I plan on writing more in-depth posts about in the future, so stay tuned!
The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning
This book is wonderful for helping you get an idea of God’s great love and longing for you. It helped me in a hard time of my life.
Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
This book is about finding a sense of belonging in the world. I highly recommend it to anyone who struggles with feeling lonely. This is another book that helped me during a hard time of my life.
Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
This movie captures both childlike wonder, melancholy, and creative fulfillment in ways that will touch and encourage Enneagram fours.
This movie is about someone who is different, someone who comes into a French village to make chocolate during Lent, a season where people would usually stay away from sweets. This is a movie my family and I watch just about every year, and every time, it reminds me: What you want to create matters, and you can make a positive difference in the world around you.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
I was surprised, but this movie is why I like Spider-man stories. It’s about the outsider who finds their way in the world–it’s about unique people discovering other unique people and realizing they’re not alone.
Meet the Robinsons
Man, this movie hits me hard. The theme of “Keep moving forward” and embracing your mistakes with compassion so you can let go and move forward is very important for fours. We can tend to get stuck thinking about the past and letting old wounds leave us in resentment. This movie always reminds me to look up and have hope and to do something in the present moment.
Not only is the music wonderful, but the story gives me feelings. An orphan who is a music prodigy who is also trying to find his parents, both of whom are musicians–this is a musical fairy tale.
Whisper of the Heart
This sweet Japanese animated film is about a young girl who writes stories and a boy who makes violins. The writer deals with insecurities in her day to day life as well as struggling with the fear that she will never write as well as she wants to write. Very relateable movie.
Violet Evergarden (anime series)
This anime is great for when you want to cry a lot and feel better afterward. It is also therapeutic for those who have experienced trauma–I have read of multiple veterans coming forth to say that the depiction of PTSD is very accurate. This anime is about a girl who was raised as a weapon of war, but once the war is over, she doesn’t know how to live. She takes on a job to write letters for people who don’t know how to put their feelings into words, and as she improves at this job, by giving words to other people’s feelings, she begins to unlock her own feelings and is able to begin processing the magnitude of all she has been through. Yes, this anime has war in it, but it is not showy–it does not linger on the gore, and most of the action happens in flashbacks.