MBTI Series: Book Recommendations for the ENFJ Type

Posted on April 11 2018


Welcome to BooksActually's series of MBTI promotions, centering about the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. Each week, we will upload reviews for 2 recommended reading titles targeting a specific personality type.

This week, we are focusing on the ENFJ type (Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). ENFJs are relatively rare. However, they often play key leadership roles within society, due to their natural charisma. ENFJs love inspiring others to do good in the world – empathetic and trusting, they believe in the best of people. Deeply in touch with their emotional side, ENFJs also spend much time reflecting on their lives and understanding themselves.

 This week, our two recommended titles should both appeal to an ENFP’s preoccupation with the inner lives of individuals, be it themselves or those around them. Both are thoughtful, reflective works that explore how individuals view, evaluate, and navigate the world around them. Buy them in a discounted bundle here


Book I: The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

Mishima’s The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea is an arresting philosophical read that draws parallels with its author’s own life. An ultra-conservative who celebrated the pre-war ideals of imperial Japan, Mishima was disgusted by the ‘emasculating’ Western influences that were gradually pervading his country. Driven by a vision of returning Japan to its former glory, he attempted a coup in 1970 and then committed ritual suicide by seppuku upon its failure.

The protagonist of The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea is Noboru. Preoccupied with ideals of glory, adventure and heroism, he acts as Mishima’s philosophical alter-ego. When Noboru’s widowed mother first enters a into liaison with Ryuji, a mariner, Noboru regards his new hero with admiration­. As the book progresses, however, Ryuji’s ‘heroic qualities’ are slowly stripped away in Noboru’s eyes – Ryuji is revealed to be kind, friendly, a little disoriented, and in need of companionship. He is revealed to be completely human. The final betrayal occurs when Ryuji abandons his sailor’s life and creeps into the landlocked role of Noboru’s kindly surrogate father. Completely disillusioned, Noboru’s sense of betrayal and rage accelerate into the book’s brutal close.


 Book II: I Want to Go Home 

What would you do for love? Through I Want to Go Home, Wesley Leon Aroozoo’s story rids itself of the self-conscious, sensational affectation that modern books often turn love into. What emerges is a profound tale of sacrifice and devotion – one so beautiful, it seems hardly based on truth.

 Yet, this book was inspired by the life of Yasue Takamatsu. In March 2011, he lost his wife to the tsunami during the Great East Japanese Earthquake. Since then, he has spent each day diving into the sea, searching for her. Intrigued, Wesley Leon Aroozoo journeyed from Singapore to Onagawa to meet him, determined to share his story with others.

 The product of that journey is this book. Touching and gripping, it is a personal look into how an individual can cope with the forces of love and loss.


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