One Day One Day question

Myers Briggs and literary tastes...
Claire Handscombe Claire May 09, 2011 03:49PM
I am formulating a theory about personality types and literary tastes...

Can you help me out with answers to the following?

1. Do you know your Myers Briggs personality type? What is it?
2. What are five books that you really, really like?
3. Do you have a favourite "genre" of books?
4. What do you think of the idea of someone never quite getting over someone, to the point where they are never able to be happy in any other relationship, a la One Day, or Wuthering Heights, or Rebecca? Is it unrealistic?

Fijke (last edited Mar 31, 2014 04:13PM ) Mar 31, 2014 04:12PM   1 vote
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, A visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
3. I can feel really challenged by clever science fiction and speculative fiction. It has to have a clever premise though, usually related to the social hierarchy or structure. Shades of Grey, A Cruel Bird Came To the Nest and Looked In, The Long Earth are some great examples.
4. I think it's unlikely to happen but the idea will remain intriguing in literature and art because if you're in love with someone you can't have (or think you can't have, which happened to me and my first boyfriend) you feel at that time as if you'll never be happy with anyone else. That's why we can all relate to the idea.

Michelle (last edited Jul 07, 2011 11:05PM ) Jul 07, 2011 11:05PM   1 vote
2. Time Travelers Wife, High Fidelity, One Day, Sophie's World, Pride & Prejudice
3. Mystery (none of my top five!)
4. I think it's a part of growing up and realizing boundaries, expectations, dreams, romance and how it butts up with real life.

2. Perks of being a wallflower - Stephen Chbosky, Generation A - Douglas Coupland, Harry Potter and the deathly hallows, The Crysalids - John Wyndham, Diary of a young girl - Anne Frank
3. Young Adult I think, also science fiction/'other' worlds/dystopian stuff ~ Generally things about societal structures etc.
4. I have seen people take a really long time to get over people, and I think you will always ache/have a place in your heart for certain people, but I am not sure if someone can never be happy in another relationship anymore after losing someone, I guess it feels that way sometimes? However, the world moves on, and so do people.

2. The Collector, Catcher in the Rye, Confederacy of Dunces, Great Expectations,Learning How to Learn by Idries Shah
3.Realistic fiction and psychology
4.I think it can happen some people but it's generally a mark of maturity that the person involved can move on.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird : The Book Thief : Shadows of the Wind : Jane Eyre : The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
3. Crime / Mystery
4. Think you can remain attached to someone/ the past that can remain with you but does not stop moving on to a new and different relationship

Good question. Wondering about this myself.

2. Imagine: How Creativity Works, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Outliers and Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, Cryptonomicon, Ender's Game
3. I mostly enjoy popular science and self-help books
4. Doesn't that happen all the time?

2) Catch-22, Farenheit 451, Listening to Whales; what the orcas have taught us, Lord of the Flies, Sandman
3) Anything by Shakespeare, Poe, Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett or Joseph Heller, anything about cetaceans, biology and chemistry books, fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, science, satire, macabre, dystopian, survival stories, I abhor romance, "women's" and self help books
4)Well that's non-sequitur. I think said person needs to figure out a way to get over it.

I just became aware of this discussion thread. Are you still curious? If so, here are my answers. If not, then, oh well..

2. To Kill a Mocking Bird, Ruins of Ambrai, Gone with the Wind, Sarum, and World without End
3. It's a toss-up between historical fiction and dystopian stuff
4. I don't feel like it's unrealistic, because I've seen it happen to people. It's not healthy, and quite frankly, I find it hard to understand. I've suffered deep romantic losses (broke off an engagement, had a very tough breakup), but eventually I found an even keel again. I think this is the strongest question that ties to personality, though.

2. One Day; Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood; The Help; Gone With the Wind; Rebecca
3. Ones with strong female friendships
4. It's absolutely possible and has an irresistible and romantic pull in either fiction or real life.

proseaddict (last edited May 30, 2011 02:03PM ) May 29, 2011 10:54AM   0 votes
2. Anna Karenina, Museum of Innocense, All About LuLu, Price of Tides, Art of Racing in the Rain
3. Literary fiction
4. Yes, it happens. Is it unrealistic.... no, unhealthy... definitely, but some things you can't control. Love is one of those things.

2. The Black Jewels trilogy (it's in one volume which re-read every few months), Jane Eyre, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, A Brother's Price, Arrows of the Queen
3. Science fiction/fantasy
4. No, I don't believe in the concept of not getting over someone. I believe that you can be changed by a past love and you can allow that love to overshadow all other relationships. The kind of unhealthy situation you are describing isn't love; it's the kind of infatuation you're supposed to outgrow before you leave high school.

2. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George by Mark Kurlansky, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, History of Salt, Night and Day (I know they are 2 separate books but to me they belong together) by Elie Wiesel, Silas Marner by George Elliot
3.Historical Fiction, non fiction and mysteries
4. While I think it is possible to not entirely get over someone, I think it is a choice on whether or not to be happy in any subsequent relationships. Not getting over is normal, choosing not to be happy is the unhealthy part.

2. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarden, The Book Thief, Love (Buscaglia), Possible Side Effects, Santaland Diaries
3. Philosophy
4. This is me right now. Consciously trying to tuck my marriage in a copier paper box and shoving it in the back of the closet, It was a traumatic traumatic break up but I believe with conscious thought, work, and allowing myself to grieve the loss, I'm learning and moving on. Slowly. But I'm moving on.

I think this is such an interesting idea. I hope you'll post your results.
2. Mists of Avalon, Time Travelers Wife, Swimming, The Confessions of Max Tivoli, Girl in the Fall Away Dress
3. Literary Fiction/Romance
4. I do believe it's possible to find a love you never forget but to allow that love/relationship to prevent you from loving someone else is psychologically and emotionally unhealthy.

What an interesting idea!!!
2. A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Book Theif, We Were the Mulvaney's, The Bean Trees
3. No particular genre I don't think...literary fiction
4. It's interesting that you pose this question because I am currently reading (and enjoying) One Day. I do think it happens and is a realistic idea. I think of "first loves" and you always kind of remember that person and have a special place in your heart for them, but you absolutely can find happiness in other relationships.

2. Lilith's Brood, The Child Thief, Fledgling,Vampire Lestat, Fist Full of Charms.
3. Sci-Fi/Fantasy
4. I believe if you allow it, it will consume you especially if you have a weaker personality, it also helps if the person actually doesn't want to let go.

2. Wuthering Heights, The Catcher in the Rye, Harry Potter, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, A Song of Ice and Fire
3. not especially
4. I do think it is possible.

2. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Gulliver's Travels, Maus, A High Wind in Jamaica
3. Metafiction
4. People can convince themselves that this is true/possible, but all it takes to turn them around is someone new who is willing to put in the effort to change their mind.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird, Never Let Me Go, Harry Potter series, The Road, The Secret Garden
3. Literary fiction... but then also "culty nerd" fantasy fiction like Harry Potter and the Hunger Games
4. I think it's realistic to still feel emotionally attached to someone you're no longer with but unrealistic to feel as though you'll never be happy in another relationship. I agree that you can't always control how you feel, however I do think you have at least some control over how you decide to deal with the situation and that whether happiness is a possibility for you is your decision.

2. Tuesdays with Morrie, The Time Traveler's Wife, The DaVinci Code, The Other Boleyn Girl & a book I have yet to read.
3. Favorite Genre is Historical Fiction, Nonfiction, and Memoirs
4. I believe it happens, but it's rare. To say one lost the "love of their life" to death, may never get over it and may always be unhappy. But to lose the "love of your life" b/c that person left you, doesn't make sense. Can it really be love if they LEFT you? Therein, I think those that are depressed over such a scenario, are just choosing to not move on.

Gerd Well, just because you love somebody with all you got doesn't mean they will love you back - so, yes, it can really be love even if the person you gav ...more
Mar 27, 2013 09:11AM

2. the sherlock holmes stories, hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, slaughter house 5, siddhartha, harry potter
3. Culty fiction I guess. Stuff nerds get into
4. I don't think it often happens, esp. if a person lives long enough. I guess the difference for me is the "never happy in another relationship" part. You can never get over someone but find someone else and be perfectly happy (like all of us). Or even find no one and be happy, given enough time.

2. Fallen From Grace, Addicted, One Day, Summer of Two Wishes, My One and Only
3. Romance
4. I do believe that it happens. It is not unrealistic and probably more commonplace than we think.

1. ENTP (a lot of I's here:)
2. Stop Thinking Start Living, any book from Lisa Gardner, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year, The Man Who Forgot His Wife. This is at at the moment but I think this list changes every now and then.
3. Mystery/Crime/Thriller
4. Mmmm... I don't know... some people seem not to get over things generally in life... maybe I'm a bit cynical :D

2. Fun Home, The Edible Woman, Interpreter of Maladies, To Kill a Mockingbird and Sister Carrie. (4/5 authors happen to be women but I could just as easily have picked 5 books by male authors).
3. Character-driven fiction
4. Yes. People certainly can cling to the past, including past relationships, though I agree with those who've pointed out that this isn't healthy for the individual or her/ his new partner and new relationships.

I just wanted to point out how many INFPs there are replying to this discussion. I'm one myself, and most sources I've encountered estimate that we account for only 1% of the population. From this sampling, though, it seems that INFPs account for a significant percentage of those who consider themselves avid readers. Not really surprising, though, considering the typical INFP's introspective nature and appreciation for solitude; reading is perfectly suited to such tendencies. I think it's something more than simply the solitude and escapism that draws INFPs to reading, though. And to certain types of books, at that— emotive and profound stories with quirky characters, and a universal experimentation with the endless permutations of longing, hope, loss, despair, love, and an edgy, soul-deep yearning for something vague and verb-less.

2.The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Atonement by Ian McEwan, and Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult.
3.Realistic Fiction/Historical Fiction
3.I think it's realistic because it's a reoccurring affliction not only in literature but in reality. It's completely unhealthy to jeopardize your own happiness by focusing on someone who broke your heart. And it has to be some form of insecurity to still have yourself believe they are the one for you even after the fact.

2. Beloved- Toni Morrison, The English Patient- Michael Ondaatje, East of Eden- John Steinbeck, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest- Ken Kesey, The Poisonwood Bible- Barbara Kingsolver.
3. Difficult to say. Books I prefer tend to be set in a historical conext but written by 20th century authors. I guess if the books I like were films they would be called dramas.
4. As for the concept of never getting over someone, I would say it's possible, but has more to do with the individual than the strength of the relationship per se. I suspect it's more a choice you make about how you're going to live your life and value your own needs rather than being something intrinsic to the relationship. Also there's the fact that having a belief in 'one true love' is a self-fulfilling prophecy in a way.

Great sure to let me know the outcome of your research!
2. The Help, The Secret History, The Hunger Games, A Gathering Light, The Pursuit of Happiness
3. At the moment it's dystopian fiction
4. Hmmm. I do feel that you may always carry a torch for someone but I do also believe you can find enough love to make you happy enough again. Heithcliff and Cathy always really got on my nerves!


2. Emma (Jane Austen), I Capture the Castle, Enna Burning, The Book Thief, Hons and Rebels

3. Definitely not. I'll read almost anything. It does need to be at least slightly uplifting or hopeful though. And I like them to be well-written.

4. I'm sure it happens sometimes, but I think in those cases the people involved either need to get together or decide very definitely that they can't get together and then work very hard on getting over it. But I did like Wuthering Heights and the whole Snape/Lily thing very much (though I think I will always hate Heathcliff; he's a scumbag.)

2. Smila's Sense of Snow (Hoeg), Winter's Tale (Helprin), Theophilus North (Wilder), Feast of All Saints (Rice), The Shadow of the Wind (Zafon).
3. Literary Fiction and YA
4. It's not realistic and it's sad waste of human potential.

2. The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Westing Game, Ender's Game, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Watch the Wall My Darling
3. Mystery, or adventure with a lead female
4. I can't really answer this.

1.)INFJ/P (literally right in the middle of J and P)
2.)Night, Leaves of Grass, The Millennium Trilogy, The World Unseen, I Can't Think Straight.
3.) Sci-fi/ fantasy
4.) I wouldn't say it's unrealistic or impossible.. rare maybe, but not unrealistic.

2. Crime and Punishment (Dostoyevsky), The Siege (Helen Dunmore), Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (Susanna Clarke), Baudolino (Umberto Eco), The Clerkenwell Tales (Peter Ackroyd).
3. Historical
4. This is the difference between ordinary, everyday love and the Grand Passion. The Grand Passion doesn't have to be a romantic relationship, in fact it doesn't have to be a relationship between people, it can be an attachment to an item (Galahad and the Holy Grail), an experience (Football in Fever Pitch) or even an abstract concept such as freedom or loyalty. To be a Grand Passion the emotions aroused must be so intense that once the object of the passion has gone nothing is ever the same again, not just other relationships, like an alcoholic quitting the booze and trying to compensate with coffee.

Not all perceived Grand Passions in literature are clear cut and I would (and have) argued at length that the Grand Passion in Romeo and Juliet (for example) is not the love between the two characters but the fact that they are both in love with the abstract concept of being in love. Similarly I would question the three examples stated in the question here, for example I've always read a far more positive take on the end of One Day in that Dexter is finally starting to move on, ready for the next relationship and to rebuild the ones that he's messed up over the course of the novel while Max de Winter was suffering guilt and repression at his first wife's death, not obsessive love and I'd argue that by the end his love for the second Mrs de Winter is stronger than it ever was for Rebecca. Wuthering Heights is an interesting case because there certainly is the Grand Passion between Catherine and Heathcliff but rather than this being what stops either of them from forming new relationships in the future it is the various cycles of spite (Catherine making herself ill, Heathcliff's marriage to Isabel and later his dominance over the lives of Cathy and Linton) which ultimately leads to Catherine's death and Heathcliff's madness and thus their inability to form new relationships.

Interesting question and I wonder if that is a typical ISTJ answer.

2. She's Come Undone, Catcher in the Rye, LAMB, Rose Madder, Shutter Island
3. I can't really pick a specific genre...the most specific I can get is "fiction"
4. I agree with what Hannah said - I definitely think your love life can be tainted or haunted by "the one that got away" but I don't think it's realistic that you can never be happy again. I'm sure there are unhealthy situations where that might be the case, but in my opinion it's far from the norm.

2. The Lover (Duras), Old Flith trilogy (Gardam), One Day (Nicholls), Rebecca (du Maurier) and Life's a Party (Churchill Harriman)- just a small selection of books on the theme of endless unresolved sexual or romantic tension.
3. Speculative history and literary biography
4. Real life gets in the way, people move on and the flame dims with time. Then suddenly fate intervenes, the person re-appears at an opportunistic time and it all comes back. Then they think they could never have been and were never as happy as with the person. The flame flares. It's all a state of mind and depends on timing.

2. The Epicure's Lament,A Patchwork Planet,Nobody's Fool, Carter Beats the Devil, Chang and Eng
3.character driven fiction, really good mainstream or literary.
4. This last I call my muse
I'm thinking of doing a blog on this idea and just googled to see if anyone else had written on it.

1. INFJ/though sometimes ENPF (wierd, huh?)
2. Rebbecca, Neverwhere, The Book of Human skin, Nation by Terry Pratchett and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.
3. Fantasy to generalize, but anything with great characters, themes, ideas or humour.
4.It does happen, I'm sure we've all seen this, whether in life or media - it is unhealthy. To be honest, I think that's probably more prominent in unrequited love, where often you don't even get the closure of a no, to ground reality to. I think, though I'm sure loads will disagree with me; that you can be both infatuated and truly in love, although it is a rare mix.

2. Into the darkest corner, The girl with the dragon tattoo, Hunger games, Dead Simple, The reapers are the angels
3. Mystery / Crime
4. Unfortunately it is realistic and although I don't understand it myself I have seen it in others and been shocked / frustrated by it

This is a great idea!
2. The Counte of Monte Cristo, Song of Solomon, Let the Great World Spin, Middlesex, Brave New World
3. literary fiction
4. I totally agree with that concept - I think there's always that one person who you can't shake emotionally, whether you end up together or you're right for one another or not


2. White Oleander, Janet Fitch
The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
Into The Wild, Jon Krakauer

3. Realistic fiction

4. I don’t think’s it’s unrealistic, I just think it’s the risk a person (or character) takes by loving someone so intensely that losing them would leave an impact from which they would never fully recover. I believe it can only happen to certain kinds of people, and in certain relationships. The natural, healthy thing to do is move on eventually, and I think the failure to do so happens in only one of two circumstances: either A) because the person left behind was in some way unstable even before the passing of their partner and are therefore undone by the loss in an irreparably devastating way, or B) because an uncommonly powerful love existed between two people, and one person’s loss of the other was too overwhelming to ever fully move past.

2. Harry Potter series, the Montmaray Journals, To Kill a Mockingbird, The English Patient, and The Elegance of the Hedgehog.
3. Literary fiction, fantasy, YA, biography
4. I think we never completely 'get over' someone, but we are able to move on while still having feelings(romantic, friendly, or otherwise) for them. This sounds extremely cheesy, but I think we all have a place in our hearts for those we have loved, even those who have hurt us or are long gone.

1. INFJ.
2. The World According to Garp, The Time Travelers Wife, On the Road, The Grapes of Wrath, Middlesex
3. Literary Fiction
4. Yes, I do think it's realistic and I don't think it's necessarily unhealthy.

(PS: This is fun, and it's fascinating to read the other types and their answers.)

2. Lilith (George MacDonald), The King of Elfland's Daughter, Complete Poems of John Keats, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Anna Karenina
3. I have a few favorite genres: Literary fiction, literary fantasy, magical realism, romantic and symbolist poetry.
4. It happens.


2. 2001 - A space Odyssey, A. C. Clarke; Lady and the Tramp, Ward Green; Annie on my mind, Nancy Garden; The night circus, Erin Morgenstern; Something wicked this way comes, Ray Bradbury

3. Currently: (YA) Love stories

4. I'm afraid it's quite too realistic an occurence (says the man who allows himself to pine for the same girl for over twenty years now, a girl (well, a woman by know) which likely doesn't even know he exists...)

2. The Velveteen Rabbit, The Wind in the Willows, The Handmaid's Tale, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
4. It happens. It is realistic and very psychologically unhealthy - it's a fixation. I think ppl (not all but some) tend to romanticize and idealize the one they can't have - it's the "one that got away" concept.

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Books mentioned in this topic

One Day (other topics)
The Death of Ivan Ilych (other topics)
The Poisonwood Bible (other topics)
Pride and Prejudice (other topics)
Ender's Game (other topics)