Life is a little more bearable with friends. Good friends will uplift us when we feel down. They will give us sage advice or a series of reprimands, depending on what is needed. In many ways, they make us who we are. Having just celebrated Friendship Day (July 30), I will be gifting my closest friends with a book that celebrates the bond we have. I might as well sneak in a replay. Here are my top five picks.
Khaled Hosseini’s kite
It is the unforgettable story of the unlikely and tragic friendship between a rich boy and the son of his father’s servant. Not just friendship but also love, betrayal and redemption. Trigger warning however, it is sometimes a little violent and the story disturbs. But it’s a haunting and thought-provoking story about the good and evil humans are capable of, and the lengths we go to for our dearest friends.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
A book about four college friends as they navigate life in New York, A Little Life will break your heart. You will cry ugly tears but it will be worth it. Four friends Jude, Willem, Malcolm and JB help each other through the ups and downs of success, addiction, trauma and heartbreak. You’ll see yourself and your friends in the characters, and so it feels extremely cathartic. It’s a thick book, but rest assured you’ll flip through it easily because you won’t want to put it down.
The Star Giver by Jojo Moyes
Set in a small town in 1930s Kentucky, the book is based on the real-life pack horse librarians of Kentucky, or the Horseback Librarian program as it was then known. The program delivered books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Traveling Library and ran from 1935 to 1943, making books accessible to over 100,000 rural residents. The story is tender and heartbreaking and celebrates the power of books and female friendships.
Marley and I by John Grogan
This is based on a true story about a dog named Marley, a yellow Labrador, who was, according to Grogan, the meanest dog in the world. Marley is hyperactive and destructive. This causes many problems for the family. The book is about how they learn to come to terms with him and their grief after Marley’s death. His antics will have you laughing, crying, and hugging your very own pet a little tighter. Marley and Me celebrates the bond we share with our four-legged friends and reminds us to be kinder to them.
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Amy Tan writes great books with complex relationships. You can’t go wrong with any of his works, but The Joy Luck Club tops my list of favorites. This is the story of four Chinese women who are new to the city of San Francisco. They are homesick but they find solace in each other. The book also explores the bond between mothers and daughters and the friendship that people of different generations can share.