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25 Books Celebrating the Power of Friendship

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The ultimate friendship reading list! These 25 books celebrate the ups and downs of lifelong friendship. Share with your besties to stay connected through reading this summer.

My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend

Books

Now an HBO series. Book one in the New York Times bestselling Neapolitan quartet about two friends growing up in post-war Italy is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted family epic by Italy's most beloved and acclaimed writer, Elena Ferrante, "one of the great novelists of our time." (Roxana Robinson, The New York Times) Beginning in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Ferrante's four-volume story spans almost sixty years, as its protagonists, the fiery and unforgettable Lila, and the bookish narrator, Elena, become women, wives, mothers, and leaders, all the while maintaining a complex and at times conflictual friendship. Book one in the series follows Lila and Elena from their first fateful meeting as ten-year-olds through their school years and adolescence. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists. "An intoxicatingly furious portrait of enmeshed friends," writes Entertainment Weekly. "Spectacular," says Maureen Corrigan on NPR's Fresh Air. "A large, captivating, amiably peopled bildungsroman," writes James Wood in The New Yorker. Ferrante is one of the world's great storytellers. With My Brilliant Friend she has given her readers an abundant, generous, and masterfully plotted page-turner that is also a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight readers for many generations to come.

The Interestings

The Interestings

Books

Named a best book of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Time, and The Chicago Tribune, and named a notable book by The New York Times Book Review and The Washington Post “Remarkable . . . With this book [Wolitzer] has surpassed herself.”—The New York Times Book Review "A victory . . . The Interestings secures Wolitzer's place among the best novelists of her generation. . . . She's every bit as literary as Franzen or Eugenides. But the very human moments in her work hit you harder than the big ideas. This isn't women's fiction. It's everyone's."—Entertainment Weekly (A) From Meg Wolitzer, the New York Times–bestselling author of The Female Persuasion, a novel that has been called "genius" (The Chicago Tribune), “wonderful” (Vanity Fair), "ambitious" (San Francisco Chronicle), and a “page-turner” (Cosmopolitan). The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’s now-married best friends, become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken. Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.

Sula

Sula

Books

From the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner: Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies. This brilliantly imagined novel brings us the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio. Nel and Sula's devotion is fierce enough to withstand bullies and the burden of a dreadful secret. It endures even after Nel has grown up to be a pillar of the black community and Sula has become a pariah. But their friendship ends in an unforgivable betrayal—or does it end? Terrifying, comic, ribald and tragic, Sula is a work that overflows with life.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Books

The first novel in the wildly popular #1 New York Times bestselling Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, from the author of The Whole Thing Together and The Here and Now. Some friends just fit together.   Once there was a pair of pants. Just an ordinary pair of jeans. But these pants, the Traveling Pants, went on to do great things. This is the story of the four friends—Lena, Tibby, Bridget, and Carmen—who made it possible.  Pants = love. Love your pals. Love yourself."Funny, perceptive, and moving." --USA Today  “An outstanding and vivid book that will stay with readers for a long time.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred, Flying Start    “The loving depiction of enduring and solid friendship will ring true to readers.” —The Bulletin, Recommended    “A feel-good novel of substance.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred   “Uplifting.” —Seventeen

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Books

“A big, blowzy romp through the rainbow eccentricities of three generations of crazy bayou debutantes.”—Atlanta Journal-Constitution“A very entertaining and, ultimately, deeply moving novel about the complex bonds between mother and daughter.”—Washington Post“Mary McCarthy, Anne Rivers Siddons, and a host of others have portrayed the power and value of female friendships, but no one has done it with more grace, charm, talent, and power than Rebecca Wells.”—Richmond Times-DispatchThe incomparable #1 New York Times bestseller—a book that reigned at the top of the list for an remarkable sixty-eight weeks—Rebecca Wells’s Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a classic of Southern women’s fiction to be read and reread over and over again. A poignant, funny, outrageous, and wise novel about a lifetime friendship between four Southern women, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood brilliantly explores the bonds of female friendship, the often-rocky relationship between mothers and daughters, and the healing power of humor and love, in a story as fresh and uplifting as when it was first published a decade and a half ago. If you haven’t yet met the Ya-Yas, what are you waiting for?

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