Musings From A Bookmammal

Top Ten Tuesday–Friendships Between The Pages

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new question or theme is presented.  This week’s prompt is:

 List Your Top Ten Favorite Books About Friendship

Great question! Here are my top ten picks–some fiction, some nonfiction–in no particular order. Ready? Let’s go!

five fortunesFive Fortunes is one of my favorite novels ever—it’s about a group of women of various ages who meet at a spa and then continue to build on their friendships as they go back to their “real” lives. Beth Gutcheon is one of my favorite authors for dialogue—I can usually HEAR her characters speaking their lines inside my head. This novel includes some extremely funny scenes, but also is heartwrenching in some spots. I’ve probably read this book at least five times over the years, and there’s one particular scene that brings me to tears every single time. That’s powerful writing.

truth & beautyI love Ann Patchett’s essays and nonfiction–I feel as though she is speaking directly to me when I read some of her work. Truth & Beauty is her somewhat controversial memoir about her rather complicated friendship with the late author Lucy Grealy. This book speaks to the idea that friendship isn’t always easy—and that you can never truly judge the relationships of others. If you read this book, you also need to read Lucy Grealy’s Autobiography Of A Face for a different perspective.

class reunionClass Reunion by the late Rona Jaffe is a sexy, FUN read about four women who meet as Radcliff freshman during the 1950s. The novel traces their college years, the twenty years following graduation, and all of the drama that ensues. Is this book great literature? No. But it’s a great summer beachbag read and you’ll most likely see  a little bit of yourself in at least one of the women portrayed here. I also love novels that take place in college settings, and this is a good one for a taste of what life was like for female university students during the 1950s.

 

exhaleThe movie Waiting To Exhale starring Whitney Houston and Angela Basset was good, but the book by Terry McMillan was SO MUCH BETTER! This novel tracks the lives of four thirty-something women and their relationships with parents, spouses, lovers, and children. I read this book for the first time when I was in the same age-bracket as the characters, and it really spoke to me. This is a great book!

 

girls from amesThe Girls From Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow is a nonfiction book covering the friendships of eleven women who grew up in the same small town in Iowa and who have continued their bond for over forty years. I am EXACTLY in the same age group as these women and all of the cultural references and attitudes are so familiar to me! This is a wonderful account of how friendships change and maintain over time. Parts of it almost read like a novel, but it’s all real. I love this book, and I’m also intrigued by the idea that a male writer was able to capture real female friendships in such a deep, realistic manner. Obviously he did a great deal to gain the trust of these women who were then confident enough to share such a wide range of feelings and experiences–some not too complimentary– with him.

 

all is vanityAll Is Vanity by Christina Schwarz tells the story of a contemporary friendship gone horribly awry-and the brilliance of the writing is that as the reader, you’re seeing exactly what’s happening, but you’re powerless to stop it. The narrative is told through alternating viewpoints and is very effective for this book. I never understood why this novel didn’t get more press or buzz when it came out about ten years ago—it’s one of my favorites.

 

hot flashesI read Hot Flashes by Barbara Raskin when I was in my late twenties, and I loved it then even though I was at least thirty years younger than the main characters. Now that I’m directly in their demographic, I think I need to read it again. This novel is about the long-time friendship between four wildly different women who come together in their fifties for a funeral. I adored the unique narrative style of this novel, and I love the realistic way that it shows unconditional love between friends.

 

mwfMWF Seeking BFF is a nonfiction narrative by Rachel Bertsche that traces her search for new friends after she moves to Chicago as a newlywed–she goes on a quest to meet 52 new potential friends over the course of one year. Yes, the premise is somewhat gimmicky, but I still really enjoyed this book, and it made me reflect on what I look for in friends in my own life.

 

all summer longLet’s add some perspective from the other side of the aisle, shall we? All Summer Long by Bob Greene is a great novel about adult male friendship. Although the main premise is a bit of a stretch—how many of us can actually take off for a whole summer to drive cross-country with two friends?—it’s still a solid, humorous, and at times very moving account of how childhood friendships ebb and flow into adulthood.

 

charlottes-webCome on now—if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you KNEW I had to include Charlotte’s Web on this list, right? To me, this is so much more than a children’s book—and one of the things that it is is a portrait of true friendship. I leave you with the last lines of this book—“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”

 

How about you? Have you read any of these? What are some of your favorite books about friendship? Please share!

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Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

29 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday–Friendships Between The Pages

  1. cheers for Charlotte’s web! It had to be in the list! 🙂

  2. Nearly all of these are new to me…I’ll have to check them out!

  3. Wonderful choices, I think I’ve got my Top Ten a little wrong this time round, but these all sound great. Class Reunion in particular piqued my interest!

    • I think Class Reunion is probably out of print, but it’s definitely worth looking for at the library or used bookstores if you just want a fun, juicy read!

  4. I haven’t read any of these but I think i’ll check out Five Fortunes. 🙂

  5. I didn’t recognise any until…Charlotte’s web. I will never stop loving that book. Total wonderful moment in my childhood. x) Yay for spiders! (Never though I’d say that…) My TTT!

  6. Classic Charlotte’s Web! Who would’ve guessed one of the greatest friendships ever would be between a pig and spider, but it’s true.

  7. Charlotte’s Web is such a cute book. Great choices.

  8. I don’t think I’ve ever read Charlotte’s Web, I just watched the movie in elementary school hahaha. Other than that, most of these books are new to me. I should probably read more haha.

  9. oh, Charlotte and Wilbur. Such a good choice. that’s a well thought out list. I like the friendship pairs you’ve picked. Kelley at the road goes ever ever on

  10. For a horrible moment as I scrolled down your post I thought Charlotte’s Web had been missed off your list! The best friendship ever is between Charlotte and Wilbur. As always you’ve highlighted lots of interesting sounding books, most of which I haven’t heard of.

  11. These are awesome picks! Great post 🙂
    My Top Ten this week!

  12. Yay for new books to add to my TBR!

  13. Great picks! Definitely agree about Waiting to Exhale!!

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT!

  14. Charlotte’s Web definitely has a great friendship! Great picks!

  15. Great list! Charlotte’s Web is perfect. I haven’t read the others though I did see the Waiting to Exhale movie forever ago. I’d forgotten it was a book! These all sound really good – All Summer Long and The Girls from Ames especially caught my attention.

    • Thank you! I really wanted to get All Summer Long on the list because I think it does a really good job of exploring adult male friendship–which I don’t think we read about too much (at least I don’t!).

  16. Pingback: Sunday Post #6 | Girl of 1000 Wonders

  17. Yay for Charlotte’s Web – the very best book on friendship 🙂

  18. Great eclectic and unique list. Most of these were new to me as well – the Ann Patchett title looks especially intriguing.

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