Five Of Our Favourite Books About Friendship
Because not all love stories are romantic ones!
This gloomy Irish August is showing no sign of letting up, so we’re resigned to making the most of the rain and curling up inside with a book and a cuppa.
While we always enjoy a grand romance, there’s something so sweet about books that focus on the other great loves of our lives; our friends.
From books about the magic of life-long besties, to the blossoming of new pals, we’ve put together five of our favourite friendship focused reads.
Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry, some will have you doing both simultaneously. All of them are sure to warm your heart and make you feel all kinds of ways about the family we get to choose for ourselves.
Here’s to friends!
A Little Life
A Little Life is somewhat contentious thanks to its very heavy themes, so make sure to check out the trigger warnings before you tuck in.
This 832 page book is an epic exploration of male friendship. It follows four young men from varying backgrounds who meet in college, as they move their way through life’s many challenges and joys. Over the course of four decades there’s everything from heart aching loss and life shattering addiction to wild success and romantic awakenings – you’ll need a serious supply of tissues to make it through. Hanya Yanagihara has put together a beautiful, intimate and evocative story that will tug at your heart strings over and over.
Don’t be surprised when you get the urge to call your besties and tell them how much you love them!
Conversations With Friends
While the main plot line here is technically about a young woman named Frances who gets involved with an older married man, the most moving and relatable aspect of the story is really Frances’ relationship with her best friend Bobbi.
Between resentment and adoration, Sally Rooney explores the nuances of complex female friendships, and how the ones closest to us shape the way we behave. It’s a book that doesn’t shy away from the difficulties of having one very close friend, while also celebrating the beauty and pure luck of having someone who knows you inside out.
My Brilliant Friend
This honest and intriguing book by Elena Ferrante opens with protagonist Elena discovering her friend Lila has gone missing. As Elena reflects on the beginning of her friendship with Lila, she reveals a portrait of two women whose rough childhood surroundings in an Italian neighbourhood impacted their way of being.
This feminist and authentic portrayal of female friends examines the peaks and valleys of close companionship, and it’s a compelling journey into the truth of girlhood; warts and all. If you enjoy it, there’s three more books that dive deeper into the girl’s decades long bond. Your Sunday afternoons are sorted!
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
If any book highlights the importance of human connection and friendships; it’s this one. Eleanor is a lonely, unusual woman who struggles to fit in, but when she manages to forge a friendship through work, her world begins to open up.
Gaily Honeyman’s sweet, funny and touching writing will make you want to reach out to the people around you – it’s all about looking beyond the surface and finding friendship where you might not expect to. It also serves a strong reminder than no one is an island, and we all need people to lean on when the going gets tough. Simply adorable.
Leonard and Hungry Paul
Leonard and Hungry Paul is a gorgeous story about friendships that are quiet and ordinary, with no real drama and no judgement; just friends being good to each other.
The story follows Leonard and Paul, two middle aged men who live with their parents. They meet from time to time to play boardgames and catch up, sharing kind gestures and supporting each other’s endeavours. Rónán Hession really celebrates the little things that make life worth living in this book, which will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy, filled with gratitude for good friends.