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Sweatpants & Books | A Literary Celebration of Best Friends

By Julie Bond

This year, “National Best Friends Day” falls on Thursday, June 8 and it is the perfect opportunity to rejoice in the friendships we hold most dear. Best friends don’t have to live near one another, work for the same company, be the same age, or even the same species!  In the beautiful words of Henry Ford, “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” Here’s to all of those folks who hold our hand, push us to try new things, are quick to offer a smile, laugh at our jokes, and are willing to support us at every turn, through thick and thin with a hug, kiss, or face lick.  #BFF4VR

Gail Caldwell’s 2010 masterpiece, Let’s Take The Long Way Home: A Memoir Of Friendship is the story of the beautiful friendship between the author and fellow writer, Caroline Knapp, who died in 2002 from an aggressive form of lung cancer. I lost my own mother to a rare form of lung cancer, so this memoir is bittersweet for me. Gail and Caroline were introduced by a dog walker and their friendship began as they took long walks exercising their dogs. Their bond quickly moved far beyond the canine as they discovered how much they had in common. Not only were both women successful writers, they both had issues with alcohol in their past. Both women had been burned by men, and found in each other, and their dogs, a safe place for  bouncing ideas off of one another, airing their fears and foibles, encouraging one another, and ultimately supporting each other as one of them faced the end of her life. This book is a celebration of the friendship between two adult women and is one of those books that will touch your soul long after you’ve finished reading it.

It Happens All The Time, by Amy Hatvany is a light-hearted read about Amber and Tyler, two best friends since high school, always there for each other. When Amber gets engaged, however, they both start to question whether they should take their relationship outside of the friend realm. Solid summer beach read.

Survival Lessons, by Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite gift books. I have given it to numerous girlfriends going through rough times. I even gave it to my mom when she first got her cancer diagnosis. This isn’t a sad little book. It is uplifting and life affirming. It’s a book about choosing to be happy in the moment. That’s a lesson we can all benefit from indeed.

Free Days With George, by Colin Campbell is the true story of a special friendship between a man and his dog. George is a rescue Newfoundland who finds himself as the compatriot of newly single and horribly depressed Colin. Colin’s life has hit a new low and he is struggling to make sense of what happened to his marriage. He and George bond over their love of the beach, and ultimately they both learn to surf. George is the perfect companion for Colin, helping him connect with new people and learn to trust again.

Finally, if you are looking for an amazing mystery with female friendship at its core, look no further than Ruth Ware’s next thriller, The Lying Game, set to be released in July. The author is quickly establishing herself as this generation’s Agatha Christie.  Four private girls’ school friends began the lying game, keeping track of their lies to teachers, classmates, and their families and adhering to the rules they established including the one where they don’t lie to each other. One lie, however, will not only come to define their friendship, it will threaten to tear it apart. The story moves easily back and forth between the girls when they first meet and then many years later as adults. A story about the darker side of friendship that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Julie Bond

Julie Bond is a voracious reader with eclectic tastes running the gamut from YA lit, to psychological suspense, and anything dog-related, of course. You can find her haunting her favorite San Francisco Bay Area indie bookstores. Email her at ObsessiveBookFanatic@gmail.com

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