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National Friendship Day

Our friendships range from social acquaintances to chosen family. Some may come and go, while others are constants in our lives. People sometimes have rifts or grow apart, but friends often star in our fondest memories and support us during difficult times. National Friendship Day, observed on the first Sunday of August, is the perfect time to think about the ways our friends have touched our lives.

Below is a list of books about friends, their relationships, and the challenges people face as their relationships evolve. We have a display with additional books on the second floor of the library. You can reserve a book by placing a request in the online catalog, filling out a request form, or calling the reference desk at 978-674-4121. Let us know if you read any of these books. If you love these books, you can write a review or place them in the “Awesome Box” at the ground floor checkout desk.

The Celebrants by Steven Rowley

In 1995, Jordan, Jordy, Marielle, Naomi, and Craig gather after their friend Alex’s funeral. He died unexpectedly, just before their graduation from Berkeley. The friends make a pact to hold living funerals for each other. Chapters alternate between the Jordans, a couple dealing with a medical diagnosis, and the other characters during their times of crisis. The friends have different opinions about the pact and don’t always seem to agree, but it is clear that their bond is deep. Despite not seeing each other regularly as the years go by, they come together when one of them calls.

Who We Are Now by Lauryn Chamberlain (coming soon)

This is another book about college friends as they graduate and grow into the people they will become. Clarissa, Rachel, Nate, and Dev were roommates in college. Upon graduation in 2006, Rachel returns to New York City to work at a magazine and write her novel, followed by Nate who has a job in finance, and Dev, who doesn’t have a plan. Clarissa remains in Chicago, her hometown, hoping to break into comedy. Each chapter is set in a subsequent year and narrated by a different friend. We see them through struggles and successes until the death of one of the characters. The relationships strain over the years due to choices the characters make. Despite knowing from the beginning that one of the friends would die, I needed a tissue at the end of this one.

Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark

Agnes Lee is a children’s book author who also writes adult novels under a pseudonym. A book editor is pushing her to write a memoir, which will reveal information that she has held close. Polly Wister is a widow who had been devoted to her professor husband. The friends, who are nearing the end of their lives, have houses in coastal Maine that are part of a land partnership. A developer is interested in the property, but all parties must agree to sell. Alice wants to donate the land to a trust to protect it from future development. Polly is torn, as her son wants her to sell. Their friendship is tested as the women confront their pasts to deal with the future.

We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman

Edi and Ash have been best friends for over forty years. When Edi’s ovarian cancer is no longer treatable, she moves into a hospice facility near Ash’s home in Western Massachusetts. Edi’s husband and son live in Brooklyn, making Ash Edi’s main support as her life ends. Ash is somewhat self-centered and her life is a bit of a mess, but she is devoted to her friend. Although the premise sounds depressing, the book handles a difficult subject with humor.

These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany

Malak, Kees, and Jenna are childhood friends who met in Islamic school. As they enter adulthood, the women try to navigate their lives and relationships with non-Muslim men. Malak and Kees have a falling out over the choices they have made in those relationships. The conflict weighs heavily on the young women. While Jenna still speaks to both Malak and Kees, they confide less in each other. When they find themselves in precarious situations, the friends realize how important their friendship is.

We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza

Jen, a pregnant white woman, and Riley, a black journalist on the rise, have been best friends since childhood. Jen’s husband, a police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager. While Jen is worried about the future of her family, Riley is covering the story for work and dealing with the tragedy in the community. The situation puts a strain on their relationship and leads them to confront certain realities.

All The Little Hopes by Leah Weiss (eBook)

This book takes place in a North Carolina town that housed a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp. Allie Bert Tucker was sent from the mountains to live with her Aunt Violet. When Lucy Brown meets Bert, the thirteen-year-olds become fast friends despite their different upbringings. Lucy is an avid Nancy Drew fan, and the girls are intent on solving various mysteries in the town while dealing with the realities of the WWII home front and Aunt Violet’s struggle with mental health issues.