Books are always my favorite gifts to give. I love trying to choose a book based on someone’s personality, interests, and book genre preferences. And I love receiving books too! To me, nothing says that someone knows me and understands me better than choosing a book that engrosses me and touches me.
Over the past year I’ve gotten to know several books about friendship. Some are inspiring and motivating, others are beautifully written examples of memoir, and some are informative and practical.
Here are a few to check out to give to your all of your friends, from your BFF to your co-worker.
For your friend who loves literary memoirs…..
She Matters: A Life in Friendships by Susanna Sonnenburg. The book that started it all for Stephanie and me. This is the memoir of friendship stories that first inspired our reflections on our own relationships and then our HerStories blog. According to Publisher’s Weekly, “Sonnenberg’s strikingly honest depictions of tumultuous female alliances and confessions about friendships are both moving and relatable; her depth of reflection and incandescent prose marks this exceptional memoir as a must-read to share among friends.” We were hooked from the first of these linked essays.
For a friend who loves to read fascinating and surprising research
Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are by Carla Flora, one of our own HerStories Project contributors. An examination of friendship based on research evidence and women’s own stories by a journalist and former Psychology Today editor.
For a friend who’s looking to understand how to make more friends
Friendships Don’t Just Happen!: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of GirlFriends by another contributor, Shasta Nelson. A guide for how to create friendships in today’s busy world by the CEO of GriendFriendCircles.Com.
For the friend who likes funny writers
Friendkeeping: A Field Guide to the People You Love, Hate, and Can’t Live Without by Julie Klam. Klam is a very witty writer. She tackles the topic of adult friendship with humorous vignettes. The book is light-hearted but also wise and poignant.
For the friend who is going through a “friendship breakup“
Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend by “The Friendship Doctor” Irene Levine. In her book (and her blog), Dr. Levine talks about why friendships fall apart, how to cope with getting dumped by a friend, how to end an irreparable friendship, and how to move forward after a traumatic friendship split. She pinpoints many of the various reasons that friendships can disintegrate and also helps shed light on when it is worthwhile to mend the relationship, or better to cut your losses and move on.
And finally, for all the women on your list (your friends, your mom, your sisters), don’t forget about our book, The HerStories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship. Our book is a collection of friendship essays by 50 female writers who reflect upon how a friendship has shaped the trajectory of their lives. We think women of all ages could relate to the power of these bonds and to these stories.
Which books have you given friends for the holidays, birthdays, special occasions, or just because?