Friendships are some of the most important yet least discussed types of relationships we have in our lives. Instead, most of the focus is placed on familial or romantic relationships. While we lose and gain friends at different times in our lives, making friends once we become an adult is extremely hard. Not only are people moving, having children, or getting new jobs, but sometimes, life happens.
Now more than ever, as we continue to socially distance, having and maintaining our friendships are extremely important. So whether you’re looking to understand the importance of friendship, the effects it has on your mental and physical health, looking for ways to make new friends, or maybe you want to be more present in the lives of your existing friends. Then this list of nonfiction books about friendship is just for you!
Two friends, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman tell the story of their equally messy and life-affirming Big Friendship in this honest and hilarious book that chronicles their first decade in one another’s lives. As the hosts of the hit podcast Call Your Girlfriend, they’ve become known for frank and intimate conversations. In this book, they bring that energy to their own friendship—its joys and its pitfalls.
Five years ago, Lauren Martin was sure something was wrong with her. She had a good job in New York, an apartment in Brooklyn, a boyfriend, yet every day she wrestled with feelings of inferiority, anxiety and irritability. It wasn’t until a chance encounter with a (charming, successful) stranger who revealed that she also felt these things, that Lauren set out to better understand the hold that these moods had on her, how she could change them, and began to blog about the wisdom she uncovered.
The story of a middle-aged everyman who realizes that he doesn’t have any close friends, inspiring him to set out on a humorous and ultimately moving quest to revive old tribes and build new ones, all with the goal of having someone to hang out with on Wednesday nights.
If you’re having trouble connecting with those around you, know that you’re not the only one. Adult friendships are tricky!!! Part manifesto, part guide, The Art of Showing Up is soul medicine for our modern, tech-mediated age. Rachel Wilkerson Miller charts a course to kinder, more thoughtful, and more fulfilling relationships–and, crucially, she reminds us that “you can’t show up for others if you aren’t showing up for yourself first.”
When Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur met in college in 2002, they bonded instantly. Fast-forward to 2010, when they founded the popular fashion and design website Of a Kind. Now, in their first book, Cerulo and Mazur bring to light the unique power of female friendship to fuel successful businesses. Drawing on their own experiences, as well as the stories of other thriving “work wives,” they highlight the ways in which vulnerability, openness, and compassion–qualities central to so many women’s relationships–lend themselves to professional accomplishment and innovation.
What do you think about the books on this list?
Have you read any books from this list? What nonfiction books about friendship would you add to the list?