“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” ― Mark Twain
A very Happy Friendship Day to you! We hope you have a fabulous, fun-filled, friend-filled (is that even a word? Not sure!) day planned ahead.
To celebrate the spirit of Friendship Day, we came up with a list of friendship-themed books. Not all of these books have friendship as the dominant theme, but each of them celebrate, in some form or the other, the thrills, spills, bitter-sweet pains and enduring joys of friendship. Read on!
The Joy Luck Club
Four Chinese-born women emigrate to America in search of better lives for themselves, and more importantly, their children. They meet for regular games of Mahjong, sharing their lives, vying with each other to present their own families in the best light and supporting each other through crises.
Amy Tan’s debut novel catapulted her to instant fame. The language used in the book is evocative of the beautiful, flawed, but immensely expressive way in which non-native speakers of English speak it. A must-read.
The Kite runner
Amir, a young boy in Kabul, is best friends with Hassan, his father’s young servant. The two boys are divided by class, ethnicity and economics, but united by their young boyhood and mutual love for mischief. Until the terrible day when Amir betrays his best friend in a moment of weakness. This betrayal haunts him forever, until a chance at redemption presents itself. Khaled Hosseini’s best-known novel is still high on bestseller lists, and was also made into a well-reviewed movie in 2007 .
The Little Book of Friendship
‘There is no greater desert or wilderness than to be without true friends.’ In this beautiful collection, Ruskin Bond puts together his favourite sayings on friends and friendship. This delightful compilation is told with Ruskin Bond’s trademark simplicity and gentle humour. A heartwarming book, meant for those times when one’s spirits are at their ebb; read this book to make yourself smile. (Note: If something darker is your cup of tea, check out Bond’s collections of ghost stories, A Face in the Dark and Ghost Stories from the Raj.)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Juliet Ashton, newspaper columnist during World War II and successful author of a much-loved book, is facing writers block. Struggling to find a suitable subject for her next book, she stumbles upon Guernsey, a small island in the English channel, whose intrepid denizens concocted a weird and wacky book club as a means to survive the indignities and horrors of German occupation. The book club members are eccentric, funny, warm and loving – the friends we all wish to have.
The Color Purple
This Pultizer Prize-winning novel makes it to this list because of its themes of female solidarity and sisterhood, which help the characters, black women in 1930s America, deal with the mental, physical and sexual abuse, racism and poverty that they face. A novel that stays with you long after you close the pages. Also read which other works of fiction explore the theme of racism.
The 3 Mistakes of my Life
Finally, we have Chetan Bhagat’s contribution to the list! Govind, Ishaan and Omi are three friends, whose friendship is threatened when dirty communal politics drives a wedge between them. The novel explores how even the truest of friendships may unravel under pressure, but this unraveling is temporary.
Not a Chetan Bhagat fan? Neha Yadav’s article on the inherent sexism in his writings might meet your approval.
Liked our picks? Do you think we missed out on any friendship-themed literary gems? Tell us!