I Owe You One
Sophie Kinsella sparks joy with this novel about a young woman who just can’t say no. Overgiving is sapping her energy, but she can’t seem to stop. So when a handsome stranger writes her an IOU, she doesn’t ask him to help her…she asks him to help someone else. Ultimately, this chain of exchanges brings her to the brink of decision: can she finally put herself first?
Karen Thompson Walker
An entire town falls asleep to dream in this luminous novel. The mysterious illness starts in a college town where a first-year student falls asleep in her dorm room and just doesn’t wake up. The pandemic spreads, and doctors find that the ill are displaying unusually high levels of brain activity, indicating that they’re dreaming at a level beyond what has ever been recorded. But dreaming of what? And will they ever awaken?
Zadie Smith’s latest novel is about the friendship of two young black girls, both dancers, and how their lives diverge in adulthood. Tracey, the one with talent, keeps dancing and stays in the neighborhood. The narrator leaves home and gets a glamorous job as an assistant to a celebrity. Eventually, her work takes her from London to West Africa, where she ends up confronting a past she thought she’d left behind. Her friendship with Tracey, broken off suddenly after childhood, is not entirely over yet.
Conversations with Friends
Rooney explores female friendship in all its complexity with Conversations with Friends. One night at a poetry reading, best friends Frances and Bobbi meet Melissa, a well-known photographer, and are drawn into her sophisticated world. Frances is impressed, especially with Melissa’s husband Nick. Her flirtation with Nick seems harmless at first, but it develops into an intimacy with consequences. Frances’ relationships begin to fall apart around her, even, eventually, her friendship with Bobbi.
For a positive pick-me-up, go to Miranda’s encouraging collection of affirmations. The creator and star of Hamilton composed these original morsels of inspiration on Twitter, before he became a household name. Now his daily greetings are accompanied by Jonny Sun’s illustrations. Motivate each other this Galentine’s Day.
Here Kitty Kitty
Lee’s life, once so glamorous, is unraveling. Her old friends have left New York, she’s on the outs with her latest sugar daddy, and she’s facing an eviction notice. She has to face reality; the sex, drugs, and booze are only numbing the pain. She hasn’t painted in years, and she doesn’t have any genuine connections with people in her life. When she begins to get close to a bartender who has recently suffered a loss, she decides to leave her party girl lifestyle behind.
Love and Ruin
Martha Gellhorn did not behave well for a woman of her generation, and as a result she made history. McLain brings us a rich biography of Gellhorn’s unusual life, from her shining career as a war reporter in a field dominated by men to her marriage with Ernest Hemingway, and the choice she ultimately had to make to claim her independence.
One Day in December
One day in December, Laurie locks eyes with a man through the window of a London bus, and she knows he is The One. Years go by, and then finally, she meets him again at a Christmas party…where her best friend Sarah introduces him as her boyfriend, Jack. The story of love and friendship between Laurie, Sarah, and Jack that follows for the next ten years is complicated, heartbreaking, and full of close calls. Sometimes fate puts a few extra twists and turns on the road to happily ever after.
Cravings: Hungry for More
For friends who like to make their own Galentine’s Day brunch, Chrissy Teigen provides delicious recipe in this cookbook that doubles as a mini memoir of sorts. Teigen’s collection has won accolades from NPR, the New York Times, Food Network, PopSugar, and readers of Goodreads. The recipes are sure to please everyone, from quick meals to healthy dinners to devastatingly delicious comfort food.
I Take You
Lily Wilder is getting married, but should she be? She likes her fiance Will, a handsome archaeologist, and he loves her. But whether she loves him, or whether he really knows her…those are questions she tries not to think too hard about. And she’s a little too busy anyway, with all of the drinks, laughter, and fun she’s having lately. As her wedding date approaches, Lily is forced to make a sober decision about what she really wants.
Eligible is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice with Liz as a New York magazine writer who is called back to the Bennet family home in Cincinnati when her father has a health scare. The younger Bennet sisters are a drain on the family finances, older sister Jane is nearing forty and single, and Mrs. Bennet is eager to marry all of them off. Enter Darcy, as a neurosurgeon who appears less than charming next to his television-famous friend Chip. Of course, first impressions aren’t everything…
Basu’s debut novel tells the story of a family who thought they had everything they wanted, until the windfall hits them. When Mr. Jha unexpectedly receives an enormous sum of money, he and his wife move to a wealthy enclave of Delhi, India, where the pressure to fit in starts to consume them. The sudden move has a ripple effect on everyone in their lives. Ultimately, the unintended (and sometimes hilarious) consequences of the windfall force the Jha family to reckon with what matters most in life.
February 13th is Galentine’s Day, the day to celebrate your friendships with the women who have stayed by your side through thick and thin…and book club. Why not celebrate by reading, sharing, and maybe giving away some good books? These picks cover a range of tastes, from the friend who wants a light romance, to the one who would love a literary masterpiece, to the cookbook that promises to please everyone. Because the love between friends deserves celebration as much as any other kind.