Celebrate your Friendship with These Wonderful Books
But first, here are some interesting facts about friendship:
Meeting on the Job: Did you know more than half of people find their best friends at work? This was the conclusion reached by a representative Forsa survey commissioned by the career network Xing.
Healthier, Thanks to Friends: People with many friends have a stronger immune system. This was proven by a study from Ohio State University. But the reason is a little off-putting: a lot of social contact means a lot of germs, which continuously trains our immune system.
Seeking Similarities: Numerous studies have shown that we like to make friends with people of similar age and educational background who live near us.
Great Minds Think Alike: The similarities don’t stop there: friends also have similar brain patterns according to a study published in Nature Communications in January 2018. The researchers concluded that “friends are exceptionally similar to one another in terms of how they perceive, interpret, and react to the world around them”.
Best Friends: According to a study concluded by the Allensbach Institute, 48% of women have a best friend. 45% of men have a best friend. 25% of men even have several best friends, compared to 27% of women. 75% of women and men believe that good friendships last a lifetime.
Small Circle: By the way, the cliché that women are more sociable is not true. Men and women have the same number of friends (an average of six) according to a Splendid Research survey. Of these, however, only half, i.e. three, were regarded by respondents as “true friends”.
Few Friends: Having a small circle of friends is not necessarily a bad sign; it may even indicate that you are particularly intelligent. As a study published in the British Journal of Psychology suggests, particularly clever people regard time spent with friends as wasted because they prefer to pursue and work on their goals.
Solidarity: Many people believe that the most important benefit of a friendship is the ability to mutually rely upon each other when you need help; seeing each other frequently is less important. This was also concluded in a study by the Allensbach Institute.
Relationships give people strength and bring them together. A book about friendship is always a good way to express your appreciation to your friends. Here are our editors’ 7 favourite books to provide some inspiration:
“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction”. With quotes like this, this classic story about friendship has enchanted multiple generations of readers for decades. “The Little Prince” has been translated into 180 languages and, with over 100 million copies sold, is one of the best-selling non-religious works in world literature. The author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry lead an exciting life outside of his authored works. He was a pilot and survived a crash landing in the Egyptian desert in 1935, much like the narrator who meets the little prince after an emergency landing in the Sahara.
This modern fairy tale also tells of the alien prince’s encounter with a fox. He understands the secret of the unique bond between two beings. “One only understands the things that one tames”, says the fox who means becoming familiar with something when he says ‘taming’. And indeed, as the little prince tames the fox, they create a bond that erases the differences between them. “The Little Prince” is a little book full of prose that you can read over and over again.
This book tells the moving story of a very special friendship against the background of the war in Afghanistan. The focus is on twelve-year-old Amir, who strives to win a kite-flying competition in 1975 to make his father proud. To do this, he needs the help of his best friend Hassan. Hassan’s father is a servant of Amir’s father. But the boys’ intimate friendship stays above class distinctions - until the end of the successful kite competition, when Amir betrays his friend horribly. The event changes the lives of both boys dramatically and their paths separate. Amir goes to California with his father and returns years later to his hometown Kabul as an adult. Can he repay his debt? Be sure to have tissues ready: this dramatic story of love and betrayal, separation and reparation, may bring you to tears.
A friendship with a cat named Bob fundamentally changes the life of the British street musician James Bowen. Addicted to heroin, poor, marginalised from society, James lives on the streets for a long time and later in public housing in London. He encounters the abandoned cat for the first time in the corridor of the building in 2007. He notices that the animal is injured, takes it to the doctor and then cares for it. From then on, the red tomcat Bob follows him at every turn, even joining him on the bus when he travels to his performances as a street musician. With the cat, the musician suddenly gains the sympathy of his fellow human beings, though they had previously passed. He earns much more money and manages to get clean. A literary agent heard about the duo through reports in newspapers and the radio in September 2010, and Bowen received a book deal - the book is now a best-seller that has even been filmed in the meantime. It’s a touching story for animal lovers about the power of friendship.
Nicci Morrison seems perfect. She has two sweet twin daughters with her true love, David. She runs a successful fashion company together with her friend Jo. But then Nicci learns that she is terminally ill and will soon pass away. She wonders what will become of her loved ones and comes up with an ingenious idea. She writes letters to her three best friends and gives them her favourite possessions: Lizzie gets the garden, the childless Jo will become a mother to the twins, and she gives her husband David to the independent Mona. With her unusual testament, she plunges her friends into a chaos that the reader follows spellbound. It’s the perfect holiday reading, easy to read and bitter-sweet.
The seventh novel from American novelist and screenwriter John Irving, “A Prayer for Owen Meany” tells the story of Owen Meany through the eyes of his best friend John Wheelwright. Bound by fate due to a childhood tragedy, the boys’ life stories are told through themes which deal with faith, social justice, fate and friendship.
This novel is the perfect solution for readers searching for a literary classic which addresses friendship alongside more heavy topics while maintaining a somewhat innocent tone. Explore Irving’s famous, critically-acclaimed writing style and enjoy this story of camaraderie between two boys in a small New Hampshire town.
This almost 1000-page novel tells the story of the decade-long friendship between four young men in New York. Welded together by the the nights at university that Malcolm, JB, Willem and Jude spent together in a quad room, the four friends in New York are trying to build their future careers. At the centre of the novel is Jude who was abused as a child, but is silent about his past. His friends never dare to ask what is tormenting him, even though they see that his traumatic past has left severe mental and physical scars. Readers will eagerly follow how selflessly his friends care about Jude and never cease to hope that in the end, everything will be fine. It’s a novel with an inescapable magnetism.
Now that you’ve browsed our recommendations for the perfect novels and stories which deal with friendship, why not put that inspiration to use? This interesting book from Jodi Bickley, well-known for her Tedx Talk on handwritten letters, challenges readers to write letters to strangers, friends or even themselves. Practice the dying art of handwritten letters and brighten a friend’s day. Besides, no books can come close to the beauty of the unique connections shared between you and your closest friends.