Summary: From the beloved and bestselling memoirist comes a funny and affecting look at making the most of our friendships in an age of isolation.
With her inimitable wit and disarming warmth, Julie Klam shares with us her experiences, advice, and insight in Friendkeeping, a candid, hilarious look at some of the most meaningful and enjoyable relationships in our lives: our friendships.
After her bestselling You Had Me at Woof,
about relationships with dogs, Klam now turns her attention to human
relationships to great effect. She examines everything—from the curious
world of online friendship to the intersection of friendship and
motherhood. She even explores how to hang on to our friendships in the
toughest circumstances: when schadenfreude rears its ugly head or when
we don’t like our friend’s mate.
Klam relays a mix
of brand-new and time-tested wisdom—she finds that longtime friends
really can grow up without growing apart; that communication is key;
that friendship is one of life’s great, free sources of happiness; that
you’re not a friend, just a doormat, if you don’t get back what you
give—and her discoveries range from amusing to deeply important.
Charming, bracingly honest, and compulsively readable, Friendkeeping is
an irresistible book, a treat that you’ll want to share with your best
friends right away. Brimming with keen observations and laugh-out-loud
moments, it’s delivered in the lively, accessible voice that Julie
Klam’s readers have come to know and love. -- Riverhead
I can hardly believe that I've never read a book written by Julie Klam, but it's true. Even after kind of/sort of meeting her at a BEA party, I still hadn't picked up one of her books until FRIENDKEEPING:A FIELD GUIDE TO THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE, HATE, AND CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT arrived at my door. A funny book about friendship -- all of the ups and downs? I thought that might be what I need to get out of the cold weather/pre-holiday reading doldrums.
FRIENDKEEPING is basically Ms. Klam's personal advice book on all things related to friends and friendships. I have to admit when I started reading this book, I wondered what made Ms. Klam such an expert on friendship that she could write over 200 pages on the subject matter. (I told you that I'm in a bit of a funk right now!) However, I was quickly charmed by her intelligent insights and sharp wit. Moreover, I realized that she does have a grasp on friendship that I never could hope to have, and her advice is extremely sound. Never once did I feel she was preaching to me... and I think that was extremely critical to my enjoyment of this book.
The book is organized in chapters by subject matter. For example, she writes about sharing secrets, how to handle a friendship with three people, how to cope with not liking your friends' significant others, how to keep up a long-distance friendship and much more. It's the chapter titles, though, that really impressed me... and made me laugh quite a bit. Just to give you a little sense of the author's sense of humor, here are some of the ones that made me chuckle: Don't Be a Drain, When the Dog Bites, When the Bee Stings, Missed Connections, and From @Friends to IRL.
FRIENDKEEPING delves into all types of friendships from our childhood ones to our adult ones; and it even explores long-term and short-term friendships. However, I admit that one of my favorite chapters was on how online friendship has changed Ms. Klam's life. There were many parts of the book that I was able to relate to, but her thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, and other online social media communication were extremely close to my own. I loved her descriptions of the times she finally got to meet many of her on-line friends (or as my husband refers to them -- fake friends), and I have a feeling that many book bloggers will feel the exact same way.
Another part of FRIENDKEEPING that I liked was how Ms. Klam described how much she's learned about relationships, and especially friendships, from watching how her young daughter Violet interacts with her friends. I loved Ms. Klam's stories about Violet, and even her own childhood; and I think being a mother has definitely enhanced Ms. Klam's ability to not only understand various types of friendships, but also how to be a better friend.
Overall, I enjoyed FRIENDKEEPING a great deal and I think it's a fun read. It's an ideal gift this holiday season for all of the friends in your life!
Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book.