Buddy Reads: 11 Wonderful Books to Read With Your Best Friend

Starting a mini book club with your best friends? Read these 11 books that we’ve picked out for you and a buddy!

Diversity Fiction Recommendations
3 book covers set to background of book stack

Doesn’t every reader wish they could start a mini book club with their close friends? Well, if you’ve already got bookish friends, we’ve rounded up the perfect titles that you can read together! If your friends don’t typically read, you can convince them with these books and also have a great time reading together. We all have varying tastes in literature, but this collection mostly centers around the theme of friendship, which you and a buddy can closely relate to.

1. The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe

The Girls from Corona del Mar is about two teen best friends who are completely different. Mia is reckless and hard-hearted, while Lorrie Ann is kind and beautiful. However, within a few years things change as Mia grows up and finds adventure, and Lorrie Ann is weighed down by responsibilities. Their friendship is put to the test as they question who the other has become.

illustrated book cover of The Girls From Corona del Mar

2. Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho

Fiona and Jane follows the lives of two young Taiwanese American women as they navigate friendship, sexuality, heartbreak, and identity over the span of twenty years. Fiona and Jane have been best friends since second grade and explore the ups and downs of Los Angeles in their teens. One of them moves to New York while the other stays in California, and they eventually start to float in and out of each other’s lives. The story is told in alternating voices as it explores female friendship.

colorful illustrated book cover of Fiona and Jane

3. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante’s first book in a four-volume series is perfect for a buddy read. The story begins in the 1950’s in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples and spans nearly 60 years through the entire series. The two main characters are Elena and Lila, and the series follows them as they grow into women, wives, and mothers, all while maintaining their friendship. This first book details their meeting from ten years old through adolescence.

photo of couple and children on book cover of My Brilliant Friend

4. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

This book is a collection of advice columns from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed. For more than ten years, Strayed accepted letters from readers and offered them help and insight on their problems. This book is a curation of the best of Dear Sugar in one book, bringing wisdom to even more readers.

teal book cover of Tiny Beautiful Things with a sugar cube on it.

5. Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Swing Time is the story of two best friends who dream of becoming dancers, but only one, Tracey, has the talent. It details their complicated childhood friendship and the sudden end of it in their twenties. This friendship is over, but not quite forgotten as they move forward in their new lives and become different people.

yellow, black, and red book cover of Swing Time

6. Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

Girls in White Dresses follows three friends, Isabella, Mary, and Lauren, as they attend so many weddings. It seems like everyone else is getting married and they keep having to attend all kinds of bridal showers and events. However, amid these celebrations, these women still have their own lives to grapple with.

photo of girl in white dress with flowers on book cover of Girls in White Dresses

7. Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell

This New York Times bestseller is about author Gail Caldwell and her best friend Caroline Knapp. It details the story of their deep connection and struggles, as well as Caroline’s eventual diagnosis of cancer. It is a coming-of-age story during mid-life and is a memoir of Caldwell. She writes about the journey of intimate connection and transformation.

book cover of Let's Take the Long Way Home with photo of a river and two canoes

8. Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis

In the story of Cantoras, five women find each other and are defiant during the brutal military rule in Uruguay in the 1970’s. The book follows them over the next 35 years as they travel back and forth from their secret sanctuary, sometimes together, alone, or with lovers. Throughout, they are tested by their families, lovers, society, and each other.

book cover of Cantoras with pictures of a rocky shore

9. Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Conversations with Friends follows Frances, who is a very observant young woman pursuing a career in writing. Frances and her best friend, Bobbi, meet a well-known photographer and her husband. Frances becomes impressed with this couple’s life and begins a flirtation with the husband. This book explores female friendship and what it means to be young, while written with precision and a sense of humor.

yellow book cover of Conversations With Friends with two illustrated faces on each side

10. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

The Interestings follows six friends from youth through middle age as their lives diverge. Decades later, their lives change but the bond remains very powerful. The book explores the meaning of talent, envy, and the roles of class, art, money, and power. It discusses how that all changes over the course of a friendship and lifetime.

colorful striped book cover of The Interestings

11. Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow & Ann Friedman

Big Friendship tells the story of the authors and their real-life friends, Sow and Friedman. The book chronicles their friendship and its ups and downs over the first decade of each other’s lives. The authors define “big friendship” as a strong bond that transcends life phases, location, and emotional shifts. They have come to realize that others experience their struggles as well, through interviews with friends and experts. They understand that the most important part of a big friendship is actively making the choice to invest in each other over and over again.

Colorful book cover of Big Friendship

We hope these picks can convince your non-bookish friends to read with you! If you do have bookish friends, then hopefully you will enjoy these titles that we’ve picked for you. It’s a dream for readers to have friends who love books as much as we do. Because friends who read together stay together.

For articles about buddy reads, click here!

To read these books and more, check out our Friendship shelf on Bookshop!