This evening I’m having dinner with a set of friends that I don’t see nearly often enough. I think it’s been four or five years since we got together. That’s just too damn long!
In honor of getting together again (and because it is the theme for this week’s Top Ten on Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish) here are some books with friendships that stand endure, even through time apart, across species, through war, and even death.
Death and the Penguin by Andrey Karkov — who says a penguin can’t be a friend?
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik — Temeraire is as faithful, thoughtful and warm a friend as anyone could ever want. Smarter and wiser than most people, the only issue in having a friend like Temeraire is finding the space and food supply to support a 20+ ton dragon.
Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch — there are lots of good reasons to read this fictional recounting of the disaster of the whaleship Essex, not least of which is the complex friendship between Jaffy and Tim that travels across the world.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon — Joe and Sammy are thrown together and then tear themselves apart, only to come back to save each other in the end. That’s how I remember it, but given how uncertain I am of the plot, it must mean it’s time to reread this great book.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt — Boris!! Hobie!! Theo’s relationships to his friends, for good and for ill, drive this novel. Glorious.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline — Can you be friends with people you only meet within the confines of cyberspace? This book answers that question with a ‘YES’. It’s a treasure hunt, but it is also a story of a band of unlikely heroes that come together to best an evil corporation for control of the world.
City of Thieves by David Benioff — Like Jamrach’s Menagerie and Ready Player One this is a quest tale. Lev and Kolya meet in a jail cell during the siege of Leningrad and are given a chance to save themselves. The quest is an impossible one in a starving city: a dozen eggs. Their tale is filled with horrors and hardships, but is also rich with humor and unlikely camaraderie.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein — Female spies and pilots during the second world war. This is on a lot of bloggers’ lists today and for good reason. Well on its way to being a classic of YA literature, as it should. If you haven’t read it, please do.
Dare Me by Megan Abbott — Megan Abbott is brilliant at mining the dark intricacies of female friendships. Competition, love, and power are mingled together in Addy and Beth’s relationship which is at the center of this mystery. The book is disturbing and haunting while at the same time delving into the strength girls derive from one another.