Friendship is the story of two best friends, Bev and Amy. They are nearly thirty years old, struggling to make ends meet, and unsure of what they want to do with their lives. Their friendship consists of calling each other "dude", whinging about men and work, and pretending to support/encourage one another. Its a pretty vapid pair of characters, but for some reason I found myself hooked on their story. I think it had to with the fact that this book reminded me of an episode of Girls (a show that I love), except it didn't have the intelligence and wit of a Lena Dunham script. And yet, I could easily imagine these two women being a Marnie, Hannah, Jessa, or Shosh. Why? Well, because they just happen to be two of the laziest and most self-absorbed people I've ever read about. Seriously! They view dates (both friend and romantic) as a means of getting free meals, jobs as a place to socialize with friends (via Gchat), and money as something they should just be given (because why should they have to actually work for it). They constantly make bad decisions - like sleeping with their 'friend's' husband while they are all staying under the same roof, or deciding that said 'friend' should raise Bev's baby (because she's rich and Bev's not). How crazy is that!? They are a bad reality show that I just couldn't stop watching. Oh, and as for their friendship, well lets just say that it goes kaput when Amy can't seem to wrap her head around Bev's decision to become a baby mama. Yep, Bev's keeping her baby. Talk about a dramatic friendship, eh? Gould really seemed keen on exploring the bad and good that go with being best friends and I absolutely loved it. She showed Amy and Bev being unsupportive, jealous, petty, and very critical of one another; at the same time, she did share moments when their love for one another shone through and those were the moments I enjoyed reading. I definitely enjoyed getting to know Bev and Amy, in spite of their attitudes of entitlement - they were two women figuring out what it means to finally grow up.
As for My Salinger Year - OMG!! Love, love, love!! This book was fantastic! I absolutely loved getting to know Joanna Rakoff through her book about her year working at The Agency, a literary agency in NYC, in 1996. Having just graduated, this if her first actual job and she throws herself into it with gusto. Of course, she quickly learns that her boss isn't the kind of boss you want to show your 'gusto' off to. As Joanna navigates the ins and outs of office life, she begins to learn more and more about her boss, Salinger, her boyfriend, her friends, the literary world, her writing, and her self. We also get to read about NYC through Joanna's eyes - her daily trek into work via the subway, the Plath-ish style of dress favored by the literatti, the shabby apartment she shared with her writer boyfriend, the icy cold weather that blankets the streets, the hotels and restaurants she desires to eat in, and the bustle of the crowds surrounding her. Joanna writes about her life in such a relatable manner, that you can't help but find yourself lost in her life story. When she gets to read Judy Blume's latest work before anyone else has, you are excited for her. When she meets Salinger and he remembers her from their phone calls, you cheer for her. And when she finally reads Salinger's books and discovers for herself why they are so beloved - you can't help but envy her just a bit, because who doesn't love discovering a new favorite writer for the first time? My Salinger Year is a memoir that is delightful, engaging, and unputdownable. I loved it!
Now, I'm off to read more of It. I'm at the part where Ritchie's reminiscing about his first encounter with It, so I'm eager to find out where his memories take him. Hope everyone's enjoying a good book as well. Happy reading!