Ann Friedman Aminatou Sow a3c75

BEFORE THEY BECAME co-authors of Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close (out July 14), pals Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow developed a following as hosts of the feminist podcast Call Your Girlfriend—a show “for long-distance besties everywhere” that has been attracting hundreds of thousands of listeners since 2014. Here, we asked the voracious readers to reveal what books they’ve shared with one another over the years, and why. And they wrote all these responses together—the same way they wrote their whole book! –emily rems



Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice On Love And Life From Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

 dear sugar min 64de7

After Ann finished reading this collection of “Dear Sugar” advice columns, she ran to the nearest bookstore to buy a copy for Aminatou.



Sister Love: The Letters of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker 1974 - 1989 Edited by Julie R. Enszer

sister love min d9104

When Aminatou was reading this collection of letters, she couldn’t stop talking to Ann about it and sending her photos of various passages.



Mama Day by Gloria Naylor

mama day min 0ec2b

We each received a copy of this novel from Carrie Frye, an editor who helped us immensely as we wrote our book, and it will always be special to us for that reason.



You’re The Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women’s Friendships by Deborah Tannen

youre the only one i can tell min 72687

This book about women’s communication patterns helped us understand so many dynamics in our friendship.




Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

her body min a4dea

Ann sent this to book to Aminatou because it was the perfect blend of horror, science fiction, and fairy tales, and she knew Aminatou would especially love the story with absurd summaries of fake Law & Order: SVU episodes.



Real Life by Brandon Taylor

real life min 4dc81

We read and loved Real Life together, so we were elated when Brandon generously agreed to give us early feedback on our book.


By Emily Rems

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!


More from BUST

Alexandra Chang's "Days of Distraction" Sets Race, Romance, and Self-Discovery into Focus

9 YA Love Stories That Will Make You Swoon

"The Photograph" Puts the Radical Simplicity of Black Millennial Love in Focus


Support Feminist Media! During these troubling political times, independent feminist media is more vital than ever. If our bold, uncensored reporting on women’s issues is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $25, $50, or whatever you can afford, to protect and sustain Thanks so much—we can’t spell BUST without U.