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
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
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
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.
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
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
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