HAPPY GALENTINE’S DAY, everyone! Hopefully all of y’all know about Galentine’s Day by now, but in case you’ve been living under a rock…
Charles and I have never been very big on celebrating Valentine’s Day; though occasionally we use the holiday as an excuse to try a new restaurant we’ve been eyeing, most years we spend it at home with a home-cooked meal and a board game or movie (this year, we’re putting a pause on our Whole30 recipes and making fish tacos and margs!). However, Galentine’s Day is an entirely different matter.
I love any excuse to celebrate the beauty of female friendships! I have been lucky to have had close, honest friends and female family members in all phases of my life, and this support is what has helped me through my darkest days and biggest challenges. We lean on each other through our long late-night vent sessions and inside jokes, and this sisterhood definitely deserves to be celebrated!
Thus, I give you the Galentine’s Day reading list. If you don’t get a chance to gab over mimosas and eggs Benedict with your favorite girls, you can still celebrate your friends by reading a good book…and maybe a glass of rosé :). Send a copy to your BFF so they can read along!
My Brilliant Friend
I already wrote a review about My Brilliant Friend here, so I won’t delve too much into the plot here. However, this entire series (yes, there’s four books, so you have plenty of reading material!) centers around the life long friendship of two girls in 1950’s Italy. I am in LOVE with the series and recommend it to anyone who will listen to me long enough!
The Enchanted April
One of my favorite classic novels that I read last year! Four female strangers from England answer an advertisement to live in an Italian villa for the month of April. Each woman is undergoing their own personal battle, varying from money troubles to marital strife. While wandering amongst the gardens filled with wisteria and spending time walking along the scenic coasts, these four ladies develop a close bond and help each other regain their joy for life. This book is truly a delight.
If you tend to roll your eyes at the sentimental stories and would rather read a story that gravitates toward the noir, you should check out this past summer’s blockbuster The Girls which explores a more obsessive and toxic nature of female friends. Warning: this book is creeptastic and modeled after the Manson cult/murders, so be prepared to keep your nightstand light on when you go to bed.
So, I’ve never been the biggest fan of “Sex and the City” or HBO’s “Girls” (blasphemy, I know); but that’s because I had already read the book version of “girls who move to NYC to fall in love and make it big and deal with sexism,” and the books are sooo much better than the television versions.
The Group is about eight friends who graduate from Vassar and move to the city to live their dreams. The book is seriously ahead of its time – it has a 1930’s “Mad Men” feel to it and frankly deals with Freudian psychology, financial issues,sex, and contraception. It’s a peek into how women rationalized and dealt with the oppression they experienced at this time, and the influence their friendships had on each other.
(P.S. If you don’t like “historical” stories, Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan is a modern version of Mary McCarthy’s classic, except the girls graduate from Smith College instead of Vassar).
So, in full disclosure: I haven’t read this book yet. I received an advanced copy of this book at a time when I was a little overwhelmed with books, and unfortunately this one got pushed to the wayside. HOWEVER, I have read both “On Beauty” and “White Teeth” by Zadie Smith and have loved her writing, so I feel comfortable recommending this book as well. This latest novel of hers centers around two black dancers and friends, only one of which is truly talented. The story explores the lifetime of this friendship, one’s cultural identity and how our childhood can shape the rest of our lives.
Hope this post gives you plenty of reading inspiration for Galentine’s Day! If not, there’s always Netflix…you can hold a binge session of “The Crown” like I’ve had today!
Are you reading anything special for Galentine’s or Valentine’s Day? Comment below with your recommendations!