Big Friendship by Aminatou Sow & Ann Friedman
A close friendship is one of the most influential and important relationships a human life can contain. Anyone will tell you that! But for all the rosy sentiments surrounding friendship, most people don’t talk much about what it really takes to stay close for the long haul.
Now two friends, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, tell the story of their equally messy and life-affirming Big Friendship in this honest and hilarious book that chronicles their first decade in one another’s lives. As the hosts of the hit podcast Call Your Girlfriend, they’ve become known for frank and intimate conversations. In this book, they bring that energy to their own friendship—its joys and its pitfalls.
An inspiring and entertaining testament to the power of society’s most underappreciated relationship, Big Friendship will invite you to think about how your own bonds are formed, challenged, and preserved. It is a call to value your friendships in all of their complexity. Actively choose them. And, sometimes, fight for them.
July 14th, 2020
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Big Friendship has been on my ARC bookshelf for a few months now and after seeing it floating around on #bookstagram more recently, I realized the publication date was sneaking up on me and I decided to dive in.
Big Friendship ended up surprising me in a big way!! I loved the nuanced look at their relationship together and that it also focused on both the highs and lows of this long term connection. Just like romantic relationships, friendships take work, and I so appreciated that they shared the complexities of these important but often under talked about platonic connections.
I was not familiar with the duo, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman (or the Shine Theory!) before reading the book, but many people will know them from their Call Your Girlfriend podcast. If you are not familiar with them either, I highly recommend reading Friedman’s article about the Shine Theory, for a briefer look at the idea they tackle more at length in Big Friendship…
Approaching and befriending women who I identify as smart and powerful (sometimes actively pursuing them, as with any other crush) has been a major revelation of my adult life. First, there’s the associative property of awesomeness: People know you by the company you keep. I like knowing that my friends are so professionally supportive that when they get a promotion, it’s like a boost for my résumé, too, because we share a network and don’t compete for contacts. Also, it’s just plain tough out there — for all the aforementioned reasons about the economy and the dating scene and body-image pressures. I want the strongest, happiest, smartest women in my corner, pushing me to negotiate for more money, telling me to drop men who make me feel bad about myself, and responding to my outfit selfies from a place of love and stylishness, not competition and body-snarking.
(*You can read Friedman’s full article HERE.)
The Shine Theory was one of the highlights of the books for me and was such a powerful reminder about how lifting each other up benefits all of us. This one will be released this Tuesday, 7.14.20, and I highly recommend it!
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.
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