Top 10: International Day of Friendship Roundup

Unlikely companions, childhood besties, and kindred spirits come together across this top 10 of book recommendations celebrating International Day of Friendship.


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Hat Girlby Wanda Campbell (Signature Editions)

What’s more exciting than receiving a mysterious key in the mail? Going on a coastal road trip with your best friend to find the door it fits into! Follow Pertice McIlveen and her pal Es on an adventure that leads to the discovery of a charming cottage by the sea, left to her by a secret benefactor by will. Who is this mysterious person who identifies themselves only as PM? Solving the mystery will require Pertice to wear all kinds of different hats and find a new level of grace under pressure.

Open Your Heart by Alexie Morin, translated by Aimee Wall (Véhicule Press)

Available for the first time in English, celebrated Québecois author Alexie Morin’s auto-fictional memoir recounts the story of a difficult friendship between two girls brought together by illness and operations suffered at a young age. Morin puts this childhood friendship under the microscope in the pursuit of truth, grappling with death, love, bonding, and solitude.

The List of Last Chances by Christina Myers (Caitlin Press)

After losing her job, Ruthie finds herself spending nights with a bottle of wine and couch surfing wherever she can find a place to stay. Desperate for funds to help heal her empty bank account, she accepts an offer from an ad to help drive David’s ageing mother Kay cross country from PEI to Vancouver. But Kay has other plans, and what begins as a road trip of necessity between unlikely travel companions turns into an unexpected friendship full of adventure to find Kay’s long-lost love.

We, Jane by Aimee Wall (Book*hug Press)

When Marthe begins an intense friendship with an older woman in Montréal, they are both led back to their home in Newfoundland to fulfill a new sense of purpose: continuing the work of a 1960’s underground movement referred to only as “Jane”, helping women with abortion services. Small-town life introduces its own challenges– putting the close-knit and complex relationships of the women within the movement under pressure.

Burning the Night by Glen Huser (NeWest Press)

When Curtis moves from small-town Alberta to Edmonton to get his teaching degree, he finds an unlikely friendship with his own blind, elderly Aunt Harriet. In reading the diary from Harriet’s intended husband from pre-World War I, he finds there are unmistakable parallels to his own life that bring him closer to the truth of his own identity—as an artist and as a gay man seeking love.

Cam & Beauby Maria Cichosz (Now or Never Publishing)

A typical gonzo bromance between pothead roomies Cam and Beau evolves when a mysterious, mutual friend enters the picture, putting pressure on Cam to reveal his true feelings of love for Beau. When the familiar comfort of friendship turns strange, their relationship is left hanging in the balance.

my best friend was Angela Bennett by Suzanne Hillier (Inanna Publications)

It’s 1942 in Newfoundland and best friends Angela and Dorothy are nearing the end of high school when a dark and terrible secret enters Angela’s life, bringing with it a shame that prevents her from sharing it with anyone—not even Dorothy. Dorothy herself weighs the decision to become a lawyer in the pursuit of helping women facing domestic abuse. At it’s core, this book examines the barriers that stand in the way of women’s relationships and the enduring nature of friendship through difficult times.

The Last Chance Ladies’ Book Club by Marlis Wesseler (Signature Editions)

All Eleanor Sawchuk is looking for is a bit of peace during her final years and maybe a sweet little winter romance. That dream is upended when a dangerous man moves into the senior complex where Eleanor and her book club besties reside. As the only ones who know about his abusive past, it’s up to Eleanor and her group of friends to dig deeper for the truth and finally confront him.

First by Arleen Paré (Brick Books)

Arleen Paré merges past and present in the search for her long-lost first best friend. Throughout this collection, searching through the cosmos and childhood memory to seek out the firsts that define us—our longings and our desires.

Painting Time by Mayalis de Kerangal, translated by Jessica Moore (Talonbooks)

This coming-of-age novel follows Paula Karst at the beginning of her artistic studies at the famous Institut de Peinture in Brussels. While there she develops a friendship with two other gifted students—a complex relationship that grows to mirror the artistic materials they work with. Studying within this group, profound revelations bring Paula a deeper understanding of the relationship between her and her craft, and bring her closer to the art form that will eventually lead her to working in studios across Europe.