📖: Aminatou Sow & Ann Friedman’s Big Friendship (2020)
🍸: ward 8
Why this book?
Oddly, the pandemic has made me feel closer to some of my friends who live the farthest away. We’ve started a new ritual where we designate a specific day of the week to check in with each other via text. It is a small gesture, but these weekly updates remind me of the precious connection that we have — something that I want to be more intentional about holding closer to me as I get older.
In thinking about my friends, this book felt like both a delightful celebration and helpful reminder of the necessary effort it takes to be present in each others’ lives. Sow and Friedman’s vulnerable account of their own friendship, supported by interviews and social science research, normalizes the fact that friendships ARE worth fighting for, just like marriages and familial relationships. (And when friendships end, they can feel just as painful as a breakup.) While sharing joyful experiences allow us to build bonds, addressing the conflicting and uncomfortable parts of our friendships are equally essential to fortifying them.
This idea feels a lot like common sense, yet it’s so often hard to act on it. By discussing how they’ve renewed their own friendship, Sow and Friedman show us an example of how we can do it too.
This pandemic has been a wake-up call to pay attention to what’s most important, so the release of Big Friendship this year felt very timely — especially since it also touches on the challenges of interracial friendships. It’s made me think about reaching out more (digitally), until I can give my friends the biggest hug ever for their big friendship…IRL! 🧸🤗💖
Why this drink?
I’m pairing this book with Chad Arnholt’s spin on the Ward 8 cocktail, which originated in Boston. I went to school and started my post grad career in the Boston area, where I met the people who remain my closest friends today, so this drink is for them! 🥂
ward 8 (by Chad Arnholt)
1.75 oz rye
0.5 oz pomegranate grenadine
0.5 oz lemon juice
0.25 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
- to make the pomegranate grenadine, mix equal parts pomegranate juice and sugar and bring to a boil and let cool
- combine all ingredients in a shaker, and shake with ice
- serve in a chilled glass and garnish with orange peel
Another round, please! 🥂
You might also like:
Zadie Smith’s Swing Time (2016)
Finished the book? What did you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
And check out this book excerpt and review to learn more about Big Friendship:
- Book Excerpt: There’s a Divide in Even the Closest Interracial Friendships – including ours. by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, The Cut, July 13, 2020.
- Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman Wrote a Big Best Seller, by Lauren Christensen, New York Times, July 30, 2020.