The best books celebrating strong friendships

Who am I?

I’m a writer, editor, and self-proclaimed shoe fanatic who loves finding opportunities to traipse through the streets of New York like Carrie in Sex and the City. With an undergrad degree in journalism from Howard University and a graduate degree from Georgetown University, I started a blog in 2007 about shoes, politics, and relationships that centered on my personal experiences with all three. Since then, I’ve contributed opinion articles to The Washington Post, Blavity, and more. My debut novel, The Shoe Diaries, was released in January 2022 by Harlequin Special Edition. The sequel, Bloom Where You’re Planted, will be released on May 24, 2022. 

I wrote...

The Shoe Diaries

By Darby Baham,

Book cover of The Shoe Diaries

What is my book about?

Reagan is a young Black woman who has been tirelessly checking off her list of “should’s” and building a picture-perfect life until she realizes she’s just like the hot pink stilettos that have gone unworn in her closet for years—beautiful to look at, but unfulfilled. When she takes on a “risk list,” she learns to trust herself again and finds love with an unexpected person. While the book focuses on one woman and her journey to trusting herself and love once again, it's her tight-knit circle of girlfriends who keep her grounded every step of the way and who show up during some of her most challenging and vulnerable moments throughout the book.

The books I picked & why

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The Perfect Find

By Tia Williams,

Book cover of The Perfect Find

Why this book?

This story about 40-year-old Jenna Jones restarting her beauty journalism career and falling in love with a young videographer half her age has all the steaminess and will they/won’t they that you can want in a romance. But it’s also the unofficial sequel to Williams’ cult classic, Accidental Diva, and features dynamics friendships throughout. Whether it’s with Billie, the main character from Accidental Diva, and Elodie—her longstanding friends that keep her sane, or with the newfound friends she makes as she journeys through her reignited career, you’re bound to identify with these women and their friendship.

The Vow

By Denene Millner, Angela Burt-Murray, Mitzi Miller

Book cover of The Vow

Why this book?

After attending a New Year’s Eve wedding, three friends decide that they are going to either become engaged or get married by the same time next year. With a premise like that, you know it’s destined to include a plethora of dating and relationship shenanigans. Plus, with three main characters, it gives the reader a great and complex look into the lives of Black professional women. Throughout, the friendships kept me enthralled, and I found it to be a wonderful look into Black sisterhood. 

Confessions of a Shopaholic

By Sophie Kinsella,

Book cover of Confessions of a Shopaholic

Why this book?

Kinsella is considered by many to be the queen of “chick lit,” and it all started with this first book in her massively successful series about the lovable, debt-ridden shopaholic, Rebecca Bloomwood. But while Becky is running around London trying to find creative and frankly, quite funny, ways to keep shopping and avoid paying off her debt, it’s her friendship with Suze that makes the book relatable. We can’t all rack up significant debt while still finding ways to buy more and more clothes, but many of us know what’s it like to have the goodhearted friend who only wants the best for us. 

Late to the Party

By Kelly Quindlen,

Book cover of Late to the Party

Why this book?

A contemporary YA novel, this book will still appeal to all the adults who can remember what it was like trying to figure out who you were as a teenager, how your friends fit into your life, and what it means to shake things up but still maintain who you are at your core. Main character, Codi Teller, is lucky to have two very close friends by her side through it all, but she develops an additional, unexpected friendship with cool kid, Ricky, when she stumbles upon him kissing another boy at a party. Ricky brings Codi into his world full of new experiences, late nights, and a cute girl named Lydia who Codi definitely has a crush on. 

Waiting to Exhale

By Terry McMillan,

Book cover of Waiting to Exhale

Why this book?

I don’t think you can talk about books that celebrate strong friendships without mentioning Waiting to Exhale. McMillan’s classic tale about four Black women learning to love themselves as they navigate relationships has been the standard for storytelling about Black female friendships since it came out in 1992. You’ll laugh, cry, get angry, and ultimately feel empowered by the end of it to take on the world—as long as your friends are right there with you. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in African-American men, romantic love, and African Americans?

5,716 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about African-American men, romantic love, and African Americans.

African-American Men Explore 18 books about African-American men
Romantic Love Explore 409 books about romantic love
African Americans Explore 426 books about African Americans

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Singles Game, A Princess for Christmas, and The Women of Brewster Place if you like this list.