In the wise words of Leslie Knope, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating romance—but Galentine’s Day is about celebrating lady friends.
Each passing year, I feel more and more grateful for my girlfriends. They play important roles in my life: the friend who texts encouragement at just the right time, the friend who stops by with a meal when life is especially hectic, or the friend who invites me over to her house for a cup of tea or glass of wine—not caring about her messy living room.
I love this reminder to say “thank you” to the important women in our lives—and perhaps to send a little treat to show how much we love them.
Today we’re celebrating lady friends bibliophile-style with ten recommendations for giftable books, tailored for the girlfriends who make our lives better with their nurturing, their enthusiasm, and their quick wit.
Whether you need a book to recommend at Galentine’s Day brunch or to give to a dear friend, I hope you find a book you love here—and I hope you’ll share your favorite giftable books to add to the list in comments.
10 books perfect for gifting to friends for Galentine’s
For the friend who makes you belly laugh: Mindy Kaling's latest essay collection is all about growing up: she covers everything from body image to inner confidence to Hollywood life. When it's good, it's very, very good: my favorite stories were about The Office and Mindy's personal career trajectory, but she also spills on her friendship with B.J. Novak and many more big names in Hollywood. A lovely mix of laugh-out-loud moments and sincerity. More info →
For the entrepreneurial friend: You can't beat this lavishly illustrated compendium from Design Sponge founder Grace Bonney for creative inspiration. The book profiles 100 women of diverse ages, races, and industries—restauranteurs, chefs, potters, television hosts, designers, photographers, choreographers—photographing them in their workspaces, and sharing stories from their lives and businesses. The best kind of inspiration, in a display-worthy volume. More info →
For the passionate friend: This little book packs a powerful punch. When a friend asked for advice on how to raise her new daughter as a feminist, Adichie responded with this letter, which includes 15 suggestions for how to empower her baby girl to become a strong, independent written. Easy to read in one sitting, and worth doing so. More info →
For the friend who always checks in:Text Me When You Get Home examines the importance of female friendship and is sure to inspire a reflection about how it's impacted your own life. Part memoir and part social history, Schaefer's stories and illustrations show the many ways female friendship has evolved over the years. I felt a deep need to text my friends to tell them how wonderful they are once I finished reading. More info →
For the friend under stress: This book releases March 3rd. Be sure to sign your friend up for pre-order bonuses as an extra Galentine's treat! Nobody wants to live a life of constant overthinking, but it feels like something we're wired to do. But is it? My answer is no. Not only can you overcome negative thought patterns that are repetitive, unhealthy, and unhelpful, you can replace them with positive thought patterns that will bring more peace, joy, and love into your life. In Don't Overthink It, you'll find actionable strategies that can make an immediate and lasting difference in how you deal with questions both large and small. Don't Overthink It offers you a framework for making choices you'll be comfortable with, freeing you to focus on what really matters in life. More info →
For the friend who lives for the latest fiction: This timely coming-of-age story addresses hard and heavy topics yet remains a DELIGHT thanks to Reid's sparkling voice (I always love a fantastic debut!). On page one, we meet Emira, a twenty-five year old babysitter for a well-to-do Philadelphia family. Emira's out with friends when the mother calls to ask if Emira can rush over and pick up their daughter. This is important: Emira is black; the Chamberlains are white. She picks up the little girl and takes her down the road to the special, pricey grocery store. They're enjoying the thrill of being out past bedtime, when Emira is racially profiled for a crime she didn’t commit. This is the first domino in a chain of events that forever changes the lives of everyone involved. This all happens in the first 20 pages, and I don't want to share more, because whatever you're thinking right now--it’s not the direction this story goes in. Confident and complex and a total page-turner. More info →
For the friend who loves reality TV: Critics are calling this an 'eerie masterpiece" and "a masterful exploration of the dark side of social media." Flash forward to 2050, where for quite a few people, life resembles The Truman Show. Marlow is one of the sponsored celebrities whose entire life is on display, almost 24/7, for all her followers. Her life is paid for by the retailers and pharmaceutical companies that sponsor the show, and in effect sponsor Marlow’s life. She cherishes the hour from 3 to 4 am, when the network goes on ad break and she knows she’ll be off the air. To get more of the flavor of this book, check out the epigraph. It consists of two quotes: the first is from Nietzsche, the second quote from Kylie Jenner. More info →
For the artistic friend: Leslie Knope and the Pawnee Goddesses would love this book, featuring 50 inspiring female deities from famous stories and myths. The artwork is gorgeous, and the essays on each empowering goddess are delightful. This would be a lovely book to feature in the guest room when your best friend from college visits, or on the coffee table every day. More info →
For the friend who's always there for you: An unexpected health crisis confronts Eva Hagberg with the truth. She faces a tough recovery, she is vulnerable and lonely, and she needs friendship more than ever. Although it feels like her life has fallen apart, Eva finds that simple acts of friendship slowly pull it back together. A beautiful reflection on pain, hope, and joy—this book reminds us that friends hold us up when we can't get back on our feet alone. More info →
For the nerdy friend (and I mean that in all fondness because I might indeed be the nerdy friend): This is a fascinating deep-dive into the unbelievable history of Wonder Woman, an iconic superhero whose origins are completely bonkers. A complicated family story lies beneath the history of the famous comic book character, and it all starts with the invention of the lie-detector machine. I don't want to give away any more than that—just know that the surprising backstory is full of twists, turns, and shocking connections across history and culture. Lepore's reporting is engaging and detailed. More info →
Have you ever given just the right book to a friend? Have you ever received a great book gift? What titles would you add to this list? Tell us all about it in the comments section.