17 Reads You Should Buddy Read with Your BFF
We love getting lost in a good book but we also love *talking* about said book with someone who gets it/us, AKA our besties. In honor of BFFs everywhere, here's a list of all the upcoming books that you can use to substitute a G.N.O. for a girl's night in. Zoom book club, anyone?
Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau
If you and your bestie love romances like To all the Boys I've Loved Before or Anna and the French Kiss, you'll LOVE Kisses and Croissants. American teenager Mia has six weeks at one of the world's most prestigious ballet summer programs. She arrives in Paris with one goal in mind: to secure her audition with one of the world's most elite ballet companies – but this all goes awry when she meets Louis. Sometimes figuring out what's more important (ballet or cute French boys) is super hard.
The Dating Plan by Sara Desai
Fans of The Proposal, will LOVE this read. Daisy is a woman in STEM, which means she's arguably smarter than the average human being and which should make her family proud. But what her family really wants is for her to find a husband, so Daisy does the only thing she can think of – asks her childhood crush Liam to be her phony fiancé. Easy right? Wrong. Liam quickly discovers that their pseudo-engagement isn't as great of an idea as they thought. As the pair navigates through their messy predicament, they realize that no amount of planning could have prepared them to face their feelings.
Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli
Kate and her best friend Anderson do everything together. They're so much alike it's hard to tell the difference sometimes – they're apart of the same activities, are each other's therapists and OF COURSE like the same boys. So, when their mutual long-distance crush winds up at their school, it should be totally fine. At least, until they both fall totally in love. Now they have to make a choice – do they choose the boy or each other?
At the End of the Matinee by Keiichiro Hirano
Love at first sight meets the friend zone... kind of? Satoshi is a guitarist, and when he sees Yoko, a journalist, in the crowd at one of his shows, his entire world is flipping upside down before his eyes. Except he doesn't even know it – and neither does she. The pair are inexplicably drawn to one another, but not knowing anything about relationships has its drawbacks. How do they make the first move? And who does it? Only time will tell, unless fate intervenes first.
For All She Knows by Jamie Beck
In the finale to Beck's Potomac Point series, Grace and Mimi are nearly inseparable, and have been ever since they met at their children's toddler play group. But when a high school party takes a turn for the worse and something happens to Grace's son their friendship is tested in a way neither one of them expected. The only thing keeping Mimi sane is the prospect of a new love, which nearly drives Grace over the edge. This novel is an epic story of friendship, healing, love and (hopefully) forgiveness.
Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly
In the prequel to her New York Times Bestselling debut, Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly tells the story of Caroline Ferriday's ancestor Georgeanna Woolsey in Sunflower Sisters. Georgey isn't cut out for the prim and proper life that everyone around her expects her to lead. So, when war breaks out in their country, Georgey decides to break the mold and follow her heart as a nurse. Through this, she and her sister see the terrifying realities of the world outside of their own from the points of view of those they meet.
The Sound Between the Notes by Barbara Linn Probst
Moms always put their children first, even when it means putting their passions on hold. But when Susannah finally finds time to reconnect with her dream of becoming a concert pianist, she realizes that somewhere along the way the connection between her and her instrument was severed. As she struggles to get it back, Susannah discovers that she has a progressive disease that affects her hands and ability to play. Now, Susannah is faced with the choice of a lifetime.
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
With an unusual narrator reminiscent of Toy Story, this moving novel is about Klara, an artificial friend, who watches the world from the window of a store. She, like some of our favorite childhood toys, spends much of her time watching those that come through her environment. All Klara wants is for one of these people to choose her – to love her, whatever that may mean. And she wants to love them too, but she has no idea how.
Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey
Amelia is in a hard spot as a journalist – the embryos belonging to her friend and his late wife have been deemed abandoned, and now she has to cover the story. Parker hasn't been able to move on since losing his wife, and the embryos are a chance to get her back. With Parker in the midst of a new wave of grief and Amelia dealing with separation from her husband, the two are forced to confront their demons together in the place where they grew up. And as hard as it is, at least they're not alone.
The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World by Laura Imai Messina
After using her mother and daughter in a tsunami, Yui cannot stop drowning in her grief, until one day a ray of hope shines down upon her. She hears about a man with a disused phone booth in his garden, where he allows people to say goodbye to their loved ones through the receiver. When Yui tries, she can't seem to find the words. But then she meets Takeshi, whose daughter has been unable to speak since the death of her mother. Together, healing may be possible, but are they both ready for it?
Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin
Hana loves her family, and she's more than happy to help them out by waitressing part-time at the family restaurant, but what she really wants is worth so much more to her than their quiet little neighborhood halal shop. All she wants is to get through her internship at the city radio station and get a job, but until then, she has her podcast. The podcast that's got her falling for a complete stranger – or so she thinks until a rival to her family's shop opens up down the road.
When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown
In 1930s Georgia, Opal has accepted that she has all there is to have. She and her grandmother are working for a white widow named Miss Peggy, and her eighteenth birthday is looming. But when the KKK descends on their small neighborhood, Opal, her friends, and even Miss Peggy have to face the unspoken rules of their community. As if that wasn't enough, Opal is falling in love for the first time – with two VERY different boys, and has no idea what to do.
Mona at Sea by Elizabeth James
Adulting is hard enough, but adulting in the middle of a recession? Hard doesn't even begin to cover it, especially not for Mona. Poor Mona goes from being at the top of her university's class to living at home with her parents. As someone who's hell-bent on perfectionism, Mona isn't okay with her entire life falling apart. What with her parents on the edge of divorce and her virtually non-existent love life, Mona barely has time to figure out what life means, or if it means anything at all.
An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi
Life after 9/11 isn't at all what it was before in Shadi's case. Right after the U.S. declares war on Iraq in 2003, people are especially cruel. The rude remarks, the hate crimes, it's all too much. But Shadi hardly notices. She's too preoccupied with the grief of losing her brother, the impending loss of her father and taking care of her mother. All Shadi knows how to deal with these days is pain, but what happens when that gets to be too much? An Emotion of Great Delight is a story of love, grief and everything in between.
Life's Too Short by Abby Jimenez
If you're a fan of the Friendzoned series, this one's for you! Vanessa never expected Internet fame, and she never imagined she'd make it to the age of 30 either. Another thing she never expected, being given custody of her half-sister's daughter. Now, she has to put away the "influencer life" for diapers and baby food and that's all fine, but what Vanessa doesn't expect is her very single – and very attractive – neighbor, offering his help. Now, not only does Vanessa have to deal with the trials of becoming a parent, but she also has to deal with budding feelings. And we all know those are never good.
Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny
Jane moves to Boyne City, Michigan to teach second grade and soon falls head over heels for the local lothario, Duncan, who has remained friendly with all of his flings — doing housework, fixing furniture, or mowing lawns long after their "relationships" have ended. Now everyone in Boyne City seems to have an opinion about Jane's relationship and isn't shy about voicing it. And Duncan comes with his own cast of characters: his ex-wife, Aggie, and her eccentric husband, Gary; his co-dependent co-worker, Jimmy, who seems only to drop by at the most inopportune times. As Jane begins to wonder whether this is the life she really wants, a terrible accident leaves her inextricably tied to Duncan, Jimmy, Aggie, and Gary and she learns that sometimes unconventional families are sometimes the best families of all.
Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
Great Circle tracks the lives of Marian and her twin brother, Jamie, from Prohibition-era Missoula to wartime Britain, from the cold of Alaska to the cap of Antarctica as Marian chases her dream of becoming the first pilot to circumnavigate the globe north-south. Shipstead intertwines Marian's story with that of Hadley Baxter, a young actress living in modern day Los Angeles. Grappling with her cult celebrity status after starring in a romantic film franchise, Hadley sets out to re-define herself by taking up the role of Marian Graves in a film that centers on Marian's reported disappearance over the Arctic. Hadley's immersion into the character of Marian unfolds alongside Marian's own story, as these two women's fates — and their driving impulse toward freedom — collide.
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Getting the word out about your brand takes time, drive, and ingenuity. And it doesn't come easy for many entrepreneurs. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're chatting with Selfmade alum Taylor Morgan McPherson, founder of Sustainable Sparkle Bar, about ways in which she scored press as a solo startup brand and what she learned from Selfmade to take her brand marketing up a notch.
B + C: How did you know Sustainable Sparkle Bar was your business to start?
Glitter has always been my thing, so when I started my event company I decided to make it my niche. I started telling people I threw glitter-themed parties where people would get sparkled with glitter body art and makeup. Six months after that I applied to my first festival and to work with SUR restaurant in West Hollywood.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
I honestly can't say that I've had a specific strategy that I've followed when it comes to getting my business off the ground. I have a PR background so I was just constantly pitching new business and posting on social media.
B + C: What's the biggest challenge you face as a small business owner?
I would say creating a stable income and revenue stream. With a seasonal, event-based business it can be very up and down.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
The relationships I made and the push to start an email database.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I love what I do and I believe in myself 100%. Staying motivated isn't the hard part. Pushing myself to do the work and staying accountable is the hard part.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip? Do you use any apps that help you manage your business?
I keep multiple to-do lists, hand-written and digital. I also tell clients and partners that I will have something to them by a certain time or day so I have to stick to it.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Just do it, take the leap. And don't worry about what anyone else says to thinks.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Issa Rae, I'm so inspired by everything that she's created being a creative and a black woman. It's my dream to have my own show one day based on my life and where I give advice and talk about the world. She's doing it and making people laugh and giving people joy. And it's based in LA. Watching Insecure only further cemented my dreams of wanting to live in LA.
B + C: How did you hear about the Office Depot scholarship?
One of my friends that I met through Camp No Counselors saw an IG ad for it and nominated me.
B + C: What has receiving the scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start/grow your business?
It's completely helped me level up and take my business to another level. Selfmade helped me host my first virtual event and taught me how to set up my website to sell tickets to events and get RSVPs.
B + C: How have Office Depot services or products helped you accomplish more in your business?
I got new cards to send in all of my orders with my discount code on them. I also bought a really cool 4K camera that I now use for my social media.
Let Office Depot OfficeMax help you stand out in the crowd. From signs, posters & banners to promote your business, to marketing materials to keep your customers informed, Office Depot OfficeMax offers a full suite of business services & solutions to help you & your business get noticed.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.