Posted 20 hours ago


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There are explorations of modern day issues like social media friendships and ghosting, as well as deeper elements like friendships ending due to a bereavement. I enjoyed Elizabeth Day’s insight into friendships, and I loved the short chapters from different people she’s met along the way, sharing their take on what being a friend means to them. Her third, Paradise City was named one of the best novels of 2015 in the Observer and the Evening Standard, and was People magazine's Book of the Week. Those are the midweek get-togethers (neither of you would dream of giving up a Saturday night to each other) which are somehow never as nice as they should be and leave you feeling down, depleted and as if it is somehow all your fault.

It states very clearly on the cover that it is the Confessions Of A Friendship Addict and this is very much a confessional. I bought this knowing Elizabeth Day from her podcasts—How to Fail and Best Friend Therapy, co-hosted with her best friend Emma Reed Turrell—and thought this would be a bright, breezy, insightful, witty and uplifting book that would leave me with a smile on my face, but probably wouldn’t register very highly on the Richter scale of Important Works of Psychology.The tendency to quote Day's conversations with friends verbatim adds more bloat to an already bloated book. I started off really not liking it and almost put it down, I just thought it came from a really privileged perspective and that wasn’t acknowledged enough - like addiction is a huge illness and saying your addicted to friendship is taking the piss a bit! This book embodies a chapter of life we shared, some that proceeded it and the unwritten ones yet to come. Her chart-topping podcast, How To Fail With Elizabeth Day, is a celebration of the things that haven't gone right and won the Rising Star Award at the 2019 British Podcast Awards.

Then, when a global pandemic hit in 2020, she was one of many who were forced to reassess what friendship really meant to them – with the crisis came a dawning realisation: her truest friends were not always the ones she had been spending most time with. Friendaholic is a perfect example of the right book at the right time, I read this 2 weeks before leaving all of my friends and moving to another country and as such found great solace in the reading experience. There are some neat observations- I particularly liked the references to the solar system - but these are buried beneath a marshmallow of slightly self-indulgent waffle. Given that science is used as seasoning it shouldn't be surprising that there is little rigor cast over the facts chosen to support or prompt Day's positions. A journalist, broadcaster and bestselling author, Elizabeth Day’s works include the novels Paper, Scissors, Home Fires, Paradise City and The Party.

I, like Elizabeth, felt that quantity somehow reflected on my own self worth, and more friends would stave off the residual fear that adolescent bullying left me with. This one really digs deep, is bravely revealing and makes me reflect on my own friendship habits, issues, and culture.

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