Friendkeeping: book review

Friendkeeping by Julie Klam. Publisher: Riverhead Books (November 2012). Memoir. Hardcover. 240 pages. ISBN: 978-1-59448-806-1.

Julie Klam and I have a lot in common. We seem to have quite similar thoughts about work, writing, social networking and friendships. We both dislike using acronyms on the Internet. She’s the successful older sister I’ve never had. I’d like to write memoirs. She’s published three. Unlike Julie Klam, I’ve met VERY few of my twitter friends in real life. I’ve suggested meeting for coffee or a drink but most people don’t want to meet. Julie now has very close friends and colleagues in writers Ann Leary and Laura Zigman who she met through Twitter. They do a radio show on NPR called “Hash Hags” together where they interview authors. That’s a Twitter networking success story!

If you’re expecting a field guide as described on the cover of Friendkeeping, you’ll be quickly disappointed. Most of the time she comes across as rather narcissistic and selfish, but it’s her memoir and she writes as she remembers it. And she’s got the friends and maybe you don’t and are reading to find out how to keep them. This isn’t a how-to book. Klam instead tells stories of her own friendships—the long-term ones, the on-off ones, the ones met through twitter.

Friendkeeping according to Julie Klam:

On timing:

“It does help to be in the same place in life as someone you are friends with; you can be supportive to a pregnant woman when you don’t have to look back forty years to your own pregnancy, and maybe the same principle applies If you’re both working at the same place or you’re both single or both newly married or you both let four dogs sleep in your bed.”

On being yourself:

“I suddenly realized that I hadn’t been lobotomized—the person I was before I became a mother was in there. I had interests, or at the very least I was in interested in people who had interests other than children.”

From @friends to IRL:

“For me, it’s brought new like-minded friends into my fray and reconnected me with old friends I am sure I never would have found otherwise. And once we meet online, we are free to move things into the three-dimensional world.”

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FTC Disclosure: I did NOT receive this for review from the publisher.

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