9 Books to Read If You Loved 'Friends'

Although Friends hits Netflix in January 1 in the U.S. and Canada, the wait could not seem longer. Chandler would be as impatient as the rest of us. Since 1994 when it began its 10-year run on the air, the group of six have captured hearts and deterred productivity (greatest understatement — I know). No matter how many re-runs I watch, the show will always be funny.

What made Friends such a hit was, among other things, the infinite bond between the cast, the endless sarcasm, and the struggle of being a twentysomething in New York City. And, since airing, so many books have been inspired by the same themes — some of the best books, in fact.

This is a good thing for readers, naturally. We can pick up these books now while we lay in Netflix purgatory. (Let's be real, though, did this have to happen while House of Cards was between seasons, too?) Since countless books have been written about people living in New York, this list zooms in on the ones that channel the city and the many facets of twentysomething life the way our beloved Friends did 20 years ago. 

Here are 10 that stand out as being perfect for fans of Friends:

COMMENCEMENT   BY J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN 

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Three best friends, Celia, Bree, and Sally take on friendship, love, and feminism together throughout college, and reunite four years after graduation for a wedding. Together, they deal with the loneliness and heartbreak that is so common during your 20s. Much like Rachel and Monica reunited in that fateful first episode, these three learn what it means to be there for each other no matter what.

THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF NATHANIEL P .  BY ADELLE WALDMAN

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Nathaniel is a bachelor on the market, and appears to have taken the Joey Tribbiani approach to dating. A Brooklyn transplant who is used to being rejected by women, Nate is not quite sure how to handle his newfound sex appeal. With girls seemingly throwing themselves at him, he grapples with how to maintain the nice guy image he’s always had, with his newly discovered freedom. 

NO ONE BELONGS HERE MORE THAN YOU   BY MIRANDA JULY

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Short stories on love and life — just like an episode of our favorite show. Miranda July’s stories make you feel strangely understood as she explores the small joys, heartbreaks, and agonies of life. From the opening story “The Shared Patio” to the closing “How to Tell Stories to Children,” July makes us feel better about the human experience. Friends fans will love it because you can identify with just like you can with Friends


ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK   BY PIPER KERMAN

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Before the Netflix original series came the true story of Piper Kerman’s involvement in drug trafficking and subsequent arrest. The people she met during her time in a women’s correctional facility were... unique. The quirky, crazy group is perfect for any fan of Friends and their antics.

BAD FEMINIST   BY ROXANE GAY

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In “The One Where Eddie Won’t Go,” the girls read an empowering book called Be Your Own Wind Keeper. Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe spent the duration of the episode inspiring and cheering each other on. Bad Feminist is the 2014 equivalent. Roxane Gay’s compilation of essays touch on popular culture, politics, and female friendships that will leave women feeling empowered and inspired to take action for themselves.

YES PLEASE   BY AMY POEHLER

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(Or, if you're more in the mood, sub in Bossypants by Tina Fey). They’re not like regular moms, they’re cool moms. Both Poehler and Fey offer anecdotes and advice with the same wit and sarcasm that made Friends so well-loved. Both hilarious and often writing the things you didn’t know you were thinking, these two would have made welcome additions to the group. 

SOMETHING BORROWED   BY EMILY GIFFIN

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Imagine this: the worst has happened. Your best friend of more than a decade falls for your fiancé. Cue breakdown. Tension, confusion, and a love triangle ensue. Rachel and Darcy have overcome a lifetime of conflicts, but when Rachel and Darcy’s fiancé Dexter take a drunken night too far, will the friends be able to find their way back? Reminiscent of the Rachel/Joey/Ross debacle, Something Borrowed explores what happens when you’re overcome with feelings for someone you always thought was off-limits. 

NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE   EDITED BY SARI BOTTON

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A collection of essays on why we all love New York. Whoopi Goldberg, Elizabeth Gilbert, Adelle Waldman, and several others explore why they just can’t seem to leave New York. The city holds an appeal for most people at some point or another, and this collection of essays on writing and living in New York give an inside look to just what makes it so special. The Friends gang could never fathom leaving, and neither can this group!

ADULTING: HOW TO BECOME A GROWN-UP IN 468 EASY (ISH) STEPS   BY KELLY WILLIAMS BROWN

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So no one told you life was gonna be this way? This book is here to help. Brown recognizes the struggle of being a twentysomething surviving paycheck to paycheck in an apartment you can barely afford as the bills pile up. She approaches the topics with humor, and does it so candidly that you can’t help but learn something. I can think of six people who could’ve used a book like this at one time or another, and I doubt I'm alone.


Images: Warner BrosGiphy (4)

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