Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Friendkeeping: A Field Guide to the People You Love, Hate, and Can't Live Without” as Want to Read:
Friendkeeping: A Field Guide to the People You Love, Hate, and Can't Live Without
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Friendkeeping: A Field Guide to the People You Love, Hate, and Can't Live Without

3.12  ·  Rating Details ·  715 Ratings  ·  169 Reviews
From the beloved and bestselling memoirist comes a funny and affecting look at making the most of our friendships in an age of isolation.
With her inimitable wit and disarming warmth, Julie Klam shares with us her experiences, advice, and insight in "Friendkeeping," a candid, hilarious look at some of the most meaningful and enjoyable relationships in our lives: our friend
ebook, 224 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Riverhead Books (first published April 10th 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Friendkeeping, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Friendkeeping

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jaclyn Day
I’ve yet to find a book that really gets its hands around the complexity of adult friendship, but Friendkeeping is a valiant effort. (It’s still better than the frustrating MWF Seeking BFF.) Klam goes the anecdotal route, discussing various aspects of friendship in a funny, memoir-ish way that doesn’t tie things up neatly into a bon mot, self-help tone at the end of each chapter. That’s fine—but the book seems to be marketed differently. The tagline for example: A Field Guide to the People You L ...more
i don't know. it was okay? a lot of the less positive review on goodreads say that it was fluffy & lacked substance. can't say i disagree! i was kind of relieved by that, because i have so little time or brainpower for reading thick, heavy books these days (i've been working on andrew solomon's "far from the tree" for literally months). so it was kind of pleasant to just tear through a book in a few hours, like i used to before i had a baby. but i just read it a couple of days ago & i al ...more
May 11, 2013 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
potentially interesting subject but a boring book. "one of the funniest writers I know" per the Dayton Daily News blurb, but I guess my taste differs. I didn't dislike her, and I could tell there were phrases or sentences meant in a lighthearted or facetious manner, but I can't say that I laughed even once.

As to the "field guide" part, it's modest. Some people are good at keeping up with long-distance friends, and some are not. The author's mom was closest to her sibs, but the author is not clos
Nov 05, 2013 Shalyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I bought this book at the airport gift shop so I'd have something to read on the plane for a few hours, I thought it would be more of a discussion on the psychology of human relationships -- not necessarily a scholarly discussion, but at least something that would rise to the level of pop-psychology or something that could have been published in Psychology Today magazine at least. It wasn't. The author rambles on for 200+ pages about her friends, how great they are, how they haven't always ...more
I always feel bad when I have to review a book I don't have much good to say about... Although the tone is humorous, I didn't enjoy it. The front cover advertise the book as being "A field guide to the people you love, hate, and can't live without". In fact, it is filled with shallow generalizations on friendship and anecdotical examples from the author's personnal life. Maybe my expectations were too high but I found "Friendkeeping" to be a really boring read. I won this galley through FirstRea ...more
In a nutshell what I learned from Friendkeeping: A Field Guide to the People You Love, Hate, and Can't Live Without by Julie Klam is something I already know - I sort of suck at being friends with people; it's so much work. Seriously though, I don't know if there was really anything in here that wasn't obvious and it's really more of the author relating stories about her own friendships. It did force me think a bit more about the friends I do have and how to work them into my life.
Rachel Hall
Nov 18, 2012 Rachel Hall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"You come into this world alone and you die alone, but there's a really long stretch in the middle that can be extraordinarily meaningful and even fun with the right people. And when it's not fun, they'll be with you, too." Friendships <3
Michele Harrod
This is a very cute read. I have enjoyed it - Julie Klam has a razor sharp wit, and a self-honesty I found very refreshing. I'd thoroughly enjoy being her friend, because she has enough of them that I wouldn't fear being overly needed. I don't cope well with being needed. I love her confession that she is at the lousy end of the "keeping in touch" scales, famed for making dinner dates, and then cancelling them. And when people move out of town, she considers that a form of abandonment and betray ...more
Nov 12, 2012 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, review
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 L ...more
Dec 04, 2012 Stefanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, sociology
This was a fairly light read, which is about all I can manage at this particular moment in my life, but I can't say that I was impressed. The author's tongue in cheek sarcasm and efforts to poke fun at herself fell flat, and instead of making me laugh, I closed the book feeling like she was rather shallow and perhaps a little neurotic. She goes from one vignette to another, when what I'd have preferred was a deeper exploration of friendship. I didn't really feel like knew anything about anyone i ...more
*I won this in a Goodreads First Reads Contest*

There are all types of friends; childhood friends, school yard friends, friends that you've had forever, the friends that got away and the friends that drain every last ounce of life from you. Julie Klam covers it all. This is a step by step guide how to navigate, keep and let go of the people that come into your life forever, for a season and/or for a moment.

Using first hand accounts, life stories and hilarious analogies such as the remora's, Frie
I so thought this book would be right up my alley, because it touches on so many things that I spend a lot of time thinking about, caring about, trying to be better at: maintaining friendships as a central core of one's life, how to be a good friend, blah blah. Plus, it's a humor book, and me and humor? ARE LIKE THIS. But ultimately it was too meandering for me. Like, she has a chapter about maintaining friendships when you're in a different life stage than your pals (they have babies and you do ...more
I received this book in a Goodreads First-Reads giveaway. Thanks so much...I enjoyed the book! Julie Klam has a great sense of humour; it was fun, and easy to read. There were lots of great observations and insights about female friendships that I think most women can relate to, but I think I was looking for more. What about the loss of a friend? How to cope? When a friend ends your friendship with no explanation, how do you deal with that? How do women cope with the death of a life-long friend? ...more
Jan 29, 2013 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
It's not really an advice book as I was hoping. It's more of a collection author's personal relationships with her friends. Some of the stories are repeated, which I thought was a bit odd for such a small book. Overall, as a woman, I can still relate and gather advice through her personal anecdotes. It definitely made me reflect on a few of my friendships, and made me feel better about one in particular that has really changed. The book made me realize that it's often no one's "fault" when frien ...more
Melissa Klug
I'm not a dog person, at all, yet I have read two dog books by Julie Klam because I love her humorous writing style so, so much. Now she has a book on friends--wait! I have friends! I love friends! I can read a Julie Klam book and relate to it! This book made me think about all of my own friendships, the new ones and the old ones, the ones forged by real life connections or online connections, and reminded me to be grateful for them. Love!
Oct 09, 2012 Allie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a light, amusing read. It's definitely more of a memoir than a "field guide," but the author's tales about her friendships were entertaining, and there were parts I could relate to - and others I couldn't at all (like friends gossiping about celebrities.) Her little asides about her own insecurities were funny. This would make great airplane or beach reading. There's no need to read the chapters in order, so it's perfect for picking up and putting down on a whim.
Feb 06, 2013 Char rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved, loved, loved this book. Could not put it down. Almost missed my book club discussion because it was tempting to stay home to finish it. Some of the reviews were negative, but I am so glad I disregarded them. Before finishing the book, I phoned a friend I hadn't seen or talked to in over 10 years. We picked up righT where we had left off and it was a treat for both of us. It was also her birthday so the timing was perfect.
Nov 11, 2012 Monica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
How lucky is Julie to get a bunch of stories about friends published and make some money from it? This book really didn't do much for me as far as being a field guide. I don't think she even wrote about people she hates or couldn't live without. Maybe one friend. I was hoping it would be more insightful.
Feb 06, 2013 Kaela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book & read it in about 3 sittings. It's just what I wanted it to be. A celebration and reminder of why friends matter & how to celebrate mine in big and small ways. And the surprising bit is the humor. Klam is funny. And her name is Klam which I delight in - in my dirty mind way. So I'm gonna go get in touch w. my friends now while the moment is ripe.
Melissa Lee-Tammeus
Okay, it's cute. That's about it. Little snippets from the life of a NYer that lives what most of us would believe to be the jet set life. She knows people who know Madonna. That sort of thing. Sex in the City meets How to Make Friends. I learned really nothing from this book, but it was a good distraction for a few hours. Moral of the story? Friends are awesome - find a few.
Sep 20, 2015 Kelly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this one; picked it up randomly at the library because the jacket suggested it would have good ideas on long distance friendship (and my best friends are spread all over the country!). That said, it was very much a personal account of the author and her friendships and not something with tools or ideas for a reader to use in his/her own life.
Nov 02, 2013 Skye rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anectodal, light and fun. Good if you were never aware of your own behaviour in friendships. For me, it serves as a reminder and confirmation of some things I do and reassurance that it's okay not to be perfect.
Rhonda Lomazow
Oct 27, 2012 Rhonda Lomazow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved this book.Julie had me laughing out loud and relating to her neurotic behavior while appreciating her love for her friends even though she would rather call or email then actually get together.really a beautiful book about women and the importance of friendship in our lives
Sep 25, 2012 Lynde rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: goodreads
I loved this little gem! Julie Klam can be my friend any day. Funny, heartwarming, & truthful. Made me feel good about my own friendships past & present. I received this book free from Goodreads, but this review has no bearing on that--I really enjoyed it!
Feb 10, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I liked this one best out of Klam's books, because she was writing about a great subject. She is funny, in her own self-deprecating way.
Nov 15, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short, fun book. Funny, insightful and relatable. This book makes you think about those special friendships throughout your life, and what a treasure they are.
Jeanette Benzie
Jan 22, 2013 Jeanette Benzie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love all my friends even more after this book. I feel honored to call Julie a friend, everyone should read this and learn all you need to know about friendships.
Maureen Flatley
Dec 25, 2012 Maureen Flatley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another wonderful, funny, touching book from Julie Klam. I hope she's writing another one!
Sep 01, 2012 Ldrhc marked it as unable-to-finish  ·  review of another edition
I just won this book in a book give-away. Can't wait to receive it and read it.
Laura Dygert
Dec 30, 2012 Laura Dygert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the friend faux pas that were given. I identified with the author many many times.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Watchmaker's Daughter: A Memoir
  • The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper
  • The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism
  • I Do But I Don't: Why the Way We Marry Matters
  • Privacy
  • Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi
  • Lost Antarctica: Adventures in a Disappearing Land
  • Lonely: A Memoir
  • Driving the Saudis: A Chauffeur's Tale of the World's Richest Princesses (plus their servants, nannies, and one royal hairdresser)
  • The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard
  • All Gone
  • Cakewalk: A Memoir
  • Making the Future: Occupations Interventions Empire And Resistance
  • Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In
  • Lost in Suburbia: a Momoir: How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs
  • A Bright and Guilty Place: Murder, Corruption, and L.A.'s Scandalous Coming of Age
  • Making Supper Safe: Why We've Lost Trust in Our Food and How We Can Get it Back
  • The Aftershock Investor: A Crash Course in Staying Afloat in a Sinking Economy
Julie Klam grew up in Bedford, NY. She has been a freelance writer since 1991, writing for such publications as “O, The Oprah Magazine,” “Rolling Stone,” “Harper’s Bazaar,” “Glamour,” "The Washington Post" and “The New York Times Magazine.
A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she was a writer for VH1’s Pop-Up Video, where she earned an Emmy nomination for Special Class Writing.
A New York
More about Julie Klam...

Share This Book

“You come into this world alone and die alone, but there's a really long stretch in the middle that can be extraordinarily meaningful and even fun with the right people. And when it's not fun, they'll be with you, too.” 3 likes
“It's important to remember that people can go off the deep end; it doesn't mean they have to stay there. And when they come back, it's nice to have a friend waiting with a warm towel.” 0 likes
More quotes…