Upon waking up this morning and feeling very giddy about the fact that Friday has finally arrived after an excruciatingly long workweek, my first thoughts naturally turned to books. I wondered — have I ever read a book with the word Friday in its title?
I couldn’t come up with any off the top of my head, but a quick perusal of my Goodreads shelves reveals that I have, indeed, read exactly one Friday book, entitled… wait for it… Friday. Herewith, a salute to Friday books:
Friday by Robert A. Heinlein (1982)
My one and only Friday book, read so long ago, in the dark days of the 1980s, that I can barely remember the plot — although I do recall enjoying it quite a bit. I was on a mini-Heinlein bender in those days, and read this one right after discovering I Will Fear No Evil and Stranger In A Strange Land.
The description on Amazon is lamentably brief and not terribly helpful:
Engineered from the finest genes, and trained to be a secret courier in a future world, Friday operates over a near-future Earth, where chaos reigns. Working at Boss’s whimsical behest she travels from far north to deep south, finding quick, expeditious solutions as one calamity after another threatens to explode in her face….
Still, I seem to remember that it was quite fun to read, brimming with typical Heinlein wit and humor. Maybe not his finest, but I think fans of ’80s sci-fi will have a good time with Friday.
A quick search reveals a few other promising Friday titles:
The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs (2007)
Georgia Walker’s entire life is wrapped up in running her knitting store, Walker and Daughter, and caring for her 12-year-old daughter, Dakota. With the help of Anita, a lively widow in her seventies, Georgia starts the Friday Night Knitting Club, which draws loyal customers and a few oddballs. Darwin Chiu, a feminist grad student, believes knitting is downright old-fashioned, but she’s drawn to the club as her young marriage threatens to unravel. Lucie, 42, a television producer, is about to become a mother for the first time–without a man in her life. Brash book editor KC finds her career has stalled unexpectedly, while brilliant Peri works at Walker and Daughter by day and designs handbags at night. Georgia gets her own taste of upheaval when Dakota’s father reappears, hoping for a second chance. The yarn picks up steam as it draws to a conclusion, and an unexpected tragedy makes it impossible to put down. Jacobs’ winning first novel is bound to have appeal among book clubs.
Oh, and it’s a series. A series about knitting. Okaaaaaay…
Moving on, a non-fiction title that I know has a lot of fans and followers:
Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, And A Dream by H. G. Bissinger (1990)
I didn’t read the book; I didn’t watch the TV series. I understand both were great.
Secular religions are fascinating in the devotion and zealousness they breed, and in Texas, high school football has its own rabid hold over the faithful. H.G. Bissinger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, enters into the spirit of one of its most fervent shrines: Odessa, a city in decline in the desert of West Texas, where the Permian High School Panthers have managed to compile the winningest record in state annals. Indeed, as this breathtaking examination of the town, the team, its coaches, and its young players chronicles, the team, for better and for worse, is the town; the communal health and self-image of the latter is directly linked to the on-field success of the former. The 1988 season, the one Friday Night Lights recounts, was not one of the Panthers’ best. The game’s effect on the community–and the players–was explosive. Written with great style and passion, Friday Night Lights offers an American snapshot in deep focus; the picture is not always pretty, but the image is hard to forget.
After reading The Blind Side by Michael Lewis (before it was a movie, thank you very much!), I got a lot of mileage out of shocking the people who know me well by announcing that I actually read a football book. I really should read Friday Night Lights, although I’m afraid my friends will start to worry if I read two sports book in my lifetime.
Friday’s Child by Georgette Heyer (1944)
When the incomparable Miss Milbourne spurns the impetuous Lord Sherington’s marriage proposal (she laughs at him—laughs!) he vows to marry the next female he encounters, who happens to be the young, penniless Miss Hero Wantage, who has adored him all her life. Whisking her off to London, Sherry discovers there is no end to the scrapes his young, green bride can get into, and she discovers the excitement and glamorous social scene of the ton. Not until a deep misunderstanding erupts and Sherry almost loses his bride, does he plumb the depths of his own heart, and surprises himself with the love he finds there.
I’ve never read anything by Georgette Heyer, but I know she has legions of adoring fans. For me personally, I think this would go on the “some day when I really have nothing else to read” pile, but I know there are a lot of avid readers who’d want to gobble this one up right away.
Black Friday by James Patterson (1986)
From Publishers Weekly:
While Patterson’s thriller is slightly out-of-date with its Cold War setting, it remains dramatically contemporary in its vision of a stock market thrown into chaos when a group of saboteurs blows up several Wall Street institutions. Arch Carroll, head of the CIA’s antiterrorist division, and Caitlin Dylan, director of enforcement for the SEC, team up professionally, and later romantically, to locate the Wall Street terrorists before they strike again. Arch travels to Paris and back, as he finds himself on the trail of former colonel David Hudson and his ragtag band of vengeance-seeking Vietnam veterans.
So not for me. But hey, it takes all types, right?
Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers (1972)
Annabel thinks her mom has the best life. If she were a grown-up, she could do whatever she wanted Then one morning she wakes up to find she’s turned into her mother . . . and she soon discovers it’s not as easy as it looks.
I can’t believe that I’ve never read this! I’ve seen the Jodie Foster and Lindsay Lohan versions of the movie, both cute in their own ways. I wonder if this book holds up, or if would seem hideously old-fashioned for kids today?
Friday Nights by Joanna Trollope (2008)
From Publishers Weekly:
When a British retiree invites two young single mothers from the neighborhood to her flat, a Friday night tradition begins. As their klatch widens, Trollope’s memorable characters do more than just represent varying female predicaments: they develop as rich individuals who come to triumph over their pasts. Paula has a wary relationship with the married man who fathered their son, Toby: she must move on, yet stay in touch for Toby’s sake. Struggling Lindsay was widowed before she gave birth, while her sister, Jules, is a careless aspiring nightclub DJ with a wild streak. Independent, put-together Blaise contrasts starkly with her often bedraggled business partner, Karen, who barely manages her role as mother and breadwinner. And then there is Eleanor, the catalyst for the gatherings, a no-nonsense older woman who, though full of wisdom and spunk, keeps her thoughts to herself unless asked. When a new man enters Paula’s life, Trollope (Second Honeymoon) masterfully shows how work and romance can tip the scales in female friendships. The result is a careful and compelling examination of one man’s insidious effect on a group of female friends, as memorable as it is readable.
Sounds a little Jane Austen Book Club-y, but I’ve read other novels by Joanna Trollope and found her writing sharp, insightful, and sensitive.
And my final addition for this salute to Fridays:
Friday The Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman (1964)
Rabbi David Small, the new leader of Barnard’s Crossing’s Jewish community, can’t even enjoy his Sabbath without things getting stirred up in a most unorthodox manner: It seems a young nanny has been found strangled, less than a hundred yards from the Temple’s parking lot — and all the evidence points to the Rabbi.
Add to that the not-so-quiet rumblings of his disgruntled congregation, and you might say our inimitable hero needs a miracle from a Higher Source to save him….
It gave me a nostalgic little giggle to see this book pop up in my search. I remember seeing my parents read this and others in the series when I was a kid. A mystery series with a rabbi as the hero? Sounded kind of goofy to me at the time, but based on reader reviews, these books are both award-winning and well-loved by their readers.
So there you have it: Science fiction, thriller, sports, contemporary fiction, Regency-era historical romance, children’s fiction, and a crime-solving rabbi — something for everyone.
Enjoy your Fridays, whatever you may choose to read!
And hey, if you’ve got an exciting book underway for the long weekend, do tell — leave a comment and let us all know what you’re reading this Labor Day weekend.