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My Brilliant Friend
My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One | Elena Ferrante
A modern masterpiece from one of Italys most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrantes inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship.The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists, the unforgettable Elena and Lila.Ferrante is the author of three previous works of critically acclaimed fiction: The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, and The Lost Daughter. With this novel, the first in a tetralogy, she proves herself to be one of Italys great storytellers. She has given her readers a masterfully plotted page-turner, abundant and generous in its narrative details and characterizations, that is also a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight her many fans and win new readers to her fiction.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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review
thegreensofa
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Panpan

The torture of a book you worked so hard to read and to stay with only to have a cliffhanger...
..right.in.the.very.last.sentence!!!

I thought it was going to finish! Aaaaaaah 😫💦

On the good side though I got to cross off a slot each for #ReadingEurope2020 and #MMDReadingChallenge 👍🏻

CarolynM I liked this more than you, I think, but not as much as most people seem to. Even the cliffhanger didn't make me want to read the others. 4d
thegreensofa @CarolynM Me neither I couldn‘t go through it another three times lol. Perhaps it was bit better in its original language, it does seem to have a big following!🤔 4d
2 likes2 comments
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jen.crofts
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Mehso-so

This book seemed to be a little repetitive to me and took longer than necessary to cover the time frame that was covered, that being said, I still plan to read on in the series and was intrigued enough to want to know the outcome.

rather_be_reading welcome to litsy 📚☕📚 @LitsyWelcomeWagon 1w
5 likes1 comment
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alessandrafn
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Esin
Pickpick

Relatable and powerful - I loved it (Miles rec)

Graywacke Welcome to Litsy! @LitsyWelcomeWagon 2w
7 likes1 comment
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Lynnsoprano
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An indication of how out of control my TBR is: this was a #kindlitsy gift from @Amor4Libros last Christmas, and I‘m just now starting it 😂

Amor4Libros I hope you enjoy it!! Happy Holidays!! 💕 3w
Lynnsoprano @Amor4Libros Wishing a joyful holiday for you, too, my friend 😘 3w
writerlibrarian Slow pace book but so good. 3w
51 likes3 comments
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Graywacke
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#Top10oftheDecade

My personal favorite 12 published in the 2010‘s, not in any order. A quirky list of books that hung around. I‘m surprised how many were audiobooks (7) and how few are novels (3 - except the Ferrante represents the Neapolitan Quartet, maybe that makes 6). I‘ll add more thoughts in the comments.

Love lists and I loved looking through everyone‘s lists.

Graywacke The 2010‘s are when I started my yearly theme reads and started audiobooks. My theme reads take most of my regular reading time and tilt heavily towards older (white male) classics. So when I pick newer books, they tend to be on audio, and I try to counter the white-male tilt a bit. And...my audiobooks tend to be nonfiction. 1mo
Liz_M Just 7 more fiction and 1 nonfiction left to list, then 😉 1mo
Graywacke @Liz_M 🙂 Feeling a nudge somewhere. (Actually 3 more nonfiction. Of the above, one is poetry and one an anthology). I might do a fiction version later... 1mo
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Crazeedi @Graywacke an awesome list, I've read a couple, and have several others on my tbr. Ferrante series excellent 1mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa The Warmth Of Other Suns is sitting on my shelf yet, as is Just Kids on my audiobook virtual pile. I really need to find more time to read!!! 1mo
BarbaraBB Great choices. I am happy to see Ferrante and Luiselli among them! 1mo
Graywacke @Liz_M I put together a fiction list and it was boring as hell. Apparently I really don‘t read new fiction! I can, however, probably put together a top 25 nonfiction list and it would be solid all the way through. So many gems did not make my list above. (Being Mortal, Obama‘s memoir, The New Jim Crow...not to mention books from when i got obsessed with Macondo (2010 gulf spill disaster) (edited) 1mo
Graywacke @Crazeedi ❤️ Ferrante. She‘s popular on these lists (but never was with anyone I recommended her to. 😑) 1mo
Graywacke @Riveted_Reader_Melissa those are two books I found really special. Warmth of Other Suns is repetitive and yet still beautiful. Writing and audio narration are both elegant. Warm feeling towards that book. And Patti Smith nailed her first memoir. Poor and young in NY...really beautiful book. 1mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB Luiselli was a surprise gem to me (i know Booker lists are supposed to be good...but still). I would like to read more by her. 1mo
Liz_M @Graywacke More boring than Moby-Dick? 😉 You've put Lost Children Archive on my TBR (I didn't care for Story of My Teeth) and are an added nudge for Autumn, so I was curious about other fiction, old or new . (edited) 1mo
Cinfhen Great list! I find I tend to gravitate more towards NF these past few years 1mo
readordierachel You just exploded my tbr! 🙂 I've only read (and loved) Just Kids from your list. 1mo
Graywacke @Liz_M yay for LCA and also Ali Smith! Mark had me begin Ali Smith with How to Be Both - that would be on my fiction list. 1mo
Graywacke @Cinfhen thanks! Is that a Trump affect thing? It‘s played havoc with my mindset. But oddly my reading has much less of a nonfiction tilt than in the past, I‘m just not reading recent fiction. 1mo
Graywacke @readordierachel 😍🙂 I never know how it translates to other readers, but each of these are really special to me...each in its own way, of course. I could go on about each. If you loved Just Kids (beautiful book!) that‘s a good sign you might like some others. 1mo
Graywacke @Liz_M if I expand to all I‘ve read this decade - phew... that list would be tough!! Moby Dick is on there. But the rest... 🤯 1mo
Graywacke @Liz_M if I expand to everything I‘ve read over the last decade - phew! That would be tough. Moby Dick is on. But the rest... 🤯 1mo
Liz_M @Graywacke Fair enough! I'll just have to stalk your older LT threads. 😜 1mo
Graywacke @merelybookish A poetry collection. Larry D Thomas was my neighbor and got me into poetry. He generally writes about Texas. He‘s excellent and this was one of my favorites by him. Another, also 2010‘s, is 1mo
Crazeedi @Graywacke I gave the series to my good friend and she called me and said she didnt know if she would read, she was a bit into the first one. But after she kept on reading she fell in love and read them all. 1mo
Graywacke @Crazeedi Don‘t you just love that...a successful book gift? Don‘t know why I found all the mismatched readers to recommend Ferrante to. But then I have a very iffy record with recommendations overall 😐 1mo
56 likes23 comments
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Mitch
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Had a brilliant day / night with a great friend - went went to see the stage adaptation of the Neapolitan Novels - all 6 hrs! ( we had a break in the middle and went out for a quick dinner!)

MicheleinPhilly Wow! That was probably amazing! 1mo
Crazeedi Awww, that sounds sooooo awesome, I absolutely loved those books!!! 1mo
LeahBergen I didn‘t know there was a (6 hour!!) stage adaptation. Cool! 1mo
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Soubhiville Wow! What a day! Sounds like fun. 1mo
Mitch @LeahBergen @Soubhiville It was great we saw the matinee- which was book 1 & 2. Had dinner. Then did the evening performance which was book 3 & 4. I‘m exhausted! Goodness knows how the cast feel! 1mo
Mitch @MicheleinPhilly @Crazeedi it was sooo good. Very faithful to the books 1mo
Theaelizabet How wonderful! So jealous! 1mo
71 likes7 comments
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Jbakesmcgee3
Pickpick

I loved this book! I already put a hold on the second book!

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EclecticReaders
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Bookwormjillk I could never get through these 2mo
merelybookish Im okay with that. 🙂 2mo
JacqMac I read the first one. Didn‘t feel any need to read the rest. I don‘t understand why everyone loved them so much. Maybe they just weren‘t for me. 2mo
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LibrarianRyan This is one of those books that every one says is great, I just cant get over the crappy covers. 2mo
BarbaraBB I liked them but the best? My favorite would be 2mo
vivastory Articles that make a case for THE best (of the year, the decade) feel very restrictive to me. 2mo
EclecticReaders @Bookwormjillk I haven‘t tried reading them yet myself 🤷🏻‍♀️ -Meredith 2mo
EclecticReaders @merelybookish Glad you liked it! 2mo
EclecticReaders @JacqMac That can definitely happen! Not every book is for every person. 2mo
EclecticReaders @LibrarianRyan They are pretty hideous 😅 2mo
EclecticReaders @vivastory Oh, definitely. There‘s so many books that come out over the course of a decade, how can only one be chosen? 2mo
30 likes12 comments
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Susanita
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Double duty prompts today! Kudos to @rubyslippersreads for embellishing the picture!

1. I‘ve been to the top of Pikes Peak. I‘ve ridden a camel. I love pasta.
2. The tagged book was one that I #thoughtiwouldlikebutdidnt
3. A friend of mine wrote a book that was published!
4. Counterintuitively, hot flashes are more tolerable when it‘s already too hot. Also I hate being cold.
#litsylearn
#gratefulreads

Alora Hello!! How are you today?! Thank you for playing! 💙💙😁😁 2mo
Alora I‘m going to guess the lie is that you like pasta?! 2mo
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Susanita Nope. It‘s one of my favorites! 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks You haven‘t ridden a camel?! 2mo
31 likes7 comments
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cathysaid
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A new novel is coming!!! More happy dancing!! 🕺 💃

37 likes3 comments
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Christinak
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Hopefully I‘ll finish this before book club.
I have no idea why - but I do not like this cover.

Reagan I haven‘t read them because of the covers. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 3mo
35 likes1 comment
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Erinreadsthebooks
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Did I go to my library‘s used book sale? Yes, I did.
Did I buy books I already have on my shelves? Yes, I did.
Did I buy a book that I gave to Habitat not long ago? Yes, yes I did. 😩🤦‍♀️

BarbaraTheBibliophage Wow—great haul! 3mo
35 likes1 comment
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mildayulia
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This book has been on my TBR list for weeks, and I just found out that it was adapted into an HBO series. I'd better start reading it now before binge-watching the series later. 😊

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DrexEdit
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I loved loved loved this book when I read it. Spent some time this weekend working through the first half of the first series from HBO. Very glad to say it has lost very little in the translation to visual media. An excellent series all around!

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cajunsyd
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An appropriate book to start after finishing up a wonderful vacation with my brilliant best friend.

Crazeedi Great great series 3mo
cajunsyd @Crazeedi I am loving it so far!! 3mo
39 likes2 comments
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amycollard
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Pickpick

I‘ve been meaning to read this for several years and so glad I did! This deep dive into the friendship of Elena and Lila, two girls growing up in a poor neighborhood of Naples in the 1950‘s, is mesmerizing. It‘s different than so many things I‘ve read. Even though I didn‘t always like Lila or many of the things that went on in their neighborhood, I was pulled in quickly. This is book 1 of the Neapolitan series, and I‘m looking forward to the rest!

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TheEllieMo
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Crazeedi Great great series 4mo
Eggs Perfect! 4mo
40 likes2 comments
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FountainOfWords
L'amica geniale | Elena Ferrante

Any Elena Ferrante readers? Have never read any of her books, which one should I start with?

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TheSpineView
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I have this one and need to read it!! 5mo
OriginalCyn620 👌🏻📚🇮🇹 5mo
68 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Eggs
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kspenmoll Gorgeous picture! 5mo
Andrew65 Wow! Beautiful. 5mo
OriginalCyn620 So gorgeous! 😊🇮🇹 5mo
See All 9 Comments
TheSpineView Looks fantastic! Never been but would love to go! 5mo
Soubhiville Beautiful! 5mo
ladym30 Stunning! 5mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks So beautiful 💗 5mo
tammysue Gorgeous! 5mo
88 likes9 comments
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IndoorDame
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I drew a complete blank for this prompt and the internet led me to a fascinating little list of titles to add to my TBR, chief among them this, the first of Ferrante‘s Neapolitan novels. #letstravelaugust #naples @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @OriginalCyn620

OriginalCyn620 👌🏻📚🇮🇹 5mo
BridgetteM It‘s a great book! 5mo
44 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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TheEllieMo
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Elena and Lila grew up in the outskirts of #Naples

#LetsTravelAugust
@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
@OriginalCyn620

Velvetfur Oohh I loved the TV series, can't wait to read the book when I finish my reading challenges (I've got the trilogy there, ready to go!), 5mo
OriginalCyn620 👌🏻🇮🇹 5mo
40 likes2 comments
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Liberty
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August is Women in Translation Month! I‘m going to attempt to post about a different book each day. 📚
.
One of the most talked about works in translation by a woman of the last few years has to be the Neapolitan quartet! It follows two friends from young childhood to their lives as adults. I still need to watch the HBO adaptation! #womenintranslationmonth 🖤📚🖤

JenReadsAlot Loved these! 5mo
mmseiple Love Elena Ferrante! Those books are so addictive! 5mo
LeeRHarry Just finished the third book - will finish the series by the end of the year #2019readinggoal - it gets better and better! The HBO/RAI series is great 😊 5mo
100 likes5 stack adds3 comments
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Cathythoughts
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#AyUpAugust #DontMarryHer or IMO it‘s a case of Don‘t Marry HIM in this story

Cinfhen I forgot all about this series. Good pick 5mo
squirrelbrain Great idea! ♥️👍😁 5mo
emmaturi I have read the first two books! Got the next two as well, must try to read them! 5mo
Cathythoughts @Cinfhen @squirrelbrain thanks ! I loved this series 5mo
Cathythoughts @emmaturi yes! I read them a few years ago ... brilliant books 5mo
61 likes5 comments
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Magdalee
L'amie prodigieuse | Elena Ferrante
Pickpick

Il n‘y a rien de vraiment simple dans cette saga. Et il faudrait un article entier consacré à chacun des tomes. L‘amitié entre Elena et Lila, dès ses prémices, est complexe voire assez toxique. Au début, Elena semble être fascinée par son amie, sa force de caractère, le feu...https://magdaleebrunache.com/2019/08/03/parlons-en-lamie-prodigieuse-la-saga/

LitsyWelcomeWagon Welcome to Litsy! Here are links to #Litsytips: http://bit.ly/litsytips and #LitsyHowTo videos: goo.gl/UrCpoU. There‘s lots of fun things to do: book exchanges, buddy reads, photo challenges and more!

5mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy 💕📖💕 5mo
5 likes2 comments
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hilded
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Enjoying a lazy day in the sun with Elena Ferrante ☀️Started it yesterday, and am already halfway through! It‘s pretty addictive, looking forward to the rest of the series. I am usually quite fond of coming of age novels, this one is headed to be no exception.

#CurrentlyReading
#AtY2019 - Mediterranean prompt

Liz_M I'm currently meandering through the third volume, less enthused than the rest of the world. ☺ 6mo
hilded @Liz_M Sorry to hear you are not enjoying them more, they are spot on for my taste! But of course, you‘ll need to read all four to get that last one checked off the 1001 list, lol 😂 #1001books 6mo
keepingupwiththepenguins Such a wonderful book!!! Enjoy the rest of it, and the Neapolitan series!!! 😍 6mo
See All 6 Comments
Ruthiella Love the cover. The US Covers were so ugly. I enjoyed all four books!😀 6mo
hilded @Ruthiella I agree, the US cover is really offputting 😞 This is much nicer!! 🤩 6mo
54 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Tineke
De geniale vriendin | Elena Ferrante
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In English translated as My brilliant friend. It's about a friendship between two girls in Naples in the 50's. Along with that come all the trials and tribulations in this time in Italy, Naples, this community and within these families. Also all the emotions and weird intricacies in the relationship between the girls. Book one of 4, also called the Neopolitan romans.

15 likes1 stack add
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writerlibrarian
L'amie prodigieuse | Elena Ferrante
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Pickpick

This is book one. I enjoyed it but wasn't head over heels about it. I'll read book 2 eventually.
I liked the lives and minutia of the narrative Elena gives us. But it's slow and violent and depressing storytelling.
#readinginfrenchjuly

Suet624 I agree. 6mo
xicanti I felt the same way, then was completely shocked by how much I loved the next two. 6mo
38 likes2 comments
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writerlibrarian
L'amie prodigieuse | Elena Ferrante
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Almost done with this one. I have about 100 pages to go. It's good, slow fiction. I am enjoying it. The Tour started on a Roman bridge (Pont du Gard) build around 40-50. #summerreading

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writerlibrarian
L'amie prodigieuse | Elena Ferrante
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Up early, another hot day. Read some, now breakfast and 🚴‍♀️ #summerreading

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writerlibrarian
L'amie prodigieuse | Elena Ferrante
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Doing nothing today but veg, watch the Tour, read, drink lots of water. It's too hot, too humid. I'm hiding inside with the AC. No 🧺 today. Too hot. #summerreading

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writerlibrarian
L'amie prodigieuse | Elena Ferrante
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The Tour hits the mountains today. The sprint right after the first climb is important. I've checked part of the morning the race center to see how it went. Check out Sagan being cute. https://twitter.com/letour/status/1151807834847436800?s=21
Reading and looking forward to the show in a bit.

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writerlibrarian
L'amie prodigieuse | Elena Ferrante
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Next book from my To-read French pile. #summerreading #readinginFrenchJuly

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Angitron
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Bailedbailed

Another bail. Couldn‘t get into the characters or the story.

Bklover I bailed on this one too! 6mo
21 likes1 comment
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keepingupwiththepenguins
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Pickpick

I‘m not sure that I could possibly do Elena Ferrante‘s My Brilliant Friend justice. It is, frankly, one of the best books that I have ever read. It follows the lives of Elena Greco (the narrator) and Lila Cerullo, as they pull themselves up from a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Naples. Beautifully translated by Ann Goldstein - #namethetranslator! Full review here: http://keepingupwiththepenguins.com/my-brilliant-friend-elena-ferrante/

Crazeedi The whole series is just excellent 6mo
Leftcoastzen I need to get to book 3 6mo
Tashreads I loved this series so much (actually still need to get to book 4, best do that pronto!) 6mo
32 likes1 stack add4 comments
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WellReadCatLady
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Ready for book club tomorrow!

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Joanne1
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Finally found a way to watch this series. It‘s been a while since I read the first book but it‘s all coming back.

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mldkennedy
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Pickpick

JUNE 2019: I finally went down the Ferrante wormhole! To my surprise, my favorite character is Naples. The way she depicts the widespread poverty and violence after WWII and how that affected the city's working class is striking. I found a great Time Magazine article about the history of Naples in conversation with these novels, which I really suggest. I've started book two and I am kind of lukewarm about it so far. Did anyone else feel that way?

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AnneCecilie
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Mehso-so

The first book in the story about Elena and Lila told in retrospect by Elena about their childhood and early teenage yrs.

I think it‘s hard to rate this book. I liked it more than I thought I would. What tipped it to a so-so for me was that I could put it down last night before going to sleep with only 16p left. Normally I would have finished the book.

I will probably read the remaining 3 books, but I won‘t rush to the library to borrow them.

Velvetfur I've got this but haven't read it yet - watched all of the TV series though and loved it! Have you seen it too? Wondering how it compares to the book.... 7mo
AnneCecilie @Velvetfur unfortunately I haven‘t seen the series yet. It‘s on HBO and I don‘t have that channel. I‘m not sure how helpful this is but a friend of mine that has both read the first novel and seen the series prefer the series. She‘s raving about the series and has recommended it to me several times 7mo
LapReader If you got a little further you would have delved straight into the next book. 7mo
CarolynM I read this a few years ago. I found it interesting, but I've never been moved to pick up the next book in the series. 7mo
Velvetfur @AnneCecilie Oh that's interesting! I'm curious to read the novel now with that in mind....one I competed my reading challenges, heh 😊 Thanks for your insight 👍 7mo
45 likes1 stack add5 comments
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AnneCecilie
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Next up.

I feel like I‘m the last person in the world to read Ferrante, but I‘ve some bad experiences reading books on the bestseller list.

Borrowed this from the library and since I‘m going to see the documentary “Ferrante Fever” next Tuesday, I thought now is the time to give this a go.

I hope this book proves me wrong.

Marina_h I haven't read her books either, but they are high on my TBR! Hope you'll enjoy it 😊 8mo
Henrik_Madsen Well, We are at least two persons who haven‘t read Ferrante yet.😃 8mo
ferskner I hadn't read her until late last year, and I was very pleasantly surprised. I hope you like it! Certainly a better cover than the American edition. 8mo
hilded Startet it yesterday after having the whole series unread on my shelf since they came out. Don‘t know why I waited so long, I love it! I see you were a bit ambivalent, but I have heard that book 2 and 4 are the best ones - so it might be worth picking up book #2 as well. 6mo
AnneCecilie @hilded Yeah, I didn‘t love this like everyone else seem to do. I think at some point I‘ll pick up book no 2, but I won‘t rush it. 6mo
49 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Erin.Elizabeth10
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Mehso-so

At first, I didn‘t really like this book. It took me a long time to get through the first chapters. But once I started reading it with a bit more of an academic eye, rather than looking for entertainment, I enjoyed it more. Still not my favorite, but definitely an interesting read!

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diffendale
Pickpick

😎

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ehewett88
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switching between two books, I always like to have a lighter one if I am reading an intense book and my other book right now is the Iliad so this is my little breather haha

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S.Web
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Pickpick

So good! Going to the store today to buy the second one 😁

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phyhill
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My library hold came in! 😁 I loved this book series and can't wait to start watching this.

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Crazeedi
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#Shesleavinghome #BeatleMaynia @Eggs
She tried and tried to leave, but her heart for better or worse was Neapolitano

GatheringBooks my husband and i are watching the hbo tv series adaptation - it is so so sooo good. 9mo
Crazeedi @GatheringBooks glad to hear, at first I thought I'm not going to read this, but then a few chapters in it grabbed me and I read them all. Very different, very good 9mo
Eggs Nicely characterized @Crazeedi 🤗💗💗 9mo
See All 10 Comments
suzisteffen @GatheringBooks OHHHH I need to watch that! @Crazeedi I did not like the first book very much, and then BOOM, I read the next three quickly and just adored them. 9mo
Cathythoughts I loved this one. ( all of them ) The power of the family 💔 9mo
Crazeedi @Eggs thanks! 9mo
Crazeedi @suzisteffen @Cathythoughts I almost stopped reading the first one, then it hooked me and I never looked back 9mo
emmaturi I have read the first two and loved them! 9mo
Crazeedi @emmaturi I gave my series to my friend or I would have sent to you 9mo
emmaturi Oh thanks, but I have the other two already! 9mo
72 likes10 comments
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RebL
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If you can‘t travel the world, you may as well read it. In the case of this series, maybe even watch it.

Tamra So pretty! 9mo
SarahHarts_books Beautiful flowers!!💖 8mo
15 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Foxnorth
L'amica geniale | Elena Ferrante

So far I'm quite enjoying the style and subject, although I'm going to have to break out the Italian dictionary at some point!