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The Marriage Portrait
The Marriage Portrait: A novel | Maggie O'Farrell
From the author of the breakout New York Times best seller Hamnetwinner of the National Book Critics Circle Awardan electrifying new novel set in Renaissance Italy, and centering on the captivating young duchess Lucrezia de Medici. Florence, the 1550s. Lucrezia, third daughter of the grand duke, is comfortable with her obscure place in the palazzo: free to wonder at its treasures, observe its clandestine workings, and to devote herself to her own artistic pursuits. But when her older sister dies on the eve of her wedding to the ruler of Ferrara, Moderna and Regio, Lucrezia is thrust unwittingly into the limelight: the duke is quick to request her hand in marriage, and her father just as quick to accept on her behalf. Having barely left girlhood behind, Lucrezia must now make her way in a troubled court whose customs are opaque and where her arrival is not universally welcomed. Perhaps most mystifying of all is her new husband himself, Alfonso. Is he the playful sophisticate he appeared to be before their wedding, the aesthete happiest in the company of artists and musicians, or the ruthless politician before whom even his formidable sisters seem to tremble? As Lucrezia sits in constricting finery for a painting intended to preserve her image for centuries to come, one thing becomes worryingly clear. In the courts eyes, she has one duty: to provide the heir who will shore up the future of the Ferranese dynasty. Until then, for all of her rank and nobility, the new duchesss future hangs entirely in the balance. Full of the drama and verve with which she illuminated the Shakespearean canvas of Hamnet, Maggie OFarrell brings the world of Renaissance Italy to jewel-bright life, and offers an unforgettable portrait of a resilient young womans battle for her very survival.
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Freespirit
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Pickpick

I just finished The Marriage Portrait. I thought it was great but could have benefited from some editing. I loved the first and the last 100 pages but thought the middle was slow. The story of Duchess Lucrezia is fascinating, all the more because it‘s based on real events. Maggie O‘Farrell is a marvellous writer!
I‘m also reading about The Balkans( fingers crossed my next OS trip) and PIP a wonderful local magazine about veggie gardening ❤️

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Cuilin
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Pickpick

This book surprised me. I was set to love it. It started great, then it lulled me into a false sense of security, so much so I thought it a little boring and then I gasped. It reminded me of someone who described policing in a city as an over abundance of boredom interspersed with sheer terror. The juxtaposition of the dreamy style and the menacing plot is very clever. O‘Farrell brings you on location. It‘s beautiful, it‘s sunny, it‘s hell.

Bluebird Great review! I really liked it too. Quite a rollercoaster ride! This was my first read from this author…it won‘t be my last 😄 1w
Cuilin @Bluebird thanks. I recommend Hamnet. It‘s slow but beautiful. 1w
Megabooks Great review!! 1w
Bluebird @Cuilin thanks! I‘ll add that one to my list 😀 1w
62 likes4 comments
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AvidReader25
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Pickpick

I don‘t know what, but I was dreading this one. Maybe it was a case of judging the book by its cover. Instead of a dry history I found a riveting portrayal of a young girl trapped in a dangerous marriage. It‘s based on the real marriage of Lucrezia de' Medici and Alfonso, the Duke of Ferrara. The author does an incredible job, building the tension in the tear as the options narrow for the Lucrezia.

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Cuilin
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When I went to my library to pick up Demon Copperhead, this was just sitting on a shelf. So of course I grabbed it. I loved Hamnet so looking forward to this. It‘s due back in two days so another snowy day at home reading.

Megabooks Enjoy! It‘s really good! 2w
mamareading I enjoyed it! 2w
Kristin_Reads This is on my shelf too! Hope it‘s as good as Hamnet! 2w
68 likes3 comments
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Karons1
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Pickpick

Excellent historical fiction.Found the true info and essay at the back of my special edition fascinatingWhat Alfonso inflicted on his own sister and her lover ! So we can deduce from that act that he wasn‘t a kind man! The fate of her sister Isabella murdered & her cousin both murdered by husbands , Lucrezia younger brother being one. So much crime and hatred towards women, consequence of a forced arranged marriage and raising boys as superiors!

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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

Hamnet was just ok for me, so I didn‘t plan to read this until I heard O‘Farrell read the beginning on a podcast. And I‘m so glad that happened, because this is phenomenal! It‘s so well crafted and structured. She gives us just enough to tease the coming action and keep us guessing. I‘m a believer now!

vivastory I have yet to read O'Farrell, but I am looking forward to it. Esp Hamnet. 3w
rockpools Do you remember what the podcast was? I keep meaning to read her one day, but it doesn‘t happen - could maybe use a little incentive! 3w
Hooked_on_books @rockpools It‘s the December 13 episode of Poured Over. Enjoy! 3w
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TrishB I love all her writing ♥️ 3w
Tamra Agreed, this was a better reading experience! 3w
SamAnne Hmmm. I'm one of those readers who thought Hamnet was...okay. Beautiful writing, but not enough to the story for me. And I'm someone who doesn't necessarily need a plot-driven novel. But it was slow. I was going to take a pass on this one. Maybe I need to reconsider. 3w
Hooked_on_books @SamAnne I felt like everyone raved about Hamnet and it really didn‘t hit for me. This one was such a different reading experience. She doles our just enough to keep you in it but not so much as to give things away too early. The pacing and structure are really well done. I don‘t think you‘ll be disappointed. 3w
Centique @Hooked_on_books that‘s so good to hear. Like you Hamnet didn‘t hit for me - and yet I love reading about Shakespeare and that period in history. Perhaps my expectations were too high. It sounds like I‘ll enjoy this more! 2w
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OutAndAbout
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Pickpick

Beautifully written with a tense plot but somehow a relaxed pace, with a surprise ending. I enjoy historical fiction that doesn‘t worry so much about historical accuracy that the character development is lost. Interesting journey of a girl too young to be married off for political gain.

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Rhondareads
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Historical fiction at its best and a book about bookshops I‘m all set staying in avoiding the rainy weather in usually sunny California.

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emmaturi
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Pickpick

This was so good set in the 1550s in Florence about the life of Lucrezia de'Medici. You can't be help feel bad for our young MC. She basically knows what will happen to her. I enjoyed all the descriptions of the places and the lives. It was gripping.

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ErraticElle
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Pickpick

Gorgeous writing full of beautiful descriptions & historical atmosphere. The plot moves languidly, but still gripped me so that I didn't want to put it down. Lucrezia's fate was looming & my heart just ached. You know from the beginning more or less what the ending will be & that spurs on a mild anxiety during the read. Something about that just feels right & delicious, despite the atrocity. Maggie O'Farrell is a queen of historical fiction.

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Kazzie
Pickpick

Not all are hits, but when she nails it, she nails it. This was great. A 16 century story, infuriating and interesting. I enjoy how she tells history from a fiery feminist lens

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BookBosomed1
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Pickpick

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ This book is a work of historical fiction that draws inspiration from Robert Browning‘s poem, “My Last Duchess.” At its core, it is about a young woman‘s resistance to oppressive gendered norms. The author writes with a prose that is lyrical, atmospheric, and plot-appropriate. Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4763135592

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OutAndAbout

“The tigress didn't so much pace as pour herself, as if her very essence was molten, simmering, like the ooze from a volcano. It was hard to distinguish the bars of the cage from the dark, repeating stripes on the creature's fur. The animal was orange, burnished gold, fire made flesh; she was power and anger, she was vicious and exquisite;

OutAndAbout she carried on her body the barred marks of a prison, as if she had been branded for exactly this, as if captivity had been her destiny all along.“ (edited) 1mo
OutAndAbout Some of the descriptions are so beautiful. Like this one about a captured tiger.
Just starting this book, but so far, it's the language that's captivated me.
1mo
28 likes2 comments
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Deblovestoread
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#Top22of2022

I have loved seeing everyone‘s list of their favorite books of the year. I screenshotted (is that a word?) several and compiled a list from that and other best of lists with different #. These 6 were the ones most frequently mentioned with 12 more getting a few nods each added and another 21 that I can‘t wait to read. TBR explosion! 💥

TrishB I hoped someone would do that 👍🏻 I‘ve read all these! (edited) 1mo
Deblovestoread @TrishB. I will post my list of the 12 runners up tomorrow. Can‘t have my TBR be the only one exploding. 😂 1mo
Cinfhen Cool idea, thanks 😎 ive read 5/6 and I‘m going to be reading Babel….I can‘t wait for the runnerups too @TrishB 1mo
See All 6 Comments
TrishB Look forward to the additional list! @Cinfhen 1mo
Deblovestoread @TrishB @Cinfhen As I was lying awake with insomnia last night it occurred to me my list should have a disclaimer. My lists are books I haven‘t read only as I didn‘t intend to post it when compiling it. So it‘s not a complete picture of everyone‘s best of….sorry! 1mo
Cinfhen Ahhhh, it‘s still a great idea🤓 1mo
55 likes6 comments
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Karons1
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Couldn‘t resist the special edition cover ! What a sucker I am for special editions 😆

Soubhiville It‘s beautiful! 1mo
jlhammar Gorgeous!! 1mo
29 likes2 comments
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LeahBergen
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Congratulations, @wanderinglynn , on your big Litsy milestone! 🎉🎉🎉

I‘d love to receive the tagged book after reading so many glowing Litsy reviews on it.

Thanks for the fun (and very generous) giveaway and enjoy your birthday month to the fullest! 😘

#300KBirthdayGiveaway

wanderinglynn Thank you! 😘 And thanks for entering! 1mo
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Cinfhen
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#12Booksof2022 - September @Andrew65
An atmospheric haunting #HF from one of my favorite authors - again, GORGEOUS narration
This DID make my #Top22of22

TrishB A great read 👍🏻 1mo
Cinfhen Yessssss, such great storytelling @TrishB 1mo
Andrew65 Great choice. 1mo
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suvata
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#Litsy Fun and Games
This the month to choose my favorite book of 2022? #SoManyGoodBooksThisYear
Thanks to @chasjjlee for designing the template.
#bookstagram #BestBookOf2022

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Sophronisba
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6. The Marriage Portrait, by Maggie O'Farrell -- A novelistic portrayal of Lucrezia de Medici, with a killer first paragraph and a narrative that is gripping even if you know Lucrezia's life story. Beautifully written, you will never see the famous portrait the same way again.

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jlhammar
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Pickpick

Fantastic! Tense, compelling and O‘Farrell‘s writing is so rich and vibrant. I love how she constructed this one with the dual timelines that ultimately converge. Really clever and effective.

squirrelbrain I loved this too, in fact it‘s made my #top22of22 1mo
CBee Got this in my #jolabokaflodswap from @Amiable and cannot WAIT to read it!! 1mo
rmaclean4 Loved this book! 1mo
62 likes3 comments
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jlhammar
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“The chamber is filled with people and the wedding gown waits for her on the bed. Lilies stand tall in a vase in the mantel, their stems offering up blooms as if for scrutiny. The air moving in and out of her is heavy with their scent…Behind them, servants come and servants go, their shoes rushing one way and the other…Lucrezia is the only motionless being. She sits at the centre of this activity, a reed caught in the eddy of a stream.”

jlhammar Loving this so far! O‘Farrell really knows how to set a scene. 1mo
Megabooks She totally does! 1mo
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daena
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Treated myself to a nice stack from Barnes and Nobles 50% off sale

Liatrek Very nice haul 📚📚📚 1mo
Liz_M Nice! I also got one of those gorgeous penguin books. And your post just made me realize I should have looked for the seasons quarter by Smith 🫤 1mo
wanderinglynn Great haul! 1mo
Reggie Nice! 1mo
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CBee
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Amy, you‘ve spoiled me! I loved your card - and I had to go and spoil the surprise by recognizing your last name 😂🤦‍♀️ I‘m happy we‘ve become Litsy friends, too ❤️ Thank you for the books (the extra book will probably wreck me but I still can‘t wait to read it), and the chocolate! Hubby and I will share that (maybe 😂). #jolabokaflodswap @Amiable

squirrelbrain That chocolate sounds delish! And both books are fab but, yes, Shuggie is 😭 1mo
CBee @squirrelbrain honestly, after reading A Little Life a couple of years ago (I swear I‘m still scarred), I figure I can handle it 😂😂 I‘ve heard so many good things! 1mo
Amiable I‘m so glad you do the same thing with your GR lists (want to read/books already owned)! I started logging my books that way after I discovered 3 copies of the same book in my stacks. 😖 Enjoy the chocolate! I couldn‘t find the exact kind you‘d requested but I thought maybe you‘d like to try one of our local candy companies. 🙂 1mo
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CBee @Amiable joining Litsy caused a book explosion so I had to figure out a way to keep track 😂 GR helps with that! I know I‘ll enjoy the chocolate, I was so excited to see that it‘s made in Vermont (a place I very much want to visit at some point in life)! Thank you again ❤️❤️ 1mo
CBee @Amiable and I just discovered the bookmarks! I love them all 😊❤️ 1mo
Amiable @CBee Full disclosure: I Googled and found out about your pet business, so that‘s why the cat bookmark. I‘m a cat person. 🙂 1mo
CBee @Amiable ah ha! Kitties are so great 😊 We used to have them but now only have doggies. But our business serves a ton of cat clients! 1mo
73 likes7 comments
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suvata
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Pickpick

Historical Note in front matter: “In 1560, fifteen-year-old Lucrezia di Cosimo de‘ Medici left Florence to begin her married life with Alfonso II d‘Este, Duke of Ferrara. Less than a year later, she would be dead. The official cause of her death was given as ‘putrid fever,‘ but it was rumoured that she had been murdered by her husband.”

This is her story.

TheBookHippie I have this on my wishlist hopefully Santa brings it! 2mo
suvata @TheBookHippie I hope so too 🎄 2mo
CarolynM I got this in my IRL book group‘s Kris Kringle. Looking forward to it 🙂 2mo
47 likes6 stack adds3 comments
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CaitlinByTheBook
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Currently reading with Reese‘s book club for December ✨

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TEArificbooks
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Pickpick

This is a soft pick. I liked the prose, but the plot was very predictable even the twist ending.

43 likes1 stack add
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Ellebeekay
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Looking forward to this book!

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Jeg
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Pickpick

I‘ve worked out how to have 2 books on the go . I read 1 fiction and 1 non fiction. One gets read in bed and the other elsewhere.
I wasn‘t sure about this book as I‘m not a historical fiction fan. However I loved this story. Maggie is such a great writer. I love her books. This was no exception. A great read.

MrsMalaprop I have this on my bedside table, but it‘s too big for me to take to Melbourne, so it will have to await my return. 1mo
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KarenUK
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Pickpick

#pop22 #tigeronthecover
Historical fiction at its best. Gorgeous lyrical writing, intricate detail, painting images of an unfamiliar world until you can picture it perfectly. The story itself is tense, as the already known ending, looms menacingly ahead. A book to savor, whilst also gripping until the last page.
Just 2 more prompts to go!
@Cinfhen @BarbaraBB @megabooks @squirrelbrain @jenniferw88 @alisiakae @cortg @laughterhp @raelovestoread

Soubhiville I‘m looking forward to reading this! 2mo
BarbaraBB You‘re almost there! I read this one too for the tiger prompt and enjoyed it a lot as well! 2mo
Megabooks You can do it!! 💜 2mo
See All 6 Comments
squirrelbrain Loved this one; probably one of my favourites of the year! 2mo
TrishB Great review. Loved this one ❤️ 2mo
Cortg Almost done! I have this book sitting on my desk. Maybe a January read? I still have 4 books to go 😬 2mo
45 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Sophronisba
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LitHub's favorite books of the year: https://lithub.com/our-38-favorite-books-of-2022

I've only read a handful; most of them weren't even on my radar.

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Karisa
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Pickpick

Beautifully written capturing the horror of what it might have felt like being forced into marriage at 13 in the mid-1500s Italy (and the pressure of producing a male heir). The references to artists and historic families of the time had me referring to Google frequently. Sad but intriguing read.

Sparklemn Completely non-book-related, but wow, she looks like Drew Barrymore! 😃 2mo
Karisa @Sparklemn 🤔 Didn‘t see it before, but now that you mention it. . . Can‘t not see it 😂 2mo
Chelsea.Poole Loved this book! 2mo
Karisa @Chelsea.Poole Me too! I didn‘t expect to connect to the character as much as I did. The author did a great job of capturing her plight and I loved the ending even though it was so far fetched. 2mo
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TheKidUpstairs
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@Chelsea.Poole what a great #AuldLangSpine list! I'm beyond excited to kick off my reading year with as many of these as I can get to in January 😁

Three of these I have read (in green), all of which I loved (which just goes to show how great @monalyisha is at bookish matchmaking!). And ALL of them are available to be through local libraries/Libby/hoopla (the glories of holding three library cards!).

I hope you are just as excited by my list!

dariazeoli You have beautiful handwriting. My chicken scratch self is jealous! 2mo
monalyisha Love a good color code. And I‘m excited about this match! Can‘t wait to read both of your reviews! 👯‍♀️ 2mo
Chelsea.Poole Oh I‘m so happy! I have just read the email with your list and I‘m anxious to get it sorted as well! Your list is truly wonderful!! This highlighted list has inspired me to do the same with yours!✍️ Also, yes! to library availability 🙌 Every book on my list came from my library and most of them as an audiobook from Libby ☺️ 2mo
See All 45 Comments
Chelsea.Poole @monalyisha you‘re thebomb.com 2mo
monalyisha @Chelsea.Poole Ha! I can‘t believe you just used that phrase! I was *just* talking about ridiculous 90‘s (2000‘s?) slang that makes me giggle and that‘s absolutely one of them. Also on the list? “You‘re all that and a bag of chips.” (edited) 2mo
Chelsea.Poole @monalyisha yes, also reminded of this with last night‘s SNL skit —a remake of Kennan and Kel which I watched often as a kid…little me would have loved a reboot but old me was like “my brain is rotting where‘s my book?” 2mo
Chelsea.Poole @monalyisha also, I STILL think the “bag of chips” silently in my mind when it applies in the world. Just something that‘ll stay with me for all of my days, apparently. Too bad much of that time (90s-early 00s) is so ridiculous, like you said. Hard to imagine little ol ladies giving out bomb.com compliments, but that‘ll be me 🙋‍♀️😆 2mo
monalyisha @Chelsea.Poole My mom really latched on hard to “cool beans” and “Holy cheese & crackers, Batman!” So, those will likely be the ones to stick with me forever. 😅 2mo
Chelsea.Poole @monalyisha lol! I love that. I‘m at the age now that I‘m trying to get hip to my kids‘ lingo but it‘s just so bizarre! very Minecraft-ish 😱 2mo
monalyisha @Chelsea.Poole I have a friend who teaches at a boarding school and I love that she shares their slang with our friend group. She said one student turned in an exam the other day & said, “I flawlessed it” (he did not 😝). 2mo
TheKidUpstairs @monalyisha @chelsea.poole I actually found myself saying “as if“ to my son the other day. I started laughing, he told me I was acting “sus“. It was a true meeting of the generations! 2mo
TheKidUpstairs @monalyisha any excuse to bust out ALL the highlighters :) 2mo
TheKidUpstairs @Chelsea.Poole I'm glad you like it! Can't wait to see what you end up reading 😄 I'm not a huge audiobook person, but I do keep trying. Are there any that you'd really recommend the audio? 2mo
monalyisha @TheKidUpstairs Oh, “sus” is one that‘s so popular that I‘ve even heard it just working in the library — & I don‘t have them all day like parents or teachers do! I don‘t find myself saying “as if”…but I *DO* still say “I‘m Audi” — probably on a daily basis. I actually caught myself only recently. I knew it was from Clueless but wasn‘t even sure of the origin. I found an interesting article about it, actually. 😅 Let me see if I can find it! 2mo
monalyisha @TheKidUpstairs @Chelsea.Poole OK, I‘ve got it! “I‘m Audi 5000,” is actually from Reality Bites, released a year prior to Clueless. The phrase plays on the infamous mid-1980s car model that was found to have “sudden unintended acceleration.” 2mo
TheKidUpstairs @Chelsea.Poole and I'm so happy that I work at the library on NYE this year, so I've just put all the ones from our collection (the ones in blue) on a suspended hold so they'll be ready for me to pick up just in time for the New Year! 2mo
Chelsea.Poole @TheKidUpstairs @monalyisha oh my gosh my son uses “sus” so often and it‘s actually kind of adorable the way he does, and I‘ve started using it too. I was gonna mention that in my earlier comment but didn‘t know if it was all the kids or a my-kid-specific usage, because I haven‘t heard it from any of his friends yet. 2mo
Chelsea.Poole My good highlighters are at work, so I‘ll get them tomorrow and do a similar thing 😊 2mo
Chelsea.Poole Also, @monalyisha, definitely remember Audi 5000 though it wasn‘t something I used personally. Until just this moment I always thought it was “outie” 😆 Loving this blast from the past! (edited) 2mo
Chelsea.Poole Ok but BOOKS…yes! I find that I really enjoy nonfiction on audio. When I let go and don‘t try to remember specific facts and just listen I am enthralled. I‘ll tag a few standouts from this list. In the comments. 2mo
Chelsea.Poole Also, fellow library employee here 👋 I‘m going to do the same…I‘ve already got a list going on Libby but I‘d like to place holds for the physical books for quite a few as well! Love that suspension feature 😊 2mo
Chelsea.Poole Audio winners …often I find that memoirs narrated by the author are just next-level. I‘ve tried to read some that I had been listening to and they just lost that personal connection from the author‘s voice, so I‘ve been doing memoirs exclusively audio. This is a good example and the next two 2mo
Chelsea.Poole May be my top read this year. It hit me specifically because what‘s been going on in my life but I think anyone would find it moving. But the audio is well done and touching 2mo
Chelsea.Poole And fiction…I would stay away from audio with Paradise. But this one worked for me as an audio…more on the fluff side —and also one you‘ll just have to let go of keeping track of exactly what “time” it is if you‘re doing audio: 2mo
Chelsea.Poole Also listened to this one and it was fantastic (edited) 2mo
monalyisha @Chelsea.Poole @TheKidUpstairs Just chiming in to join the library party! I‘m in Children‘s. 👶 I also added Crying and Lost & Found to my list immediately after seeing them on yours, Chelsea. I commute 45 minutes so audiobooks are key. 2mo
TheKidUpstairs @Chelsea.Poole definitely not just yours, my son even has a shirt that says "kinda sus" ? How old is your son? I've got three, 2 boys ages 9 & 7 and 1 girl age 3. Are they big readers, too? 2mo
TheKidUpstairs @Chelsea.Poole oh, and thank you for the audio suggestions! I'll probably try some of the NF that way 😁 2mo
TheKidUpstairs @monalyisha @Chelsea.Poole ain't no party like a library party! I'm a circulation clerk 😁 2mo
Chelsea.Poole @monalyisha hope you like those two! I bet your tbr realllllyy grows this time of year! And yes! Audiobooks are essential for commuting! And staining one‘s floor…as I did today (and nearly finished an entire book! 🙌) 2mo
Chelsea.Poole @TheKidUpstairs so it sounds like we have the same age difference with our boys! Mine are 5&7. The 7 year old teaches me about Among Us and the 5 year old tells me how to pronounce really long and difficult dinosaur names. And how wonderful to have a little sister for your two! My oldest begs for a baby sister. I‘d like a baby girl too, but I know I would have a houseful of boys and 2 is enough to corral 😬 2mo
Chelsea.Poole As for reading, yes, somewhat. My oldest is gaining confidence but he‘s not fluent yet. We‘re working really hard to get there but it‘s just not clicking for him as easily as I had hoped it would. We‘ve recently found funny and actually GOOD easy readers so that helps tremendously. I‘m working my way through the Theodor Geisel award winners with him. He loves We Don‘t Eat Our Classmates and these are clever: 2mo
Chelsea.Poole Do you have any recommendations for beginning readers your boys enjoyed? 2mo
TheKidUpstairs @Chelsea.Poole there are some really good ones! My boys loved Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie books, Dav Pilkey's Dragon books (my oldest is onto chapter books and he still goes back and reads the Dragon readers often), and they love reading this one to their sister: 2mo
TheKidUpstairs Oh, and the Narwhal and Jelly graphic novels! 2mo
monalyisha @TheKidUpstairs @Chelsea.Poole I swear I‘ll stop butting in on your conversation at some point…but I love Elephant & Piggie *and* Narwhal & Jelly! There are some other great reader friendship pairs, too. I‘ll tag them! 2mo
TheKidUpstairs @monalyisha you are always welcome! Thanks for the suggestions! 2mo
Chelsea.Poole @TheKidUpstairs @monalyisha yes…it‘s true this is a library party right here! 🎉 📚 thank you both for all the kids‘ titles. I bring home so many for my boys but I love to hear recs of books from real kids, ya know? I am always bringing home books I love 😆 like the Jon Klaussen/Mac Barnett duo which sometimes doesn‘t land right for my two. Maybe it‘s the darkness, lol. Though this is working for my 5 yo 2mo
monalyisha @Chelsea.Poole I bought that one for my library and haven‘t even had a chance to crack it open yet! 🙈 I‘ll make it a point to take a few minutes to check it out if it‘s still in when I get there today. My favorite of Mac Barnett‘s to show to kids (especially older kids) is 2mo
50 likes45 comments
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rmaclean4
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November Reads:
5 🌟
The Marriage Portrait:Maggie O‘Farrell 📖
4.5 🌟
Elena Knows: Claudia Pineiro 📖
4 🌟
Lucy By The Sea: Elizabeth Strout 🎧
Fingersmith: Sarah Waters 🎧
3.5 star🌟
Walk the Vanished Earth: Erin Sawan 🎧
3 🌟
Bitter Orange Tree: Jokha Alharthi 🎧
The Birdcatcher: Gayl Jones 🎧
2.5 🌟
When We Were Dragons: Kelly Barnhill 🎧
#bookspinbingo so close to a bingo but one book short! @TheAromaofBooks

BarbaraBB Such a great month! 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Fantastic month!!! 2mo
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ManyWordsLater
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Pickpick

SO GOOD.

Stayed up way too late reading last night and then needed some time to calm down. The story got me so worked up. Oh Lucré!

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andrew61
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I love it when an author event goes well and it depends very much on who is interviewing. This was a really great interview between Maggie OFarrell and Kamila Shamsie, the conversation flowed. Maggie O'Farrell is such an engaging author, I can't wait to read this. She is definitely one of my favourite authors.

Oryx I was there too 😊. Probably sitting not too far away from the look of that photo. She was great. 2mo
andrew61 @Oryx yes she was really interesting and made us want to get on the next flight to Florence. I should have put a litsy badge on. Glad you enjoyed. 2mo
BarbaraBB One of mine too. As is Kamila Shamsie 2mo
Megabooks Yes! That sounds like it would be a fantastic conversation! 2mo
45 likes4 comments
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Tamra
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Pickpick

Loved it! So rich in setting and character. Drips with foreboding especially because it is based on the true unsolved mystery of the young Duchess of Ferrara‘s death.

Enjoyed this novel far more than Hamnet. Anxious to find out what she publishes next.

LeahBergen I‘ll have to give this one a try. I liked Hamnet but wasn‘t blown away by it. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2mo
BarbaraBB @LeahBergen This one is better than Hamnet if you ask me! Great review! (edited) 2mo
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ManyWordsLater
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Oryx
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What a beautiful inside cover of this book 🐅

And another deadly predator in the background

Chrissyreadit 😆🙌 3mo
RaeLovesToRead And that bookmark!!!! 🥰🥰 3mo
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Tamra
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Audio caking the yarn I acquired at the Harvest Fiber Festival. If anyone had suggested I‘d be attending anything like it last year this time, I wouldn‘t have believed it. 😉

This novel is compulsive! The consummation scene 🫣 - very well written.

Leftcoastzen Beautiful yarn ! 3mo
Tamra @Leftcoastzen I wish you could squish the baby alpaca. It‘s like heaven! 3mo
emz711 Oh my! Where is this festival? 3mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks So pretty 🧶 3mo
julesG 😍😍😍 3mo
72 likes5 comments
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Tamra
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Loving this on audio! So rich in description and foreboding atmosphere.

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squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

I adored this, and it will likely make my top 20 list for this year.

It‘s so beautifully written, but so full of menace too. I loved both Lucrezia and Emilia. I have to say it took a little while to get into, but once I did I just couldn‘t put it down.

Photo is off the little badge I got with my indie bookstore edition. There is a dedication at the beginning, thanking all indies for what they did during the pandemic. ❤️

Tamra This is my current listen - I too am enjoying it! 3mo
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Abailliekaras
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Mehso-so

A sumptuous novel but too long for me. I like O‘Farrell‘s crafting of characters & warm, lyrical writing. She sets a scene well & captures nuanced moments between characters. But it lacked suspense (we know the ending), the scenes where he treats her badly didn‘t feel surprising & the English sensibility put me at a distance, instead of being immersed in Italy.

BarbaraBB It was very English indeed! I was not aware when I read it but now that you mention it I do agree! 3mo
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RowReads1
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ashw21
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Pickpick

This is a compelling story on the last duchess Lucrezia de Medici and her untimely death rumoured to have been killed by her husband. The story really spotlights women in history and adds depth to them, showing they were capable of so much more if they were given more opportunities and had less restrictive lives. A compelling book with gorgeous writing about a woman that was shown off in a marriage portrait but was ultimately a pawn in a game.

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Teresereading
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Lucrezia is taking her seat at the long dining table, which is polished to a watery gleam and spread with dishes, inverted cups, a woven circlet of fur.
#firstlinefridays @ShyBookOwl

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Augustdana
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Looks like more rain today, I‘ve got nothing going on.

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thewallflower0707
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Pickpick

What a magnificent book! I liked it better than #Hamnet. The cover is gorgeous, and I really liked our main character. The writing drew me right in, and delighted me until the inevitable ending.
#MaggieOFarrel

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

mcctrish Love this cover! Putting it on my list 3mo
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BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

Yes! This was as good as everyone says. What a storyteller O ‘Farrell is and what a great character she makes of the 15 year old Lucretia, the wild daughter of Cosimo de Medici, who had to obey and marry the Duke of Ferrara.

#pop22 #Book WithATigerOnTheCover

Cinfhen I loved this book!!! Gorgeous cover, so much better than US edition 3mo
squirrelbrain Oh, I might have to get to this one soon, after stellar reviews from both you and @TrishB this weekend! 3mo
TrishB The story is so good and the writing is amazingly beautiful ❤️ @squirrelbrain 3mo
See All 15 Comments
KarenUK This is up for me before year end. You know I love O‘Farrell, and I ordered the UK copy with a tiger on the cover for #pop22 ! 💕 @Cinfhen It‘s much prettier! 3mo
Cortg Well, just placed another library hold. I wish the us copy was as pretty as this. Nice job with the challenge! 3mo
BarbaraBB @KarenUK I was so happy when I noticed that tiger 🤣. It‘s definitely your kind of book 🤍 3mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain I think so too 😉, it‘s good! 3mo
AshleyHoss820 Oh, man! I almost picked this up yesterday! I‘ll have to see if the library has it! ☺️ 3mo
Deblovestoread Thanks for pointing out the Tiger. I can now move my intended book to a different spot and boom 2 spots will be filled. 3mo
BarbaraBB @Deblovestoread Glad to be of help 😀😘 3mo
BarbaraBB @AshleyHoss820 It‘s good. Entertaining, mysterious and sad! 3mo
Megabooks So glad this was a win for you too! The descriptions alone are 😍. She talked about the differences between the UK and US cover and apparently the UK publisher thought the actual portrait that is on the US cover looked “too nonfiction” so they went for this more whimsical one, which worked well for you! 😁😁 3mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks It did work for #pop22 but personally I prefer the US cover 🤷🏻‍♀️😊 3mo
sarahbarnes Yes! I loved this one, too. 3mo
CarolynM I‘ve been resisting but you‘ve convinced me. Stacked🙂 3mo
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TrishB
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Pickpick

I loved this ♥️ the writing is beautiful, the descriptions of life, people etc and the MCs set against a quietly developing, dreadful story.

squirrelbrain Looking forward to this one! 3mo
TrishB @squirrelbrain I really enjoyed it 😁 3mo
Oryx I'm going to pick this up soon. Going to see her speak in a few weeks. I have accidentally bought two copies, because I forgot that I had ordered a book and ticket together 3mo
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TrishB @Oryx are you going to the one in Manchester? I didn‘t get a ticket because I didn‘t want to get the train home on my own and no one else was free! I bet she‘s great 😁 3mo
Oryx @TrishB yeah that's the one. That's a shame you can't make it. 3mo
Megabooks 💯 agree! 3mo
BarbaraBB You‘re too fast for me. I‘m only halfway through but enjoying it too! 3mo
TrishB @BarbaraBB the weekends are my only really reading time, I like to sit in the corner and just read when I can! 3mo
BarbaraBB I finished it too now! 3mo
TrishB @BarbaraBB so glad you loved it too ♥️ 3mo
Cathythoughts I had to abandon this one for Bookclub reading. Must get back to it, the bit I read was wonderful ♥️ 3mo
TrishB @Cathythoughts it‘s such a great story and so beautifully written ♥️ 3mo
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TrishB
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Had 2 papers I had to finish today with a 12pm one deadline and a 5pm one. Just finished the second at 4.28. I‘m rewarding myself with a 32 minute read 😁

MaureenMc Definitely earned! 👊 3mo
squirrelbrain I nearly picked this off my shelf today, but didn‘t…. I may yet change my mind (again) though! 3mo
LeahBergen Cramming your reading in right down to the minute. 👏👏 3mo
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TrishB @MaureenMc every minute 😁 3mo
TrishB @squirrelbrain loving it so far. Writing is beautiful. 3mo
TrishB @LeahBergen appreciating every second 😁 3mo
sarahbarnes I loved this book. And good for you! 😃 3mo
TrishB @sarahbarnes it‘s a wonderful read so far. 3mo
BarbaraBB I started this one today too. Read about a hundred pages and am enjoying it too. She writes soooo wel!! 3mo
Megabooks Yay for rewards! 3mo
batsy It's the rule: one must reward oneself well! 😁📖 3mo
TrishB @BarbaraBB the writing is beautiful. 3mo
TrishB @Megabooks @batsy absolutely 😁 3mo
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