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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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review
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.

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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! 5h
monalyisha Love a good color code. And I‘m excited about this match! Can‘t wait to read both of your reviews! 👯‍♀️ 5h
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 ☺️ 5h
See All 43 Comments
Chelsea.Poole @monalyisha you‘re thebomb.com 5h
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) 5h
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?” 5h
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 🙋‍♀️😆 5h
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. 😅 5h
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 😱 5h
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 😝). 5h
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! 5h
TheKidUpstairs @monalyisha any excuse to bust out ALL the highlighters :) 5h
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? 5h
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! 5h
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.” 5h
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! 4h
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. 4h
Chelsea.Poole My good highlighters are at work, so I‘ll get them tomorrow and do a similar thing 😊 4h
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) 4h
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. 4h
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 😊 4h
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 4h
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 4h
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: 4h
Chelsea.Poole Also listened to this one and it was fantastic (edited) 4h
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. 3h
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? 2h
TheKidUpstairs @Chelsea.Poole oh, and thank you for the audio suggestions! I'll probably try some of the NF that way 😁 2h
TheKidUpstairs @monalyisha @Chelsea.Poole ain't no party like a library party! I'm a circulation clerk 😁 2h
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! 🙌) 2h
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 😬 1h
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: 1h
Chelsea.Poole Do you have any recommendations for beginning readers your boys enjoyed? 1h
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: 38m
TheKidUpstairs Oh, and the Narwhal and Jelly graphic novels! 37m
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! now
TheKidUpstairs @monalyisha you are always welcome! Thanks for the suggestions! now
36 likes43 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! 4d
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Fantastic month!!! 4d
13 likes2 comments
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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!

75 likes3 stack adds
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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. 1w
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. 1w
BarbaraBB One of mine too. As is Kamila Shamsie 1w
Megabooks Yes! That sounds like it would be a fantastic conversation! 1w
44 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. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2w
BarbaraBB @LeahBergen This one is better than Hamnet if you ask me! Great review! (edited) 1w
66 likes1 stack add2 comments
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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 😆🙌 2w
RaeLovesToRead And that bookmark!!!! 🥰🥰 2w
74 likes1 stack add2 comments
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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 ! 2w
Tamra @Leftcoastzen I wish you could squish the baby alpaca. It‘s like heaven! 2w
emz711 Oh my! Where is this festival? 2w
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks So pretty 🧶 2w
julesG 😍😍😍 2w
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! 2w
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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! 3w
33 likes1 comment
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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 3w
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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 1mo
squirrelbrain Oh, I might have to get to this one soon, after stellar reviews from both you and @TrishB this weekend! 1mo
TrishB The story is so good and the writing is amazingly beautiful ❤️ @squirrelbrain 1mo
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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! 1mo
Cortg Well, just placed another library hold. I wish the us copy was as pretty as this. Nice job with the challenge! 1mo
BarbaraBB @KarenUK I was so happy when I noticed that tiger 🤣. It‘s definitely your kind of book 🤍 1mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain I think so too 😉, it‘s good! 1mo
AshleyHoss820 Oh, man! I almost picked this up yesterday! I‘ll have to see if the library has it! ☺️ 1mo
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. 1mo
BarbaraBB @Deblovestoread Glad to be of help 😀😘 1mo
BarbaraBB @AshleyHoss820 It‘s good. Entertaining, mysterious and sad! 1mo
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! 😁😁 1mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks It did work for #pop22 but personally I prefer the US cover 🤷🏻‍♀️😊 1mo
sarahbarnes Yes! I loved this one, too. 4w
CarolynM I‘ve been resisting but you‘ve convinced me. Stacked🙂 4w
70 likes2 stack adds15 comments
review
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! 1mo
TrishB @squirrelbrain I really enjoyed it 😁 1mo
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 1mo
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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 😁 1mo
Oryx @TrishB yeah that's the one. That's a shame you can't make it. 1mo
Megabooks 💯 agree! 1mo
BarbaraBB You‘re too fast for me. I‘m only halfway through but enjoying it too! 1mo
TrishB @BarbaraBB the weekends are my only really reading time, I like to sit in the corner and just read when I can! 1mo
BarbaraBB I finished it too now! 1mo
TrishB @BarbaraBB so glad you loved it too ♥️ 1mo
Cathythoughts I had to abandon this one for Bookclub reading. Must get back to it, the bit I read was wonderful ♥️ 3w
TrishB @Cathythoughts it‘s such a great story and so beautifully written ♥️ 3w
89 likes4 stack adds12 comments
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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! 👊 1mo
squirrelbrain I nearly picked this off my shelf today, but didn‘t…. I may yet change my mind (again) though! 1mo
LeahBergen Cramming your reading in right down to the minute. 👏👏 1mo
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TrishB @MaureenMc every minute 😁 1mo
TrishB @squirrelbrain loving it so far. Writing is beautiful. 1mo
TrishB @LeahBergen appreciating every second 😁 1mo
sarahbarnes I loved this book. And good for you! 😃 1mo
TrishB @sarahbarnes it‘s a wonderful read so far. 1mo
BarbaraBB I started this one today too. Read about a hundred pages and am enjoying it too. She writes soooo wel!! 1mo
Megabooks Yay for rewards! 1mo
batsy It's the rule: one must reward oneself well! 😁📖 1mo
TrishB @BarbaraBB the writing is beautiful. 1mo
TrishB @Megabooks @batsy absolutely 😁 1mo
93 likes1 stack add13 comments
review
rmaclean4
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Pickpick

My most anticipated book of the year did not disappoint!! Historical mystery with great writing. Loved it. 5 🌟

tpixie Oh good! Loved 1mo
23 likes1 comment
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Simona
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Mehso-so

I appreciate the historical research behind the story, I loved atmosphere in it, but I wasn‘t immersed in the way I would like to be …. I had the same feelings with the Hamnet, and I assume, that something in O‘Farrell‘s writing isn‘t working for me. Nice, rich story, but not for me. 🤷🏻‍♀️

BarbaraBB Ooh that is a pity. I am a fan of O‘Farrell but Hamnet was my least favorite. I have this one lined up for later this week and am curious to see where I‘ll end up! 1mo
Simona Looking forward to see your review @barbarabb That was my second book by her, and I will eventually get to her backlist, but I‘m not very eager … 1mo
Karisimo I feel the exact same way about Hamnet and this one! 1mo
32 likes3 comments
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Simona
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The Marriage Portrait and The Country of Others are my books in progress, the rest of them are just ‘pile of possibilities‘ for the week … but I have two days off, so who knows 🤷🏻‍♀️
#weeklyforecast

Sleepswithbooks That looks awesome! 1mo
BarbaraBB I am about to start the O‘Farrell as well! 1mo
CaramelLunacy I read the Galbraith recently and it is very atmospheric for this time of year 1mo
36 likes3 comments
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Megabooks
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Pickpick

This book is chock-full of lush descriptions that transported me right to Renaissance Florence. Hearing Maggie speak about it was fantastic!

Lucrezia de Medici married at 15 and was dead at 16. O‘Farrell writes this book from the supposition that her husband, the Duke of Ferraro, murdered her. She makes quite a good case for it, but it was the details of her research into her life and the Renaissance courts that really made this book shine.

Cinfhen Beautiful photo and wonderful review! I loved this one too!!! So lush in the details 💕🙌🏻 2mo
BarbaraBB Gorgeous photo! And lovely review, I didn‘t even know it‘s about the De Medici‘s. I was very much intrigued by them during my history classes! Looking forward to it! 2mo
92 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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Megabooks
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My stack from Parnassus! It was so wonderful to meet Maggie, and I picked up two other signed editions (the Escoffery and McCracken). McCracken is Ann‘s writing bestie and first reader (plus I‘ve loved her short story collections). Brother, I‘m Dying was featured in the backlist reel/TikTok series Parnassus puts on social media each Friday. Check it out!

DivineDiana How fantastic! 👏🏻❤️📖 2mo
jlhammar Yay! I‘m very interested in the new McCracken. I really enjoyed Bowlaway and her memoir 2mo
Cinfhen Nice selections!! I recently stacked this one but I can‘t remember why 2mo
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squirrelbrain Wonderful stack! ❤️ 2mo
Megabooks @DivineDiana I love shopping there! 2mo
Megabooks @jlhammar I had meant to read her memoir! Thanks for reminding me. Her new book is a fictionalized story from her life, which is one reason I‘m interested in it. (Ann mentioned that when talking to Maggie about her memoir.) 2mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen thanks! I think you stacked it when I first mentioned Ann talking about it. 👍🏻👍🏻 (edited) 2mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain thanks!! 🥰 (edited) 2mo
BarbaraBB I‘m so interested in that new Danticat 🤍 2mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB it‘s coming to you one way or another for your birthday! 5⭐️ 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 2mo
BarbaraBB Really? That‘s such a perfect gift, thank you! Especially because it is a 5 star read for you 🥰🥰 2mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB I can‘t wait for you to read it! 😘😘 (edited) 2mo
76 likes12 comments
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Megabooks
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Just saw Maggie O‘Farrell in conversation with Ann Patchett at Parnassus and it was amazing! It was interesting hearing about her inspiration for TMP (a Robert Browning poem), how she weathered the pandemic, her working to get a memorial to Judith and Hamnet Shakespeare in the church where they‘re buried, and talking to a fiscal historian about the dowry in TMP (it‘s (e8 million in today‘s money ??). An incredible night!

Megabooks Also, so many people! Almost as many as David Sedaris in June. I just had a great seat! 2mo
vivastory Sounds incredible! I'm glad you had a good time 📚📚 2mo
KristiAhlers I loved this book! How exciting you were able to do that! 2mo
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Cinfhen Wow!!! SO wonderful!! So glad you were able to be there!! 2mo
squirrelbrain Wow, such a fabulous event! 2mo
Centique That‘s so exciting! Glad you got to see them 😍 2mo
Chelsea.Poole Oh wow! Sounds like a great evening 😊 2mo
jlhammar So cool to know those tidbits about The Marriage Portrait! Sounds like an amazing evening. 2mo
Cathythoughts Lovely post ! Just downloaded her latest The Marriage Portrait on audible. Can‘t wait to start it 👍🏻♥️ 2mo
BarbaraBB Such a good place you had! It sounds amazing. I am happy you had such a good time. Did she sign your book? (edited) 2mo
Megabooks @vivastory @KristiAhlers @Cinfhen @squirrelbrain @Centique @Chelsea.Poole @jlhammar @Cathythoughts @BarbaraBB thanks y‘all!! The questions from Ann and the audience really brought out a lot of interesting thoughts and stories from Maggie. It was totally worth the 2.5 hour drive through heavy rain! I‘m going to try to attend one Parnassus event a quarter because I enjoyed this and David Sedaris so much. I just wish I were closer! (edited) 2mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB yes! There was a signing line and I was able to tell her how much I Am means to me, but Parnassus did not have a copy of her book I wanted to get, so just one book signed for me. I did get a couple of other signed editions too! 👍🏻🎉 2mo
sarahbarnes Wow wow wow!! You have access to such great events! 2mo
Megabooks @sarahbarnes I wish I were a bit closer to go more often, but it is still fantastic being close enough to go for my favorites. They have such an amazing slate of events! 🤩 2mo
BarbaraBB So very cool! 2mo
CarolynM How wonderful! 2mo
Megabooks @CarolynM it was an incredible night! 2mo
99 likes2 stack adds17 comments
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wen4blu
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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 fir.

#firstlinefridays
#currentlyreading

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Awesome pic 🧡 2mo
Chelsea.Poole Love this book! 2mo
41 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Chelsea.Poole
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Pickpick

Friends, I loved this book. It will 💯 make my best of 2022. I am an audiobook listener at all times. I had the audio for this but it was going by too fast so I returned it and just savored this print book. I‘m not doing very well at reviewing the content of this lovely thing. I couldn‘t do it justice anyway. One more thing— I‘m not big on historical fiction but this felt like I was there in 1560s Italy. More, Maggie! More!!

thewallflower0707 Can‘t wait to read it! 2mo
BarbaraBB Great review. Can‘t wait to read it too! 2mo
charl08 Such a great book. 2mo
LKK526 I was on the fence with this one because I am not a big fan of historical fiction but your review pushed me over. Adding to📚Tx (edited) 2mo
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charl08
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Pickpick

Loved this book. I suspect I'll still be thinking about it for several weeks, and I hope it finds its way into lots of readers' hands.

squirrelbrain I‘m looking forward to this one! 2mo
charl08 @squirrelbrain one of those books I want to own for myself. (Despite my lack of space!) 2mo
squirrelbrain I bought a lovely indie bookshop special edition…and got a tiger badge included too! 🐅❤️ 2mo
charl08 @squirrelbrain jammy! Sounds perfect. 2mo
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perfectlywinged
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I loved Hamnet so I am very excited about this.

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charl08
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There was a whole room just for weapons, she said, with swords and armour lined up along the walls, and another full of books. Book after book, she told them, as she rubbed their faces with a washcloth or buttoned their smocks, filling shelves that stretched far above her head. It would, the nurse said, take a whole lifetime to read them all, maybe more.

tpixie Great quote! I loved Hamnet. I‘ll have to check out this book. 2mo
sarahbarnes I loved this one. 2mo
charl08 @tpixie It's really good, I haven't wanted to put it down. 2mo
See All 6 Comments
charl08 @sarahbarnes I've been waiting for this one to come in at the library, I've been a fan since 2mo
tpixie @charl08 that‘s great to hear! 2mo
sarahbarnes I will have to read that one! I also loved Hamnet. 2mo
51 likes1 stack add6 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

Maggie O‘Farrell can do no wrong. I love everything she writes. This book is yet another triumph. You know from the beginning that things will not go well for the young Lucrezia. And yet O‘Farrell kept me completely enthralled, waiting to see what might befall the child bride of Duke Alfonso. The prose is just exquisite, the story is riveting, and the plot builds to a brilliant conclusion. So good.

squirrelbrain Great review! Hoping to start this at the weekend…. 2mo
thewallflower0707 The novel is waiting for me at home 🤩 2mo
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Chelsea.Poole
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Living that stay at home mom life this week! 🙌
My in-laws are on vacation, so I‘m off work doing pickups and hanging with my boys after school.
Taking full advantage of this time to read while they‘re in school! 📖 (and ignoring the mess in the next room!)

gossamerchild That coffee/tea mug definitely made me do a double take 😆 I love it. 2mo
Chelsea.Poole @gossamerchild thanks! I love it! …a present from my husband. 😆 🐦 2mo
gossamerchild @Chelsea.Poole that is pretty awesome 😅 2mo
tpixie What a gift in disguise! Hope you enjoyed that week!! 2mo
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Bookboss
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Pickpick

This is the fourth book of O‘Farrell‘s that I have read. I can now officially say that she is one of my favorite authors. Her descriptions of the time period and place are wonderfully evocative. The characters are well rounded and compelling. This novel deals with the expectations of women by society, and the goals of women as individuals. I was captivated by the story, and I didn‘t realize until the author‘s note that it was based on real people.

Chelsea.Poole Currently reading this and loving it! 2mo
Bookboss @Chelsea.Poole It‘s so good! 2mo
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KristiAhlers
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Pickpick

This was such a good read. I love historic novels and the de Medici‘s always provide an excellent background when it comes to material to draw from. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read as far as I‘m concerned

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Jas16
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Pickpick

I liked this book but I didn‘t love it the way that I hoped to. I think my expectations were too high after how much I adored Hamnet. The writing was gorgeous and the story largely compelling but I just wasn‘t enraptured and found the ending disappointing. A pick but this won‘t make my list of favorites for the year.

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Cinfhen
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Pickpick

Maggie O‘Farrell masterfully reimagines the life of Lucrezia de' Medici, Duchess of Ferrara. From the opening sentence until the final credits were read, O‘Farrell had me spellbound in this tale of greed, ambition, power and prestige. The lush prose and vivid descriptions were richly written and detailed creating a stunning slow simmering story. The action moves slowly but the lovely narration had me riveted.

Megabooks Awesome! I get a copy with the ticket price of going to see her (and the signing line!), so I‘m going to hold off until then. 👍🏻👍🏻 3mo
Cinfhen I know @Megabooks it should be an amazing event BUT I would consider adding audio narration - 3mo
Megabooks I will if the library gets it!! 3mo
See All 23 Comments
AmyG I look forward to this one. 3mo
Cinfhen Knowing your library I‘m sure they‘ll get it @Megabooks - it‘s sooooo good @AmyG hope you‘re feeling better 3mo
Dragon Stacking- sounds like a must read 💚🐉 3mo
Librariana I've never read anything by this author, but your review is amazing, @Cinfhen! 3mo
jlhammar Now I‘m even more excited for this one! I don‘t mind slow and I love O‘Farrell‘s writing. Great review! 3mo
TrishB 👍🏻 can‘t wait 3mo
ncsufoxes Ohh, I might have to pick this one up sooner rather than later. Italian Renaissance was one of my favorite classes in college. We spent a lot of time discussing the Medici‘s. 3mo
AmyG @Cinfhen Thanks. Maybe tomorrow! 3mo
squirrelbrain Looking forward to this even more now… @TrishB dare I suggest a #buddyread?! 😬 3mo
Cinfhen Now im nervous that my enthusiasm might kill your expectations @squirrelbrain @ncsufoxes @TrishB @jlhammar @Librariana @Dragon 😬 3mo
Centique Definitely stacking! It will still take me at least a year to get to it so my expectations will be manageable 😂😂 3mo
Mariposa_Bookworm Is this story based on the poem “My Last Duchess” by Browning? 3mo
Cinfhen Yessss!!! @Mariposa_Bookworm well done 🙌🏻💕🎉 3mo
Chelsea.Poole I have this checked out..it‘s next. Glad to see it was a winner for you! (edited) 3mo
TrishB Definitely not 😁 I‘m a big fan of her writing. 3mo
Deblovestoread Thanks for the tag! I can‘t wait to dive in. 3mo
Morton7 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Great Book 3mo
BarbaraBB Thanks for tagging me. I have a copy on its way! 3mo
Cinfhen I‘m soooooo happy to see another 5 star review @Morton7 😊 3mo
Cinfhen Can‘t wait to hear your thoughts on this book @Chelsea.Poole @TrishB @Deblovestoread @BarbaraBB 💜💜💜💜 3mo
83 likes5 stack adds23 comments
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jlhammar
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A little #bookmail to brighten my Monday. I love Maggie O‘Farrell so can‘t wait to try her newest. Seven Moons is one of the #Booker2022 shortlisted titles I have yet to read. Hope to get to it before the winner is announced Oct 17. Such a cool cover!

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Cinfhen
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Apparently I preordered this audio!! Perfect for today‘s LONG international flight ✈️

squirrelbrain That was fortuitous ! Have a good flight! (edited) 3mo
Librariana Safe travels! 3mo
Cathythoughts Look forward to your thoughts ❤️ have a lovely journey X 3mo
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Deblovestoread I‘ve seen some mixed reviews so look forward to yours. Safe journey! 3mo
BarbaraBB Lucky you! I am super looking forward to it. I hope this will be a positive O‘Farrell experience for you! Safe travels! 3mo
Megabooks Are you going home? Safe travels dear friend!! I‘m holding off until I get my copy at her tour, but it is a hard wait for many reasons! 😘😘 3mo
TrishB Have this ready for my reading weekend 😁 hope you‘ve had a good flight. 3mo
Cinfhen I‘m home!!! Exhausted but good and this audio was FANTASTIC company - I‘m LOVING it - it‘s a deep dive into character development and a slow burn of a story but no complaints from me @squirrelbrain @Librariana @Cathythoughts @Deblovestoread @BarbaraBB I know you‘re both GONNA LOVE THIS TOO @Megabooks @TrishB 💕💕😊💕💕 3mo
BarbaraBB Consider it done. Ordered it. And glad you‘re safely home. Time to slow down, finally 😉😘 3mo
TrishB Glad you‘re home safe ❤️ I‘m really looking forward to this one. 3mo
squirrelbrain Glad you‘re back safe and sound. Looking forward to this even more now! 3mo
80 likes11 comments
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Sophronisba
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Her husband is sitting down, not in his customary place at the opposite end but next to her, close enough that she could rest her head on his shoulder, should she wish; he is unfolding his napkin and straightening a knife and moving the candle towards them both when it comes to her with a peculiar clarity, as if some coloured glass has been put in front of her eyes, or perhaps removed from them, that he intends to kill her.

#SundaySentence

tpixie Oh my! 2mo
18 likes1 comment
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deirdrebeecher
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed the experience of reading this book, I love the way she writes. The secondary characters, the world is so beautifully vivid.

But there were some plotting issues for me. I disliked the ending, I felt at times younger Lucrezia didn't mesh with her older self.

But I still devoured it, so a pick.

Also if a Portrait inspires an author's novel, publisher please put a picture of it in the book.
Lucrezia de Medici by Allori

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ChaoticMissAdventures
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Mehso-so

This, I have to say was a bit of a disappointment. I normally love O'Farrell's work and breeze through it with her excellent writing. I struggled to get through the first 100pages. I didn't enjoy the back and forth timeline. I do not understand why she randomly renamed Alfonso 's sisters and I spent the entirety of the book confused by who they were (she notes at the end she changed the names to avoid confusion - what?)
👇👇

ChaoticMissAdventures I absolutely hated the ending. What are we supposed to feel with her taking liberty with a historical event and putting a brutally murdered maid in the place of the dutchess who skips off in the middle of the night with an artist?? Are we supposed to be happy that the rich cultured girl got away while the girl who had nothing and spent her life caring for the Dutchess dies? There are no theories of this happening & it seemed groutesque. 3mo
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Morton7
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Simona Beautiful quotes❣️I‘m really looking forward to reading this book. 3mo
Simona … and welcome to the Litsy. 3mo
Morton7 Loved this book 3mo
Morton7 Worth the wait … 3mo
34 likes4 comments
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Morton7
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Morton7
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Morton7
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Pickpick

Currently reading ….

MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm Welcome to Litsy! 🤗 3mo
Literary_Siren Welcome!! 🥰 3mo
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Mitch
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Pickpick

I wanted it to be a 5⭐️but it scrapes a 4. I love O‘Farrells focus on one woman, the sixteenth century Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara. We get inside her world, the injustices, traditions & horrors of being marriaged to her Jekyll of a husband. Her language is rich, evoking rich interiors & stately dinners lavishly as well as the young Lucrezia‘s internal worlds. But it just wasn‘t as engaging as I wanted it to be and I didn‘t believe in the ending.

AmyG Thanks for reviewing this. 3mo
Chelsea.Poole That‘s a great cover! 3mo
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PNWBookseller85
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Pickpick

Never got around to reading Hamnet, but I might now! This book had so much depth, description, and an almost thriller-like quality to it that made it almost impossible to put down. I liked it a lot!

candc320 She‘s one of my all time favorites! Really looking forward to reading this one. 3mo
BarbaraBB I didn‘t know she had a new one out! Stacking since she is an auto buy for me! 3mo
DimeryRene I only just read Hamnet and loved it! 3mo
77 likes8 stack adds3 comments
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Rhondareads
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So excited to read the latest novel by Maggie O‘Farrell

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Sophronisba
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It is #NationalReadABookDay _and_ the new Maggie O'Farrell is on my Kindle, and yet I am going to go to work anyway.

#NotAllHeroesWearCapes