Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Forbidden Notebook
Forbidden Notebook | Alba de Cspedes
10 posts | 7 read | 39 to read
"Forbidden Notebook promises a new cohort of readers, appetites whetted by the works of Elena Ferrante, Elsa Morante and Natalia Ginzburg. Translator Ann Goldstein has reinvigorated the text." --Joumana Khatib, The New York Times Book Review "Published in Italy in 1952, this intimate, quietly subversive novel is told through the increasingly frantic secret diary entries of a woman named Valeria."--The New Yorker "Reading Alba de Cespedes was, for me, like breaking into an unknown universe: social class, feelings, atmosphere." --Annie Ernaux, Nobel Prize laureate and author of The Years With a foreword by Jhumpa Lahiri, Quaderno Proibito is a classic domestic novel by the Italian-Cuban feminist writer Alba de Cspedes, whose work inspired contemporary writers like Elena Ferrante. In this modern translation by acclaimed Elena Ferrante translator Ann Goldstein, Forbidden Notebook centers the inner life of a dissatisfied housewife living in postwar Rome. Valeria Cossati never suspected how unhappy she had become with the shabby gentility of her bourgeois life--until she begins to jot down her thoughts and feelings in a little black book she keeps hidden in a closet. This new secret activity leads her to scrutinize herself and her life more closely, and she soon realizes that her individuality is being stifled by her devotion and sense of duty toward her husband, daughter, and son. As the conflicts between parents and children, husband and wife, and friends and lovers intensify, what goes on behind the Cossatis' facade of middle-class respectability gradually comes to light, tearing the family's fragile fabric apart. An exquisitely crafted portrayal of domestic life, Forbidden Notebook recognizes the universality of human aspirations.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
blurb
MaureenMc
Forbidden Notebook | Alba de Cspedes
post image

I haven‘t posted a #BookOutlet haul in a while. 😁 The top few are (mainly) for my 12 year-old, although I may read some of them before she gets around to it.

Cathythoughts Lovely stack 👏🏻❤️ 1mo
LeahBergen Nice! 👏👏 1mo
53 likes2 comments
review
quietjenn
Forbidden Notebook | Alba de Cspedes
post image
Pickpick

Excellent. I suspect I will be thinking about this one for a long time.

Aims42 Ooo I bought this at a library book sale this past summer and haven‘t read it yet. Glad it‘s a winner!! 3mo
merelybookish My favourite read of 2023! 3mo
batsy One of my top reads last year, as well! 3mo
69 likes7 stack adds3 comments
blurb
jlhammar
Forbidden Notebook | Alba de Cspedes
post image

#Top23of23 Part 2

BarbaraBB Our Fathers will be an all time favorite for me and I am looking forward to forward to The Notebook! 4mo
Tamra Lawson! ♥️ 4mo
62 likes2 comments
review
monalyisha
Forbidden Notebook | Alba de Cspedes
post image
Pickpick

It's been years since I've read Virginia Woolf but, within sentences, The Forbidden Notebook brought me back to Mrs. Dalloway, to A Room of One's Own, and that impression never left. The first two-thirds of this novel are compulsively readable. Changing the last third is unthinkable; it would be a far less powerful text if it read any differently. Still, the task became grueling. You always want the best for your protagonist. Alas...

49 likes2 stack adds
review
Kazzie
Forbidden Notebook | Alba de Cspedes
Pickpick

This was very engrossing. Such a great look into a middle aged European woman 70 years ago. She grabbles with her own rich emotions and opinions, while maintaining a strict societal code. She sees in her daughter a new freer generation - a freedom her son looks to thwart. She is relevant to all as a mother, wife, housekeeper, secretary, but seemingly not as an independent thinker. Recommend!

review
jlhammar
Forbidden Notebook | Alba de Cspedes
post image
Pickpick

Very good. So glad this has been rediscovered and newly, brilliantly translated after being out of print for decades. Originally published as a serial in an Italian weekly magazine 1950-51, I kept thinking about how this must have spoke to the women reading it then. The diary format feels so intimate. Even today, it can be a radical act for a wife and mother to seek privacy, autonomy, time and space to write and reflect on life. Highly recommend!

batsy Lovely review. This was such a brilliant read. 9mo
jlhammar @batsy Thanks! I was excited to learn that this same publisher has another of her works coming in November. Different translator though. 9mo
62 likes2 stack adds2 comments
quote
jlhammar
Forbidden Notebook | Alba de Cspedes
post image

“I was wrong to buy this notebook, very wrong.”

#FirstLineFridays

batsy A great first line! 10mo
53 likes1 comment
blurb
BarbaraBB
Forbidden Notebook | Alba de Cspedes
post image

My Mother‘s Day presents. Kids know me so well 💕 I am super excited about the tagged one, that @batsy and @merelybookish wrote such fabulous reviews about! And I loved another book by Ben Winters and am eager to discover a new one!

TrishB Happy Mother‘s Day ♥️ lovely gifts. 11mo
batsy Happy Mother's Day! Most excellent presents from your sweet kids 💕 11mo
Cinfhen Sweet kiddos!!! 11mo
See All 12 Comments
Tamra Underground Airlines is a great read! Happy Mother‘s Day! 11mo
sarahbarnes Happy Mother‘s Day! The best gift! 📚 (edited) 11mo
LeahBergen Good job, kiddos! 11mo
Megabooks Happy Mother‘s Day!! T and R did a great job! 💜💜 11mo
merelybookish Awesome! I hope it lives up to the hype! ♥️ 11mo
CatMS Love Ben Winters, especially his Last Policeman trilogy. 11mo
BarbaraBB @CatMS That is good to know, I only read (and loved) 11mo
Suet624 Wasn‘t the Winters book a TOB book? Maybe not. I liked it a lot. 11mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 Golden State was, I think 🤔 it was a great story anyhow so I am eager to read another book by him! 11mo
78 likes12 comments
review
merelybookish
Forbidden Notebook | Alba de Cspedes
post image
Pickpick

This book is a gut punch. One Sunday, 43 year-old Valeria, wife, mother, office worker, buys a black notebook that she keeps hidden & writes in on the sly. Her clandestine entries make up the novel. They offer a story of self-discovery as well as the struggle of what to do with that knowledge. First published in Italy in 1952. A tale of the impossibility of women's lives & the danger of finding your writing voice. Sure to be a best of the year!

JamieArc Sounds intriguing! 12mo
BarbaraBB I had this stacked already after @batsy review and now I am sure I need to read it! 12mo
jlhammar I just bought this one. Can't wait! 12mo
See All 20 Comments
merelybookish @JamieArc It's really good. She lives a very mundane life and yet her story is riveting! 12mo
merelybookish @BarbaraBB I feel confident saying I think you'd like this one too! @batsy called it part of the feminist canon and that feels accurate! 12mo
merelybookish @jlhammar I look forward to your thoughts! I hope you enjoy it too!! 12mo
BarbaraBB Thanks Margot! You have convinced me 🩵 12mo
TrishB Stacked 👍🏻 12mo
batsy Happy that it was a pick for you, too! It's a great addition to feminist literature and so glad to be able to read this via a new English translation. 12mo
Cathythoughts Sounds good ! Thankyou 12mo
sarahbarnes Wow, I‘m going to need to read this. 12mo
squirrelbrain Sounds wonderful - stacked! 12mo
LeahBergen I‘ve been eyeing this one! 12mo
merelybookish @BarbaraBB I look forward to your review! 12mo
merelybookish @TrishB I hope you enjoy it too! 12mo
merelybookish @batsy Yes, long overdue apparently! I appreciated Lahiri's introduction that established the book's influence in Italian feminist literature. 12mo
merelybookish @Cathythoughts Hi Cathy! I think you'd dig it. 12mo
merelybookish @sarahbarnes Yes, you do! 😄 12mo
merelybookish @squirrelbrain Look forward to your take on it! 12mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen I think any fan of Margaret Laurence would like it. 😀 12mo
74 likes11 stack adds20 comments
review
batsy
Forbidden Notebook | Alba de Cspedes
post image
Pickpick

What happens when a working wife and mother finds a room of her own in the pages of a notebook and starts writing for the first time? This post-war Italian novel, translated by Ann Goldstein, is brilliant. The style is raw and intimate but expressed with such clarity of thought. The facts of a woman's life laid bare is one aspect, but the thing that disturbs and haunts me is what happens when someone starts writing and thinking about their life.

batsy So many lines just stopped me short, like the passage above in the image. "To return to the self I've always thought I was, I have to avoid being alone"—this was another. The more the protagonist writes, the more she discovers herself (or multiple selves?) and they upend the structure of her life, which as she admits, is built upon not knowing too much, by cultivating a sense of ignorance and downplaying intelligence. Devastating! And that ending! 12mo
jlhammar Sounds so good! It was already on my wishlist, but I might need to get myself a copy sooner rather than later. 12mo
batsy @jlhammar I'm so glad I read it! I hope you like it, too. 12mo
See All 17 Comments
BarbaraBB Ooh this sounds so good. Fab review. I have to stack 12mo
LeahBergen I‘m intrigued! 12mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Thanks! I hope it's something you find worthwhile. 12mo
batsy @LeahBergen It's a really interesting look at post-war Italian life and norms. 12mo
CarolynM Great review. 12mo
batsy @CarolynM Thank you! 12mo
Centique Fabulous review Suba! 12mo
batsy @Centique Thank you! 12mo
merelybookish I just started! Excited to see your positive review! 12mo
batsy @merelybookish I hope you like it! One for the feminist canon, imo. 12mo
BekaReid @batsy Great review! I just finished reading it this weekend and could echo this! Also, this is one of my favorite quotes (of many) from the book. 11mo
batsy @BekaReid Thank you! There were so many great lines in this one. So much to think about. 11mo
Mimi28 Oooooooo!! Aaaaahhhhhhh!! Intriguing and also gives me validation for staying away from family even when it wasn‘t just my mom and I. Yea!! Finding yourself and your own likes and dislikes and annoyances away from people especially family. I hope feel validated for the right reasons, lol - stacked 3mo
batsy @Mimi28 Right! It's always a hard balance. The gender norms of when the author was writing this were so rigid that it made me feel suffocated when reading. But yes an excellent book. 2mo
86 likes9 stack adds17 comments