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Feel Free
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
108 posts | 57 read | 9 reading | 116 to read
From Zadie Smith, one of the most beloved authors of her generation, a new collection of essays Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world's preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right. Arranged into five sections--In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free--this new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Network--and Facebook itself--really about? "It's a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore." Why do we love libraries? "Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay." What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming? "So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we'd just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changes--and this had taken the fight out of us somewhat." Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, such as, "Joy," and, "Find Your Beach," Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith's own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive--and never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its zenith.
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TheBookHippie
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Hooked_on_books
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this essay collection! Smith mainly focuses on the arts here—music, books, paintings, etc, in wide-ranging essays that injects just a bit of herself. I liked the balance and definitely want to look for Danzy Senna‘s 2011 short story collection now.

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Chelleo
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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@Louise this is a very belated thank you for this book! Always a treat to find mail from you. Will write soon! #LitsyPenPals

Louise You are very welcome, Michelle. Happy reading! 2y
leah152 What's this about litsy penpals? Not that I need any more but my antenna's gone up lol! 😊 2y
Chelleo @leah152 LOL! Awhile back someone, I‘d have to dig through the hashtag, coordinated a Litsy Pen Pal matching. I think there was a general form and they matched you with someone. After that, pairs worked out how frequently they wanted to communicate and what, if at all, type of gift giving scenarios they‘d do. We exchange birthday and Christmas treats (sometime all rolled into one). Otherwise we send cards/letters. 2y
Chelleo @leah152 Every so often another matching pops up so keep an eye out, usually you can find them via #LitsyHappenings or @LitsyHappenings 2y
leah152 Ooh cool! I may need another after all lol! 😊 2y
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TheBookDream
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

At 7 hrs 15 min in this #20in4 I finished my #authoramonth pick. It was good. A lot of the reviews were over my head, but I love a well-written essay.

Also, this is my first book finished on my #Kobo Clara HD. It‘s WORLDS better than reading on my Kindle, and even better than reading on ny #Nook. This is an ereader made for readers.

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TheBookDream
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Where I‘@at in #20in4. I‘m not maing 20c but 10+ is within reach.

Have to finish #authoramonth book Feel Frre today and any panels I want to listen to!

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TheBookDream
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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I‘m in! Goals below:

1. Finish Zadie Smith‘s “Feel Free”
2. Finish “Red, White, and Royal Blue”
3. Finish that collection of essays by the author of Heavy

Tangentially related to reading: Finish the panels I want to listen to from Boskone #20in24 @Andrew65

Andrew65 Hope it‘s going well 😊 2y
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Skygoddess1
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Mehso-so

Last Zadie Smith of the month. While I didn‘t enjoy the entire collection of essays, I enjoyed quite a few and have decided that when it comes to Smith, I need to stick to her essays and bypass her novels. #AuthorAMonth #BookSpin #BookSpinBingo

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2y
WomanistBibliophile I prefer her essays to her novels too 2y
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JoyBlue
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Bailedbailed

[bailing at 24% (plus assorted chapters after)] I tagged items in three chapters. The rest that I read (either in order or by choosing random chapters) was completely uninteresting.

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MsLeah8417
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟

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MsLeah8417
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Long awaited library hold for the audiobook arrived on my Libby this afternoon! Switched over from the physical copy to audio.

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Soubhiville
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Hi #AuthorAMonth readers 📚🙂

We‘ve still got about a week of reading NK Jemisin, but on February 1st we‘ll start on Zadie Smith‘s books. Here‘s an article from Penguin about where to start if you‘re new to her. Shared with me by @ValerieAndBooks , thanks Valerie!

https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2020/july/zadie-smith-books-reading-guide-whi...

See All 13 Comments
TheBookHippie I‘m ready!!!! 2y
Cinfhen Thanks for sharing the article 2y
AmyG I‘ve got Swing Time, so all set! 2y
Andrew65 Need to do find out which books my library has. 2y
Bookzombie I‘m going with the one you sent me! ☺️ 2y
ValerieAndBooks You‘re welcome 🤗 ! I have a couple of hers in my TBR already, will see if I‘m able to read both (NW and Swing Time) in one month! 2y
Amandajoy Good motivation to start White Teeth next month, it‘s been sitting on my shelves for a while. 2y
RaeLovesToRead I didn't do very well this month but I've got White Teeth lined up ready for next month!! Still have chance to read a few short stories 😊 2y
Leftcoastzen I will check this out.😃The only one of hers I‘ve read was her first 2y
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xicanti
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

First 4.5er of 2021! I‘m mad at myself for taking so long to read Smith. She‘s introspective, frank about her biases, and committed to thinking deeply about whatever topic she tackles, whether it‘s pop culture, politics, or the most literary litfic. I didn‘t enjoy her quote-laden book reviews as much as the rest of her essays—they feel a bit EXPECTED—but even the pieces I wouldn‘t have sought out and might not agree with gave me tons to consider.

Megabooks This is my favorite book that I‘ve read by her. 2y
xicanti @Megabooks which of her others would you recommend? I‘m dying for a follow-up. Have you read her earlier essay collection? 2y
Megabooks No, but I read this one written during the beginning of the pandemic. 2y
Megabooks I‘ve also read some of her fiction. 2y
xicanti @Megabooks I forgot about that one! 2y
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MsLeah8417
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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This book is fulfilling the need for more essay collections in my bookish life. ☺️📚

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Tonton
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Went out to Tsutaya Books in Roppongi Hills (Tokyo) this evening. Haven‘t ventured out of my neighborhood in weeks, so to celebrate, got a minor haul, with the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Sight and Sound print magazines (which cost basically twice the price here. ) Little gift to myself❣️

Sace You're worth it 😁 2y
Tonton @Sace Thanks!😎 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Got to treat yourself 👍 2y
Tonton @erzascarletbookgasm It‘s been a while so it feels great🌟 2y
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mija333
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Bailedbailed

This is probably another really good book but just not for me. #dnf

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KathyWheeler
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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This is the first chance I‘ve had to read today. My son + family had been living with us for about 2 years. They moved out this week. He was over today finishing up cleaning up their bedroom & helping me make it into the latest iteration (I hope the last) of my home office. We‘re finally done, and I‘m settling in to read some Zadie Smith. Sorry about the blurry pic.

robinb This looks so cozy!!! Happy New Office Reiteration!! 😊😉 2y
KathyWheeler @robinb thanks! It is cozy, and it‘s so nice to have the office out of my bedroom. 2y
robinb @KathyWheeler 👍😊 2y
TheAromaofBooks I love your chair!!! 2y
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vivastory
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Motivated to reread Smith's essays after reading her piece Fascinated to Presume: In Defense of Fiction this afternoon.

readordierachel So good 2y
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Becker
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

I‘m a new Zadie Smith fan girl. This is a pretty hefty book for an essay collection and I didn‘t necessarily connect with every piece but her writing is so smart and clean - you just can‘t help but marvel at it. I really admire and enjoy her use of language.🤩

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andytbarnes
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Public Service Announcement: if you are like me and love free books you should join! Most Penguin Random House books, ebooks, and (I think but don‘t quote me on this because I personally don‘t buy these)audiobooks accepted. Might as well get rewards for something you are already doing.

CaroPi Sadly is only for US residents 3y
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Eggs
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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arlenefinnigan Perfect! 3y
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tholmz
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
Pickpick

I‘m biracial and this collection had one of the best essays I‘ve read on being biracial. It also had stuff I did not connect to, but it was very good overall, and is definitely a book I‘ll return to in the future.

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Tanisha_A
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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National Book Critics Circle Awardees, 2018

readinginthedark Looks like some good titles! I'll have to read a few of these. 4y
Tanisha_A @readinginthedark I just finished reading Milkman, and that's something i'd recommend. Think i'd want to get to Feel Free next from this list. 4y
readinginthedark @Tanisha_A Good to know! 4y
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PrincessHeidiii
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

This was an interesting collection of essays, I‘ve never read this author before
Some of it was a little slow, but I think it‘s because I was familiar with her previous work. Overall, very enjoyable.

suzisteffen @PrincessHeidiii Oooh you have some fiction treats in store!! 4y
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Morr_Books
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

I really meant to post this a few hours ago. I finished another book thanks to #24in48! It is my third Zadie Smith book this month, and my first essay collection. I really enjoyed it!

readordierachel I really liked this one too! 4y
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Morr_Books
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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More than 1/4 through #24in48. Decided to get up and move, while there was a break in the rain. The sun even decided to come out a bit!

Kaye 🌟 4y
Wife 🌹 4y
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DocBrown
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Bailedbailed

I tried, y‘all. I really did. But I just couldn‘t bring myself to care about this one. So much ink spilled on things I cared less than nothing about. And the narrator‘s voice was truly insufferable! I decided that even though I‘d gotten nearly halfway through and could push through to the end, life‘s too short to waste on lousy books! This is my second dud in a row, but good news! My current read is a winner. Be looking for that one soon.

enidkeaner Zadie Smith does come of as kind of insufferable 4y
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shawnmooney
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Bailedbailed

I did a fifth of this collection of essays on audio and came up against the same brick wall that makes me deeply dislike her fiction: she is so stuck up in her head that I don‘t feel a god damn thing when I read her. I‘m glad Zadie Smith exists in the world, but she is not a writer for me.

JordanGraft Same! I can't get through her books. They're just not for me 🤷‍♀️ 4y
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Yossarian
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Zadie Smith is one of my favorite authors because she (1) will write this sentence knowing how silly it is; and (2) completely back it up in the essay such that it is clear by the end that the sentence could not have been written any other way.

RedbagReadbooks The line made me think of the reported coverage of him at the Anne Frank memorial and quoting about his hope that she would have been a “belieber” 🙄. Random thought 4y
Blaire That is wonderful!! 4y
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Emilymdxn
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Mehso-so

I always love Zadie Smith‘s writing style but I didn‘t enjoy this as much as her novels. I don‘t agree with her on social media, which she describes as unremittingly evil, and I find that quite reductive tho I wouldn‘t say social media is 100% good for everyone, it‘s a more complicated issue than that. There were generational differences between us on some other things, but her arts & literature commentary was fascinating and insightful.

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Lauren_reading
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

I loved some essays and others went right over my head, but I enjoyed the whole book. Smith is so freaking smart and she makes me want to be more well rounded 😀 #nonfiction #essays #audiobook

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vivastory
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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readordierachel How are you liking it? 4y
vivastory @ReadOrDieRachel I'm loving it! I've only read a few essays, but I'm convinced she's one of the smartest writers alive. 4y
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readordierachel
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

This was a pleasure to read. The essays touch on a myriad of topics: libraries, Brexit/politics, social media, rap, comedy, music, literature, film, art, family, travel. Smith is so damn smart. I will admit that some of these essays were a little esoteric, but even when I didn‘t know much (or anything) about the topic she was discussing, I was still in thrall to her writing. She makes the inaccessible accessible, and the accessible special.

vivastory Fantastic review! I can't wait to read this! 4y
readordierachel @vivastory I think you'll really like it 😊 4y
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readordierachel
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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mrozzz Loving the quotes you‘re sharing. Love Smith 💗 4y
readordierachel @mrozzz I'm officially a fan. Now I want to read everything she's ever written 😍 4y
mrozzz 😄 I hope you do! 4y
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readordierachel
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith

"Early on, for better or worse, I chose whose child I wanted to be: the child of the novel. Almost everything else was subjugated to this ruling passion, reading stories."

vivastory TBT: To Be Tattooed. That's amazing! 4y
readordierachel @vivastory Right?! I'm smitten. 4y
batsy That's a fabulous quote. 4y
readordierachel @batsy Isn't it? There are so many quotable moments in this book. 4y
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Billypar
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

Zadie Smith is brilliant: I don't think there's any other word for it, and after reading this essay collection I have a new urgency to finally start trying her novels. She writes about art with lucidity and insight: these essays are well-structured and meticulously organized but they still feel unexpected in the directions they take. Her riff on Bieber vs Buber is one of many highlights.

readordierachel Great review. I'm reading this right now and absolutely loving it. 4y
Louise I read White Teeth many years ago and was impressed with her skill as a young writer. This book of essays sounds great! Added to TBR! 4y
Billypar @ReadOrDieRachel Thanks! Yeah, you know it's good when you haven't experienced the art/movie/book she's describing but you're still fascinated by where she goes with her analysis. 4y
Billypar @Louise I've heard lots of good things about White Teeth- I think I'm either going to start with that or NW. 4y
Louise @Billypar You can‘t really go wrong with Zadie Smith! Happy reading! 4y
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readordierachel
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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vivastory Love this 4y
readordierachel @vivastory I'm only a quarter in, but this seems like it might be up your alley. She's already covered libraries, politics, music, and Key and Peele. Super interesting. 4y
vivastory I checked this out from the library a couple of weeks ago. Definitely going to move it up on my TBR! 4y
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vivastory This will be my first time reading her. Have you read her before? 4y
readordierachel @vivastory I read White Teeth when I was in college and remember really loving it, although most of the details have faded (it's been awhile...) I have a couple of her other books sitting on my shelf but I haven't gotten to them yet. This is making me want to pick them up! And reread White Teeth. 4y
vivastory I have the feeling she will become a new personal favorite. I can't wait to explore her work. 4y
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Billypar
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Overdrive, I love you, and the last thing I want to do is go all literary snob on you. But...I think you mean 'Rimbaud' 😳

rubyslippersreads 😂😂😂 4y
Sace 🤣🤣🤣 4y
vivastory I'd watch the hell out of a Rambo featuring a poetry writing/ absinthe imbibing Stallone 4y
Billypar @vivastory Ha- yes I would tune in for that 😸 My automatic thought was what a Zadie Smith essay on Rambo would be like....nothing against Rimbaud, but this was slightly disappointing. 4y
Aimeesue Hahahahaha! 4y
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Nitpickyabouttrains
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

I started this book like a month ago. Because it was essays, it was very easy to put down for long stretches of time. Some of the essays I loved. Others talked a lot on subjects I don‘t know much about or have a lot of interest in. But overall I think this collection was great.

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spinesvines
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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#DiverseSpines | Day 7 Spine Poetry

I‘m loving my spine poetry either way you read it!

Where The Line Bleeds
The Perfect Find
A Kind of Freedom
Feel Free ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
✨✨✨✨ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Feel Free
A Kind of Freedom
The Perfect Find
Where The Line Bleeds

#spinesvines #books #wine #photochallenge #day7 #spinepoetry

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GripLitGrl
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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JoScho I was just thinking about you and realized I hadn‘t seen any posts from you today. Glad you are here 😊❤️ 4y
GripLitGrl @JoScho 🤗💕thanks it was a hectic Sunday playing catch up now. 4y
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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

Quite an interesting collection of essays, on all sorts of topics including changing cities, class structure, visual art, writing, film, philosophy, and personal themes. I enjoyed the ones about literature and the personal essays the most. I like how unpedantic her writing is and her meandering style that goes from one related topic to the next within one essay. Sometimes an essay starts out seeming to be about one issue but moves to another.

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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Uh-oh, better get going on this #audiobook!

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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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So far the themes of these essays are very eclectic: gentrification and class in London, Brexit, Facebook, Jay-Z, Joni Mitchell, and Key and Peele. #AwesomeAudiobooks

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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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This audiobook narrator has such a beautiful mesmirizing voice #AwesomeAudiobooks

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Jen2
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

My first Zadie Smith. Really enjoyed it!!

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rachelwill
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

Book 8: A fantastic collection of essays covering anything and everything from London neighbourhoods, family, politics, race, dancing, art, and literature. Smith writes as though she is sat next to you sharing a story. A perfectly crafted story, yes, but one that is steeped in personality and authenticity you find in her novels - a quality that is often overlooked by your usual essayist.

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Joyfulmimi
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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...what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay.

Lindy True. 5y
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Rcoco
Feel Free: Essays | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

Wow! So much here to love. Not everything hit it out of the park, but when it worked it really worked. Smith is brutally honest here, and so erudite sometimes hard to follow. I read this over a period of about three months and learned a lot about artists and authors and architects and comedy. Don‘t skip the Justin Beiber essay...very enlightening and profound. So many truths I recognized in these essays.

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