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Swing Time
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North-West London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of "White Teeth" and "On Beauty "Two brown girls dream of being dancers--but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either... Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, "Swing Time" is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from North-West London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.
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Cinfhen
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Well the Litsy ratings are pretty abysmal but I‘m still trusting my gut and taking these two books with me for the flights. I told hubby I wouldn‘t PACK any books but carry-on doesn‘t count 😉, right ❓⁉️‼️

rabbitprincess I like your thinking! Have a safe trip! 😊 1d
JenReadsAlot Safe travels! 1d
Leftcoastzen Safe travels ! This made me laugh so much , I spend more time picking out books for travel than my clothes. 1d
See All 8 Comments
TrishB You have to have some in the carry on, just in case something happens to the devices 🤷‍♀️ common sense thinking 😘 1d
BarbaraBB WiFi and 4G connection are scarce in Northern California. So just a quick note to wish you a save travel ❤️ 23h
Kalalalatja Hubby must have realised that you weren‘t going to keep that promise. Otherwise, he‘s made a rookie mistake 😅 22h
BookwormM I am in the minority and loved Swing Time 21h
Hooked_on_books Doesn‘t count at all. 😬 14h
111 likes8 comments
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Jason7
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Mehso-so

I love Zadie Smith's first novel, White Teeth, though I can‘t say the same for Swing Time. I try not to give up on an audiobook, but I considered abandoning Swing Time more than once. Bennett-Warner's stellar narration, and Zadie Smith's reputation, kept me listening. I kept waiting for the book to take off in the second half, but I just kept waiting. Maybe I expect too much from Zadie. I still love her work.

Overall rating: 3.88 stars

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3njennn
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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3 likes1 stack add
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Mitch
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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In another life - this is one of my dream jobs....

https://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/jon-gray-graphic-design-130519

wanderinglynn You‘d be great at designing covers! 👍🏻 2mo
Mitch @wanderinglynn 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 2mo
62 likes2 comments
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CandiReadsBooks
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Mehso-so

I struggled to read this book. It was slow for me and I contemplated giving up and not finishing it. I heard such good things about the author and her writing, but this book didn‘t flesh out really well. It kept jumping from past to present. I felt like Zadie was trying to tell too many stories at once. I think the focus should have been on the unnamed main character and her friend Tracey. This book was disappointing and so was the ending.

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Ericalambbrown
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book and found it to be interesting social commentary as well as an interesting story. I always appreciate getting to see a perspective so different from my own. And Pippa Bennett-Warner‘s performance is superb. This was also my first go at the Libby app through my local library. I will certainly be using it again. ❤️📚

BibliOphelia I ❤️ Libby! 3mo
87 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Ericalambbrown
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Trying out the Libby app and listening to Swing Time while I do weekly kitchen chores. (This is my first go at proper bagels.) Our tiny rural county library is part of a consortium in Missouri on Libby and I wanted to try it out in an effort to support my local library. About halfway through the book and I really like it. 📚

Mollyanna Your bagels look wonderful! 3mo
goodbyefrancie Do you prefer Libby over Overdrive? 3mo
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Ericalambbrown @Mollyanna Thank you! It was easier than I‘d expected. I will probably do this again since I can make them smaller for portion control. 3mo
Ericalambbrown @goodbyefrancie I‘ve never used Overdrive. I‘ve used Audible for the last couple of years since I didn‘t realize we had a county library since we moved here. The library just pointed me to Libby. I like it so far! 3mo
whatsthEStorey Those look delicious! 3mo
Ericalambbrown @whatsthEStorey Thanks! They were easier than I expected. 3mo
cwarnier I love Libby. It is amazing. Also ask your library about Hoopla. It is similar, but a bit more limited. I have found some books and audio books on Hoppla and not Libby. 3mo
95 likes8 comments
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Nag1
Swing Time | Zadie Smith

She measured time in pages. Half an hour, to her, meant ten pages read, or fourteen, depending on the size of the type, and when you think of time in this way there isn‘t time for anything else.

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mania
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Coffee & a book. Saturday morning done right.

6 likes1 stack add
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JoyBlue
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Bailedbailed

I just can't. I'm bailing at 14% in. There may be value overall, but I won't afford this much time to nasty characters and sexual assault/abuse. That being said, Smith's writing seems excellent.

SamAnne I was disappointed in this book, the first of hers I read. 5mo
JoyBlue @SamAnne 😢 5mo
Megabooks @SamAnne @JoyBlue I didn‘t like this book either and bailed. I do, however, like her nonfiction. Just a thought. 5mo
JoyBlue @Megabooks Thank you. 5mo
66 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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mdemanatee
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Been meaning to read this for forever, and since the physical book keeps getting pushed back in priority I decided to finally just accept that I should do it on audio

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mania
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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#LMPBC round 5.
A few suggestions for my book. What do you ladies think and does any of these books sound good to you?
@Emilymdxn @jenniferw88 @Lel2403
@suvata

Lel2403 Oh...the buried giant sounds interesting 5mo
Emilymdxn I‘ve wanted to read swing time ever since it came out! 5mo
jenniferw88 Swing time or the Marukami for me (sorry, I know this probably doesn't help!) 5mo
See All 6 Comments
mania Ok, that's two for Swing Time. @Lel2403 have you read it? Would you be OK with that one? 5mo
suvata I‘m not a big fan of Zadie Smith...The others are fine with me. 5mo
Lel2403 @mania no I haven‘t read it and yes I‘d be more than fine with it....look forward to reading it 5mo
8 likes6 comments
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bio_chem06
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Sunday snow days are for cuddling with this black dog & catching up on that TBR.
Also, can someone please tell me why I waited so long to read Zadie Smith! I'm am idiot for missing out on this!

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greenhairdontcare
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️

I really wanted to like this book, but I felt it was missing something. I believe listening to the audiobook is what got me through. Pippa Bennett Warner, who narrates, is AMAZING to listen to. So soothing!

The book overall is written well & I think Zadie Smith writes about fantastic, strong, female characters. Her story had me reflecting on so many different themes present in the book.

(Review continued in comments)

greenhairdontcare The main character remains nameless throughout the story. I enjoyed the parts about her past, over the parts that focused on the present. The book started to lose me in the middle & I started to really struggle with the main character. She tended to just float through life & I felt she lacked emotions & sympathy for anyone most of the time. Swing Time was worth a read, but overall failed to impress me. (edited) 6mo
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greenhairdontcare
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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For the first time ever, I am listening to an audio book. I‘ve always been resistant to the idea, but so far I am loving it. It has taken reading to a whole new level of relaxation. 😌

I‘ve chosen Swing Time by Zadie Smith, honestly, because it was available on my library app. I‘ve only read one Zadie Smith book before & while I liked it & thought it was written beautifully, I felt like I was the wrong audience for it.

#audiobook

RaimeyGallant I was resistant, too. Now I listen all the time. 6mo
greenhairdontcare @RaimeyGallant I think audio books are fast becoming my new favourite thing! 6mo
CoffeeNBooks Welcome to Litsy! 📚 6mo
greenhairdontcare @CoffeeNBooks Thank you! 😁 6mo
6 likes4 comments
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ReyC
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
Mehso-so

Amazing book about family dynamics and transformation

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Joanne1
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
Pickpick

It‘s been years since I last read a Zadie Smith novel, this was a clear reminder of what a master of her craft she is. Riveting, character driven storyline told with such clarity of language you become utterly immersed in the sometimes dark, always very human, world she creates.

MommyWantsToReadHerBook I've been wanting to read this forever and it just doesn't happen... Need to prioritise! 9mo
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TheLibrarian
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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#ebookdeal that was a past #BOTM selection!

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Joanne1
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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My latest audiobook, Zadie Smith really is a masterful storyteller.

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tholmz
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Mehso-so

This was my first ever Zadie Smith and I wanted to love it, but...didn‘t. It was so long and I felt like it was three different books. I would have loved it if it was just about the girls‘ friendship without any of that Aimee stuff. Am I alone here?

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monalyisha
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Mehso-so

I don‘t think I can give this book a proper review because I read it POORLY. I pride myself on being a close, attentive reader but this time, I just wasn‘t. It took me almost a month to read, which is unfortunate because a huge part of what Smith does has to do with the concept of “time.” Reading it in sporadic, unfocused bursts was not the way to properly revel in her cleverness. Oops. This was my first Zadie Smith. I‘ll have to try her again.

merelybookish I'm a Zadie Smith fangirl but this did not work for me either. Try On Beauty next. 🙂 10mo
monalyisha @merelybookish Definitely! I read this one with my book club & we may try “On Beauty” sometime in the future. I saw your comment on someone else‘s post about it being structured like a dance & I think that‘s an interesting idea! It‘s also interesting to think about which *kind* of dance - or if different parts might be structured like different kinds of dances (“moonwalk”, swing, traditional African dance). It‘d be a fun paper to write, anyway! (edited) 10mo
merelybookish @monalyisha Yes! That's my little pet theory about the book but I feel I'd need to re-read it to really figure it out. (And I don't want to do that.) But I felt the pacing was so strange that maybe it was following a dance rhythm or step. 10mo
merelybookish @monalyisha And maybe a swing dance? 🙂 10mo
75 likes4 comments
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monalyisha
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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We leave for our Arizona getaway (🌵) less than a week from today (🎉) & my husband is NOT a good flyer (😭✈️), so this airport description is really striking a chord right now:

“The waiting, the queueing, the submitting to irrational instructions. Every aspect of it, the presence of so many other people, the brusqueness of the staff, even the immutable flight times on the screens in the waiting room — it all felt like an affront.”

Suet624 Great description. 10mo
Thndrstd Yes! Well said 10mo
89 likes2 comments
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monalyisha
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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All staff training day today (topics: “grit” & “emotional intelligence” 🙄).

Reading in the break room, where ugly couches go to die.

Also, showcasing my v. serious knee injury (I jumped off of a rickety metal tower onto a giant inflatable pillow this past weekend [for... fun?] & I got pillow-burn during my inglorious scramble ground-ward).

ladyneverwhere The whole "grit" in teaching trend makes me so mad. Administrators and politicians are basically saying, "Let's throw a cute word at this but not actually address any of the underlying reasons a kid might not be "resilient" enough," like housing uncertainty, food deserts, parents having to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, etc. ? 10mo
monalyisha @ladyneverwhere I‘m totally with you. Also, the presenter basically said that people suffer from depression because they‘re not “resilient” enough & they let themselves get sad. Yeah, mental health isn‘t a real thing. You‘re right. 😤 It required “grit” to get through the training; that‘s for sure! (edited) 10mo
kspenmoll @ladyneverwhere In total agreement with you both! Well said, @ladyneverwhere The depression explanation you heard makes me want to scream! Hard to be “resilient” when you are hungry. 10mo
86 likes3 comments
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monalyisha
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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“An explosion of simultaneous illumination.”

🌞💛😍

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monalyisha
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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My husband left the door open (& the hallway light on) while he was grilling, so now I have a brand-new reading friend.

#mothra

keys_on_fire Love this pic! 10mo
monalyisha Thanks @keys_on_fire 😉! 10mo
AmyG 😬😬😬😬 10mo
BarbaraBB Great pic😍 10mo
82 likes4 comments
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Schlinkles
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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@collegecatlady Thanks for the goodies! This recipe sounds absolutely amazing and I‘m excited for all the books. I hope you stay safe and dry away from Florence! #feedareader

@MinDea @TricksyTails

collegecatlady I‘m glad you like everything! I believe my area will be safe but just get lots of rain. Thanks for the well wishes! 10mo
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monalyisha
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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“Swing Time,” indeed.

Summer-time is over, which means school is back in-session, which means if I stay in the library during my lunch break I get interrupted 5,000,000 times by teachers & students alike. So, it‘s back to reading in my car. 😿 Woe is me.

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monalyisha
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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“I‘d noticed that other people had this adolescent gift for “spiraling out of control,” of “going off the rails,” but whatever catch inside of themselves they managed to release... I wasn‘t able to find in myself. Instead, self-consciously, like an athlete deciding on a new training regime, I decided to go off the rails. But no one took me very seriously, least of all my mother, for she considered me a fundamentally reliable teenager.”

monalyisha Pictured: one fundamentally reliable teenager, circa 2004, with my senior prom date. Later that night, he smoked a cigarette & I remember the taste of it & feeling so *bad* when he kissed me. 😅 I‘m literally wearing pale pink & Swiss dots. It‘s hard to imagine a more innocent-looking prom dress. (I remember distinctly that my ex-boyfriend‘s prom date was wearing a skin-tight, slinky, backless dress with a low cut v-neck. Goddamn it.) (edited) 10mo
CouronneDhiver Ha! Same. Very innocent time for me too... lime green sparkly, floor-length strapless dress. 👗 10mo
See All 8 Comments
Alfoster Great story! Hand sewn empire waist dress for mine😳! 10mo
QuietlyLaura My dress was lovely! All pink lace with a full skirt and a shawl type neckline. I actually wore that dress to both of my proms. Can't say the same for the dates! 😂😉 10mo
monalyisha @CouronneDhiver Bold color choice! 😉💚 10mo
monalyisha @Alfoster Sounds beautiful! 😊 10mo
64 likes8 comments
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monalyisha
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Finally... some time to read! 💙📖🌊

Centique Yay - that looks like perfection. Enjoy! 10mo
wanderinglynn That looks like the perfect spot! Enjoy! 10mo
BarbaraBB Great pic! 10mo
109 likes1 stack add3 comments
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whatrebeccasread
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Panpan

I found that this book didn't work for me. I enjoyed the first few chapters but I felt like I couldn't connect with the main character while jumping back and forth in time. I'd have loved a book with a little more Tracey and a little less Aimee, a little more school days and a little less plodding along building a school in Africa. What did you think of this one?

See my full review on my blog using the link on my profile 📚

scowler1 Her books are hit and miss for me. They're all amazingly well written though. 10mo
Itchyfeetreader I have picked this up and out it down several timeS 10mo
melsimpson Itchyfeetreader: same. I really want to get into this but I can't ... 10mo
whatrebeccasread @scowler1 I totally agree, and feel a bit bad for not liking them because I can really tell & appreciate that she's a good writer! 10mo
tholmz Exact same. I think it could have been 1/3 the length and just focused on Tracey and that story of their friendship throughout life. The Aimee stuff was...woof. 10mo
81 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Cinfhen
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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#AbbaInAugust Haven‘t read this book yet, but I‘m told it‘s about 2 friends who meet in dance class where one is destined to become a #DancingQueen 💃👑

Mdargusch Good choice! I haven‘t read this so I had no idea that was the plot. I guess the title was a clue? 😂 11mo
emilyhaldi I had no idea this was the plot either! Ha💃🏻 11mo
ValerieAndBooks Still in my TBR, waiting!! 11mo
Reviewsbylola I love the contrast of the front and back! I‘ve had this on my TBR since it came out. 😬 11mo
129 likes4 comments
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jberos
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
Pickpick

Found the timeline a bit confusing and the book hard to get into initially, but then I felt the social commentary and characters made it an excellent read by the end.

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bseaman1991
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Mondays 😴

CarolynM Welcome to Litsy🌼 11mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy ✌📚 11mo
Briary Welcome to Litsy! Your feed is lovely 😊📚 11mo
10 likes3 comments
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readordierachel
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

I‘m conflicted. I loved Smith‘s writing but was less enamored of the story she was telling. I was left wondering what exactly she was trying to say with this book. Was it about the nature of female friendships, race, female sexuality, white saviors, class struggle, art, ambition, familial relationships, adolescent rebellion, celebrity? (Cont'd ⬇️)

readordierachel There was a little of all these things, which I think is fine, but it bounced around between them in a way that made it difficult to connect with anything. For me, I think it would have worked better if she had dropped a few plot points and told the story in a more linear way. Ultimately a pick because I read it quickly and mostly enjoyed it. 12mo
merelybookish This is a so-so Zadie for me. Not her best but I did like it. I feel she tried to structure it like a dance but I'm not sure it was successful. 12mo
Redwritinghood Maybe she was trying to do too much with one book. Sometimes less is more. 12mo
See All 8 Comments
youneverarrived Great review 👌 I agree with @Redwritinghood maybe a case of too much in one book. 12mo
readordierachel @merelybookish I hadn't thought of the structure that way! That's interesting. Ambitious but not successful I don't think. 12mo
readordierachel @Redwritinghood @youneverarrived Yes, I think less would have definitely been more in this situation! A lot of it felt tangential. 12mo
merelybookish @ReadOrDieRachel It's an untested theory and I'm too lazy to re-read the book to see if it holds up. 🤓 12mo
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bseaman1991
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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#currentlyreading a well-worn book in the sun

rather_be_reading welcome to litsy!! 📚🎉📚 @LitsyWelcomeWagon Wago 12mo
RaimeyGallant And welcome to Litsy from me too! #LitsyWelcomeWagon Some of us put together Litsy tips to help new Littens navigate the site. It's the link in my bio on my page in case you need it. Or if you prefer how-to videos, @chelleo put some together at the link in her bio. 12mo
bseaman1991 Thanks guys 😆🙏 12mo
See All 8 Comments
Chelleo @bseaman1991 Welcome! 12mo
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 👋🏻🌸 11mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Welcome to Litsy!! 11mo
spharo Welcome!! I LOVE your feed! I can't wait to see more of your posts! 11mo
Wife Welcome to Litsy!🌹 11mo
11 likes1 stack add8 comments
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jmofo
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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From the audiobook so perhaps not 1,000% correct

Eggs Pretty 12mo
9 likes1 comment
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jmofo
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
Mehso-so

My first Zadie Smith book. It was interestingish at times. There was some sweeping epic scale told in the language of intimacies centered around someone who relies on people but is not willingly vulnerable to them, somehow. A worldly tale told about the smallness of people, in a way.

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ladyonequestion
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

Excellent, but might be a bit too postmodern for some. It's not a tricky read, but it leaves a great deal open and the narrator is unconventional in that she is not all that likeable at times, she makes some poor decisions and is seen as being rather childish. I did enjoy reading it, but didn't feel like it was a five star review.

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kathedron
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Mehso-so

Well, that covered a lot of ground: race, class, gender, wealth, celebrity, the scuffed line between cultural imperialism and acts of charity... London, New York, West Africa. What it didn't cover was enough plot for the pages or (Tracey aside) interesting characters. I didn't warm to the unnamed narrator, who spent the whole book being bossed around by three monstrous women. Once past her childhood, it was all rather flat, cold and lifeless. Meh.

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ladyonequestion
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Need to hurry up and read this before I run out of loans from #borrowbox

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kaysworld1
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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@JennAndrew I love you lady.
I am proper fan girling over your box. 😁💝💝💝💝💝📚📚📚
thank you #keychainswap @JenlovesJT47 #swaps

JenlovesJT47 Yay!! 💚 14mo
16 likes1 comment
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amyf0x
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

Two girls bond over a shared love of dance, but their complex friendship shifts and mutates as they undergo the difficult process of growing up.

Read May 17-28
Book 22/50

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Birdsong28
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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The tagged book is also my choice for this option on the #popsugarchallenge

MirrorMask I just heard of this challenge and I'll probably start it after I finish the one with Book Riot. 14mo
Birdsong28 @MirrorMask I am slowly working my way through it! Have fun with yours 😀📚📖 14mo
36 likes2 comments
review
Birdsong28
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

Very good. Very detailed and a interesting storyline. Even though at times when it jumped back and forth from past to present it was sometimes hard to see in what timeframe you were supposed to be in, it didn't derail the story and the beautiful writing.

9/20 for my #MountTBRChallenge

#Penquin

@DivaDiane

Samplergal I have this one somewhere on a kindle or IPad. Sounds like I should move it up the list! 14mo
Birdsong28 @Samplergal I think you should 😀😀📚📖 14mo
40 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Birdsong28
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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1. The tagged book and a few others 😂
2. Nothing really have loved to read as long as I can remember.
3. Mainly Afternoon and at bedtime but will read anytime.
4. Stephen Wraysford and Isabelle Azaire from Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. Angela Clarke and Jenny Lopez from the I heart series by Lindsey Kelk

#manicmonday @JoScho

JoScho 📚😊❤️ 1y
30 likes1 comment
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Gitanjali
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Spot on, Zadie.

4 likes1 stack add
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Gitanjali
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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sdbruening
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
This post contains spoilers
show me
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Bailedbailed

I was interested for a bit, and then I started getting really frustrated with Tracy. What a bully of a friend. What really pushed me away was the VAGINA TAG game. Are you serious?? I mean, if that‘s based on real life that‘s quite unfortunate but I don‘t want to hear about it. If it‘s not, this author is twisted...From where I stopped, the things I did like were the reader (lovely voice and inflections) and the mother.

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JennAndrew
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

I‘ve read some great books over the last couple of weeks, but forgot to post! Of the 3 most recent reads, Swing Time was the easiest emotionally, but it was a beautiful read. It felt ruminative and philosophical, with the unnamed protagonist considering belonging, identity, culture & loyalty. I learned a lot as she tried to find her place and observed how others navigated this world we share but experience in totally different ways...

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

JennAndrew I actually only realised the protagonist didn‘t have a name when I came to write this and I‘m not particularly comfortable about that. I think it‘s partly because she speaks in the first person and I felt immediately drawn into her perspective. I think that‘s to Zadie Smith‘s credit. Also, the MC is surrounded by huge personalities, her mother, her friend Tracey, her boss Aimee. They all shape her world and carry her along on their... 1y
JennAndrew Journeys, without much thought for the MC or anyone else. They all see the world in quite definite terms, while the MC is questioning and uncertain. I really did enjoy this one. It made me think, but it wasn‘t harrowing or difficult, even if events were awkward at times. (edited) 1y
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Annashep
Swing Time | Zadie Smith
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Sunday.. wandering in Barter books in Alnwick Northumberland ... such a great book place .. picked up two new titles for my ‘to be read‘ pile ... excited as read an article recently about Zadie Smith in Red magazine, who sounds like a really interesting person and this book sounds great .. as does the little coffee shop of Kabul ... excited reading 😊😊📚

mania This one has been on my to read pile for awhile. I look forward to your review! :) 1y
9 likes1 comment