Book Beginnings: Free by Lea Ypi

Not only does Gilion host the European Reading and TBR 22 in 22 on her Rose City Reader blog but also Book Beginnings on Friday. While I’m no stranger to her European Reading Challenge, only recently I decided to participate in Book Beginnings on Friday. This week I’m back with another post.

For Book Beginnings on Friday Gilion asks us to simply “share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week, or just a book that caught your fancy and you want to highlight.”


I never asked myself about the meaning of freedom until the day I hugged Stalin. From close up, he was much taller than I expected.

Last week I featured the 1969 anthology Growing Up Jewish edited by Jay David and the week before that it was Frank Blaichman’s 2009 Rather Die Fighting: A Memoir of World War II. This  week it’s the 2022 memoir Free: Coming of Age at the End of History by Lea Ypi.

After hearing great things about Free from Clair of The Captive Reader I finally borrowed a copy late last week. With my nose already in several books I’m not making much progress, but so far it’s living up to all the hype. While not one of my original 20 Books of Summer I’m looking forward to applying it towards Rose City Reader’s European Reading Challenge. After all, it’s not everyday you come across a coming of age memoir by an Albanian.

Highly praised and the winner of multiple awards, as soon as I knock out one of the several books I’m currently reading I’ll be giving Free all the undivided attention it deserves.


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