Monday, January 7, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.
My comments are not meant to be recaps of the story lines as I include a link to Goodreads for their synopsis of the book. I am merely stating how I felt about the book without giving any spoilers.

The Corrections
Synopsis here.

I loved the book but hated most of the characters to my delight.  Is this because we delight in finding out that our lives are not as bad as this dysfunctional family? We've all encountered these characters in our daily lives, perhaps even within our own families??

Enid, the nagging, delusional old biatch of a mother was my favourite to hate. She lives in her fantasy bubble of what she thinks a perfect family is. As we all know there is no such thing. She is petty and spiteful, covets her friends' lifestyles and just drove me crazy. I'll bet she had plastic coverings on the living room furniture.

Her one aim in the book is to have a fairy story, picture perfect last family Christmas at the family home (that is falling apart) where she hordes magazines from which she clips coupons, and has saved every single memento from her three (grown-up) children and her travels.

Nothing will stop her from having this Christmas, not her husband's Alzheimer's, her DIL and grandkids who make fun of her, her son who is intent on making an easy buck, her daughter the chef or her investment banker son.

I did have a modicum of sympathy for the daughter, Denise as she struggles against her mother as Daddy's girl. She at least is trying to help.

The scene when the little boy has to sit at the dinner table until he had finished all his food brought back memories of a typical 1960s happy families scenario.

There were some chapters that I'm not sure served any purpose such as the At Sea story line.

The Street Sweeper
Synopsis from GoodReads

From the civil rights struggle in the United States to the Nazi crimes against humanity in Europe, there are more stories than people passing one another every day on the bustling streets of every crowded city. Only some stories survive to become history.

Recently released from prison, Lamont Williams, an African American probationary janitor in a Manhattan hospital and father of a little girl he can’t locate, strikes up an unlikely friendship with an elderly patient, a Holocaust survivor who was a prisoner in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

A few blocks uptown, historian Adam Zignelik, an untenured Columbia professor, finds both his career and his long-term romantic relationship falling apart. Emerging from the depths of his own personal history, Adam sees, in a promising research topic suggested by an American World War II veteran, the beginnings of something that might just save him professionally, and perhaps even personally.

As these men try to survive in early-twenty-first-century New York, history comes to life in ways neither of them could have foreseen. Two very different paths—Lamont’s and Adam’s—lead to one greater story as The Street Sweeper, in dealing with memory, love, guilt, heroism, the extremes of racism and unexpected kindness, spans the twentieth century to the present, and spans the globe from New York to Chicago to Auschwitz.


  1. I hadn't heard of either one of these, thanks for sharing!

  2. I have been meaning to get a copy of The Street Sweeper. Hope you enjoy it! :)

  3. The Corrections and Frazen's subsequent book are both well-written, I think, but oh-so-bleak. I'm looking for cheery this year. Here's to cheery!

    Here’s my It's Monday! What Are You Reading? I hope you will stop by! And Happy New Year!

  4. These are new to me, but The Street Sweeper sounds like a good read. Enjoy reading!

    Find out what I'm reading this week!

  5. I enjoyed Corrections, too; I didn't like Franzen's second book as much (Freedom). The midsection dragged.

    I like the look of your blog header!


  6. The Street Sweeper sounds really interesting...will be back to read your review.

    Have a great week!
    ~Kristin @ Always With a Book

  7. "The Street Sweeper" looks interesting - i just added it to my open reading list. i am just finishing a book that also spans the twentieth century to the present, and the globe, but from another destination: "Leaving India", here's a bit more: books i read this week + best of 2012

  8. I am reading "1000 days in Tuscany " you need to read "1000 days in Venice" first, about an american lady , who meets someone in Italy, in a strange way, goes home to the USA and then decides that she wants to go back .. the rest you have to read :-)

  9. I would swear I read The Corrections and it sounds familiar but it is not in my reading diary. The other one sounds good to me too!

  10. I always like to know what other people are reading! I've heard of the first book, but not of the second. I'll have to remember to jump on board this meme next week. Thanks for posting!


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