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.
FINISHED LAST WEEK:
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.
STARTED THIS WEEK:
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.