Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Salon: Off Kilter

And what a reading week it was! My arm was twisted and I relented. I read Twilight by Stephanie Meyer just in time for the release of the movie. I am going to drag my husband to the movie (a movie in which I do not have high expectations) tomorrow and will post my review this next week.

This past week, I also had the opportunity to read Linda C. Wisniewski's memoir, Off Kilter: A Woman's Journey to Peace with Scoliosis, Her Mother, & Her Polish Heritage. It is written in a style more akin to a series of connected essays than the more familiar (to me) novel-like memoirs of today. As a result, Off Kilter can be read all at once or in small doses.

Linda Wisniewski grew up in Amsterdam, New York. She had a difficult childhood, raised by an emotionally and verbally abusive father and a mother who could not protect her children, much less herself. Linda shares some of her most personal memories with readers about her family, dealing with the diagnosis and consequences of having Scoliosis, her mother's dementia, and about coming to terms with her past. Her story most struck me as being one of finding balance in life and understanding why we are the way we are.

I think most people can relate to feeling "off kilter" at some point in their lives as we struggle through life. The link between who we are - why we are the way we are - and our upbringing is strong throughout the book. Both our family and outside influences such as religion and culture play a large part in how we think and react to life. Linda's writing is thoughtful, and it is clear that she holds a lot of insight. Off Kilter hit a very personal chord with me, and it is a book I will be returning to again and again.

Author Linda C. Wisniewski will be making a guest appearance here at Musings of a Bookish Kitty tomorrow. She will be discussing her love affair with books. Be sure and stop in and say hello!

I have moved on to a crime fiction novel called Anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill. Set in Laos, the protagonist is the national coroner. It is my first novel by the author but I can already tell it will not be my last.

Week in Review:
Review of Red Sea by E.A. Benedek
Review of Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe by Jennie Shortridge (and an interview with the author)
Review of Blackbird, Farewell by Robert Greer
The one where I talk about new book acquisitions, offer a little tease, and share my thoughts on honesty and book reviews.
Off Topic Chatter

Happy Reading!


  1. I usually try to read the book before the movie too.

  2. Off Kilter sounds interesting. I think I'm going to skip Twilight - both the book and the movie.

  3. I actually heard from others that Twilight the movie was entertaining, more so than they had expected, so perhaps you will enjoy it too!

  4. I haven't read Twilight yet but eventually I will get there. Hope you enjoyed the movie and I'll look forward to your interview with the author of Off Kilter. Have a great week!

  5. I hope you enjoy the movie! There were definitely some iffy parts (see my review from Friday), but overall it was a lot of fun. I'm re-reading the book. It'd been so long I started to forget the finer details. The second time through is just as gripping as the first, I'm glad to report.

    Off Kilter sounds like a good one. Looking forward to Wisniewski's guest appearance here!

  6. A couple of my studetns are really into the Twilight series and they went to see it thursday night at midnight in a town 40 miles away! Friday morning I asked how they like it and one said it was "good" and the other said it was "okay." They weren't exactly raving. Their main complaint was that the movie doesn't have everything in it that the book has. They are young, only 15, so have never experienced this before.

    I'll wait to see it on DVD next summer.

  7. I just started reading Twilight yesterday. I figured what with the movie and all, my daughter, who's almost 12, may start wanting to read this book and I'd like to read it first. So far, okay. I'm not a huge vampire book fan and I'm not fond of that new HBO series True Blood. But I'll give it a shot. I agree with Linda, though. DVD, most likely, if at all.

  8. I'm waiting until the Twilight movie is in the cheap theatres. I'm definitely interested, but not full-price new-release interested. :)

  9. Twilight is going to remain in TBR Purgatory quite a while longer, I'm afraid. My 14-year-old has read all the books except for the fourth one, but has no desire to see the movie at all.

    The memoir sounds fascinating, and I'll look forward to seeing the author's guest post here.

    Enjoy your Sunday, Wendy!

  10. Well, that leaves me as the only person who hasn't read Twilight :P I look forward to your review. Who knows, maybe it'll be the one to make me cave :P

  11. Oh, I definitely read the book before watching the film. Announcements of upcoming films would always put pressure on me to dig through the pile of books that I have to read in time for the movies.

  12. So will we be seeing a review of Twilight? I'm curious to know what you thought and if you'll be reading more. I've been able to stay clear of it thus far, but there has been talk about making it one of our upcoming book club selections (we each choose a book for our designated month).

  13. Looking forward to your Twilight review and I hope you enjoyed the movie after all!

  14. I enjoyed the Twilight series and I look forward to watching the movie soon! I'm not having high expectations from the movie either, but I'm hoping it'll follow the book and not cut up some scenes or whatever.

    Off Kilter sounds like a great read! Will be popping by tomorrow to read the guest post. :)

  15. I was not rushing to see the movie but a friend had an extra ticket so I went along. It was entertaining, but the actors just didn't match the picture I had in my mind. Except for Alice and Charlie, they were excellent. I'll probably watch it on DVD and like it a lot better.

  16. Lenore - I definitely prefer reading the book before seeing the movie, but there are exceptions to that rule.

    Kathy - Vampire tales aren't for everyone, that's for sure.

    Meghan - I ended up enjoying the movie--I think it helped though that my expectations weren't all that high.

    Samantha - I know what you mean! So many books, so little time. :-)

    Andi - Thanks, Andi! It was a fun movie. I'm glad I watched it. :-) I am glad the second reading of Twilight is just as magical for you. My coworker read it for the fifth time this past week, and she's still picking up details she hadn't noticed before.

  17. Linda - It's getting mixed reviews, I've noticed, which is part of the reason I wanted to keep my expectations low going into it.

    I think that if you aren't a diehard fan of the Twilight series, waiting to catch it on DVD is a good idea.

    Karen - I'll be curious to know what you think of Twilight when you are finished with it.

    Memory - That's what matinees are for. ;-) Actually, I have a gift card to the theater and so it didn't cost me a dime.

    Florinda - LOL Twilight probably would have ended up being there longer for me if my coworker hadn't twisted my arm so. She read the Southern Vampire series because of me and is hooked on True Blood because I encouraged her to watch it and so I felt it was only fair that I give her favorite series a go.

    Nymeth - Haha! My husband hasn't read the books and I don't think he intends too, so you aren't the only one. :-)

  18. Matt - That's happened to me before. I have several movies in my Netflix queue that are based on books I haven't read yet. They keep going to the bottom of the list since I haven't yet read the books. If the movie's coming out in the theater and I really want to see it there though, I try to get to the book sooner so that I won't miss the movie before it is too late.

    Trish - You will. Later this week, in fact! It's hard to review a book just about everyone else under the sun has read.

    Jen - I did like the movie, although I think it helped that I didn't expect too much from it. LOL

    Melody - I hope you will enjoy it!

    Framed - Charlie did a great job, didn't he? I'd seen too many pictures and clips with Robert Pattinson as Edward not to have an image of him in my head as I read. It was pretty much the same for the other characters too.

    And I was just thinking the same thing about probably liking it better on DVD. :-) How funny!

  19. Can wait to read your review, Wendy! I'm waiting to watch Twilight at the cinema... I've listened to the soundtrack and it was OK. Not great but listenable.

  20. I hope you enjoy the movie...I am waiting for it to release in India. I hope it does real soon. Looking forward to your review...

  21. Wendy, thanks for your thoughtful remarks on Off Kilter - and high marks for your lovely blog page!

  22. I must be among the few who have not read Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, I have never been able to get into vampire stories. Maybe I will check it out of the library so t doesn't cost me anything if I still do not like the theme.

    I bought some books 2 weeks ago at below $1.00 from amazon market place, all 'like new, I was told they where mailed and still haven't received anything...hmmm ths is my first buy of this kind.

  23. Alice - Someday I may actually post my review! LOL I had hoped to get it up this week, but it may have to wait until next week. I've just been too busy to work on it.

    Eliza - I hope it will come out in India soon. I was so sorry to hear on the news about the recent terror attacks in Mumbai. I do hope that no one you knew was impacted. It's such a tragedy.

    Linda - Thank you! I really did enjoy your book and am so grateful it came into my life when it did.

    Sylvie - Not everyone goes in for vampire stories, I know, but I really enjoy the ones I've read. I hope you get those books you were expecting soon!

  24. Off Kilter sounds good! I like memoirs that are told in essays.

  25. Avis - I've discovered that I do too. If you do read it, I hope you will enjoy it!


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