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Before The Red Tent won her international literary acclaim, Anita Diamant was a columnist in Boston. Over the course of twenty years, she wrote essays that reflected the shape and evoution of her life, as well as the trends of her generation. In the end, her musings about love and marriage, birth and death, nature versus nurture, politics and religion -- and everything froBefore The Red Tent won her international literary acclaim, Anita Diamant was a columnist in Boston. Over the course of twenty years, she wrote essays that reflected the shape and evoution of her life, as well as the trends of her generation. In the end, her musings about love and marriage, birth and death, nature versus nurture, politics and religion -- and everything from female friendships to quitting smoking -- have created a public diary of the progress of her life that resonated deeply with her readers. Now, Pitching My Tent collects the finest columns of a writer who is a reporter by training and a storyteller by heart, all revised and enriched with new material. Personal, inspiring, and often funny, Pitching My Tent displays the warmth, humor, and wisdom that Diamant's legions of fans have come to cherish....

Title : Pitching My Tent: On Marriage, Motherhood, Friendship, and Other Leaps of Faith
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780743246170
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Pitching My Tent: On Marriage, Motherhood, Friendship, and Other Leaps of Faith Reviews

  • Renee
    2019-07-12 20:51

    This is actually more of a 3.5 star book (I'm rounding up because 3 stars is just too low). Nice collection of essays. Some were beautiful. I especially enjoyed "Fireflies" which compared romantic love to married love. Poetically written and so TRUE. Another favorite was "Vigil" about the ICU waiting room. That one really resonated for me. "Midlife, The Beginning" and "My Teacher" were also solid. I found myself craving raspberries after reading Diamant's rhapsody "Heaven on Earth". She is so right about raspberries. Why don't I eat them more often?Much of this books focuses on her religion and how it relates to her everyday life. I know very little about Judaism and so felt that I learned a bit from this book. It also felt very mysterious to me. Different traditions, different vocabulary, different outlook on so many things. You would think it would make it hard to relate (and in a few cases/essays it did) but overall her truths felt like my truths and I appreciated much of what she had to say.

  • Lize
    2019-07-03 02:57

    This was a collection of her essays and columns. Some of them I found difficult to relate to, but this one is about friendship, and it struck a chord with me:Girlfriends, in ParticularWomen’s friendships are, I think one of the great secrets of the social universe. When you see pairs of women, sometimes threesomes or foursomes, from the outside, it might seem like they are “just” having lunch, or drinking coffee, or walking around the neighborhood, or even shopping. But all this activity is, in fact, the methodology of friendship, the way women connect and keep each other sane. It goes on by phone and e-mail and Hallmark, too.This is not trivial activity. From the outside, it might appear casual, but these relationships are, in fact, the bedrock of contentment. We witness and we cheer, we commiserate and we prod. We lean on each other and we prop each other up. We tell each other the truth. We sustain one another. My women friends—some of whom I’ve known for thirty years, some of whom I’ve known for three months—sustain me in ways I couldn’t begin to enumerate. At least not publicly. We all love our families, but the truth is, they drive us nuts. Without friends, a lot of us would run screaming out of our homes at all hours of the day and night, ready to hand our children over to passing motorists, to flee spouses who snore or are laundry-challenged, to avoid the well-meaning “corrections” of siblings and parents. Our friends listen to us complain about our families. The validate and sympathize with the problems that are genuine, and help us see when we’re overreacting. Friends don’t nag. I think that may be the definition of a friend. You can’t pick your parents or your kids. Marriage, though not quite as irrevocable, suffers similar pitfalls of too much familiarity. So what is it about friendship that avoids that kind of craziness? Maybe it’s just the different perspective. Maybe it’s the voluntary nature of friendship, which is so clearly a gift, bestowed. The time we share with our friends is, almost by definition, time carved out of family obligations, work, housekeeping, reading, gardening, even sleep. We’re grateful to each other for making this choice—this gift—of our time. Friends meet each other’s expectations on a need-to-speak basis. Friends will show up when it matters, and when it doesn’t, we trust the foundation will remain firm. Of course, not all friendships last forever. Friends move and the commitment fades. Friends marry badly, or change too much, though I am still friends with a high school pal who votes Republican. When friends die, we are heartbroken and bereft. The world goes dark but the phone doesn’t ring with condolence. No one gives us time off work to grieve the loss of this particular, precious, mostly unspoken love.

  • Sirpa Grierson
    2019-06-30 02:52

    Delightful essays and musings about life that are sometimes poignant and often funny. Diamant is an award-winning journalist and author who has that keen eye for the small things in life that resonates with readers. For instance, raspberries: "Tiny beaded lanterns, the color of a heart newly fallen in love--the architecture of the raspberry is precise and geometric, yet tender. There is even a specific, funny name for its succulent subdivisions: druplets." 180 I also appreciate the fact that she writes so honestly about herself, especially her discovery of her roots in Reformed Judaism and what having a spiritual community has done for her life. "Community is the place with dozen familiar faces (some with names attached) that always smile back. It is where I am told what a great kid I have been by strangers and comforted on the anniversary of my father's death by acquaintances. It is where I feel connected to people I don't even like, but who are part of my life by virtue of membership and affiliation and accident." 218 We all need a community to belong somewhere. Some of the short essays are exquisite; all are worth reading.

  • Ahana
    2019-07-08 23:40

    I'm neither married nor a mother nor religious, but there is a comfort and warmth to Diamant's writing that touched me. She tells her own stories, because stories are meant to be told. She hasn't got the slightest intention of preaching or telling her reader(s) to live her kind of life. But she's living it and it hasn't been all smooth. But there has been joy and sharing and a growing capacity to have fun in unexpected ways. That's really what she wanted to tell us.

  • Linda
    2019-07-10 19:53

    I like this author's writing, but I'm not a fan of her outlook on life. Reading the favorite columns that she has written over the years would have been more interesting if I viewed life in a similar way. I found myself not agreeing with her, philosophically, on many points. I didn't enjoy it so I decided to stop where I was and move on to another book.

  • Amber Chaplin
    2019-06-23 21:54

    Make sure you have a box of tissues when you read this book. Some of the stories are so touching they make you cry, others make you laugh so hard that you cry again.

  • Beth
    2019-07-13 02:48

    Gah! Really made me wish I was Jewish.

  • Emilia P
    2019-07-02 19:45

    "Despite their ephemerality and downy sensuality...I have never heard raspberries called an aphrodisiac. They do not make you want to do anything but eat more raspberries. Which makes them truly paradisical."This quote, from an essay on how awesome raspberries are, encompasses Anita Diamant's attitude to writing, life, and the nature of joy. Lush, fleeting, a pleasure in itself, that's the way things are.I. loved. this. book. A collection of very short essays on - in this order -1)romantic love and marriage(with the keen observation that its so important not to sleep alone), 2)her daughter Emilia (hehe. but alot about watching someone grow up and wishing them well), 3) friendship, 4) Jewish holiday celebrations (hooray for the Sukkah!), 5) aging, 6) the joys and complications of being Jewish. They went by too fast, really. Diamant has a good sense of humor and relatability -- she never puts anyone down or holds up her own experiences as definitive and universal, but somehow they work on a really gut level. She just seems to have a faith and hope in the goodness and richness of life and the power that our families and friends and traditions and histories have to sustain us through the hard times -- which she doesn't mince words about. Birth and children are ever-present in her essays -- but so is death and loss. Sometimes there is no silver lining. Sometimes we just have to keep going. She's not a hippy optimist by any stretch, but she's not a calculating rationalist either, and her gentle realism is refreshing.Some great observations."Despite the endless political posturing about the importance of marriage and family values, everything around us venerates romantic love, which is self-centered and deliciously anti-social." (This seems like a big duh I had never quite put together before)On Rosh Hashanah "It is the birthday of the world every minute.Tonight we come to remember and rejoice. My cantor opens her mouth to sing and we catch fire."On being a part of a congregation "I can always throw up my hands and go somewhere else, but that would only mean I'd have to find myself a parallel universe with its own cast of characters and confrontations. So Beth El will remain my spiritual home, my sacred mess."On holidays: "Holidays drop an anchor in time... Holidays grab time by its invisible hand and invite it to the table, where it seems almost palpable."and "Hope - no less than monotheism itself - is a normative and non-negotiable pillar of the Jewish mandate."I read a couple books this fall that really called into sharp relief the harsh differences between Judaism and Christianity, and Catholicism in particular. While it's good to learn about those, and think about the differences, there's also a big swath of common ground that this book reminded me of, as well as a lot of particularly Jewish lessons and attitudes that resonate with and fascinate me. Diamant stressed, without ever actually saying it (secret, this book wasn't structured around Judaism entirely, but as a religious person it was unapologetically interwoven into her view of the world), that Judaism is a very earthly and even somewhat earthy religion, that faith in other people and in our own world is essential, and that there is a real positive power to continuing to wrestle with and fill in the blanks of and apply faith to contemporary life (yeah midrash! et. al.). So thanks, Anita. I didn't quite know how much I needed this.

  • Maria Elmvang
    2019-06-18 21:58

    I wasn't terribly impressed by "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant, but had heard many good things about this essay collection, so I thought I'd give her another try. I'm glad I did, because it was a very enjoyable read. Being neither a mother nor a Jew, there were many essays I couldn't relate all that much to, but being a wife and religious (even if it is Christianity rather than Judaism) there were many others that I could. Not a book that "rocked my world", but a pleasant pass-time. I did enjoy this quote from it though: "Friends [...:] are as essential as bread; as crucial as chocolate." Too true!

  • Rachel
    2019-06-17 21:44

    Compilation of essays about the author's life and family. I particularly enjoyed her references to observing the Sabbath, lighting the candles every Friday night, sharing a moment of warmth and affection with her family.In the chapter "Joyful Noise," she writes about the importance of music in religious life. "Music can be transforming, transfixing, transcendent. It can break your heart and it can heal you." "Music speaks to the spirit unmediated. Its magic is undeniable . . . As lovely as the letters are on the page, when they are married to melody they have the power to reshape the whole universe, atom by atom, breath by breath."

  • Margie
    2019-07-04 23:54

    A collection of essays from various magazines she has written for in the past by the well-known author of The Red Tent. Many of these essays pertain to various holidays, celebrations, observances, perspectives of being Jewish which Anita Diamant wears proudly. However many of the essays can also be of interest to anyone as she speaks to stages of life: courting, becoming a parent, parenting, middle age, etc. The essays are for the most part short and her style is easy to read making this book convenient to pick up and put down without losing a flow of a full-length narrative.

  • Hester
    2019-06-20 00:02

    The book is a compulsively readable collection of essays, many about Jewish life. In some, her honesty and wonder at life's difficulties inspired me. In others, I felt she tried too hard to make American life "Jewish." Jews do not need to read how Thanksgiving can be celebrated "Jewishly"--we already have Sukkot. Thanksgiving is time to be American! She did, however, make me want to celebrate Sukkot. Someplace warm.

  • Janelle
    2019-07-15 20:36

    I really enjoyed this collection. Some were a little harder to relate to, especially those about Jewish life but even those were informative and a quick read besides. All were worth the read, but I did have a few favorites. They include: "Reading Material" in which the name of a dear family friend popped off the pages as the author of the book Ms. Diamant's daughter chose as her first read. The other is "Heaven on Earth" and ode to raspberries, my favorite fruit.

  • Katie
    2019-06-20 18:34

    I wanted to read this book because we used an excerpt from it in our wedding ceremony. (It's called Why Marry? and it's very moving. Read it!) I loved some of the things Diamant said about dogs and also loved the portion about women's friendships, but the book was largely based on her religion and I did not relate to it so much. I like her voice and she portrays herself as a kind and compassionate woman. I just think the book was not exactly a match for me.

  • Cindy
    2019-06-20 21:57

    I stumbled across this book by accident and am so glad I did. Loved The Red Tent, of course, but was unsure what to expect from this little book of essays. What I found was beautiful writing on motherhood, friendship and religious traditions. Its a sweet book that I want to share with friends when they have babies, or are in mourning, or just because we're friends. She says much of what I want to say, if I could find the words. This book was a treat!

  • Priscilla
    2019-07-01 01:36

    You would have to be a stone not to be moved by the quotidian and the spiritual as described by Anita Diamant in her memoir. I wish she were my best friend. Don't miss out on this beautifully written collection of essays about a life of humble milestones and Jewish faith. If after reading you declare you can't relate, then do as Anne Sexton admonishes us in her "Words for Dr.Y": 'As Ruth said, "Enlarge the place of thy tent."'

  • Michelle
    2019-07-09 21:41

    I WANT THIS BOOK!!! Really badly. I have it checked out from the library, and quite frankly, had to quit reading as I really need my own copy that I can notate places in the book! 3 pages in and already decided!!!! EEEEEKKKKKSSSS!Friday, July 18, 2008:::::Returned it to the library yesterday, didn't want to, wonder if I could sneak it out and keep it, LOL! Just kidding. But definitely on my Wish List!!!

  • April Driver
    2019-07-03 20:01

    Diament offers a journal style non-fiction work of her thoughts and views on her own life. The book covers her religious choices, her views on marriage and parenting and other topics relevant to her life. My favorite chapter was her discussion of "The Red Tent". The only reason I read this book was my love of "The Red Tent". I would not recommend this book as a must read, but if you loved "The Red Tent" you might find Diamant's personal story interesting.

  • Lisa
    2019-07-07 01:41

    Love her essays, especially "Girlfriends in Particular" and this quote: "We all love our families, but the truth is, they drive us nuts. ... Our friends listen to us complain about our families. They validate and sympathize with the problems that are genuine, and help us see when we’re overreacting. Friends don’t nag. I think that may be the definition of a friend."

  • Sheena
    2019-07-10 22:50

    This was an easy read that covered a lot of topics familiar to women, most especially moms and wives. There were many that referenced Jewish life, and not being Jewish they didn't have as much of an effect on me as they likely would a Jewish reader. But I still enjoyed reading it. Probably a good choice for readers familiar and a fan of Diamant's work, and not a first intro for new readers.

  • Kelly McCloskey-Romero
    2019-06-21 23:45

    I love the way that Anita Diamant writes. It is so simple, clear, string, decisive, and illuminating. These essays are short, sweet, varied, deep and light all at once. I would love to take my opinions and observations about the world and put them out there in such a readable and entertaining way.

  • Danika
    2019-07-17 22:45

    This is a book of essays that the author wrote over a period of 20 years for various publications. It's a VERY fast read and most of the essays are less than 5 pages. She focuses a lot on her faith (Judaism) and it's relationship to other aspects of her life. Nothing super profound, but I like her perspective on most issues.

  • Robert
    2019-07-14 23:45

    Interesting non-fiction, which can be read by chapter topic or straight through. It offers the author's insights on bringing Jewishness into one's life in a modern way that may make religion more accessible to those otherwise disinclined.

  • Clarice
    2019-07-16 00:38

    Anita Diamant is a great author and it shines through in these personal essays. A lot of the references to her Jewish faith probably went right over my head, but it's inspired me to learn more about their traditions and holidays.

  • JJ
    2019-06-27 22:52

    One very inspirational chapter, the rest just somewhat insteresting short reflections on life. At least half the book focused on her religious (jewish) practices which I found educational but not relevant to my own life.

  • Jen
    2019-06-17 20:59

    I love Anita Diamante's writing so much, I'd probably find a way to be inspired reading her grocery list. There's just something about her insight and the thoughtful way she puts words together . . . this book was a treat.

  • Tamela
    2019-07-03 18:47

    "I don't think being an only child caused her any suffering. Like most onlys, she thrived, excelled in verbal skills and charming adults, but is otherwise virtually indistinguishable from children who have siblings."

  • Heathergrady
    2019-07-10 23:45

    A collection of essays on marriage, motherhood & friendship with a tinge of spirituality. Had to finish quickly but there were gems I should have captured. Easy to pick up and read as you can since the essays are brief.

  • Janna
    2019-06-30 19:33

    A collection of personal essays by a popular novelist and commentator on Jewish life. Too many of these essays seemed pretentious to me, but I do think it is tricky to write a personal essay that strikes a universal chord with readers yet doesn't come off as being totally impressed with oneself.

  • Leslie
    2019-07-03 01:53

    Diamant has a great way of thinking and this collection of her thoughts is both interesting and thought provoking.