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May 2 2014

It’s Impossible to be Both a Parent & Perfectionist

By at 12:01 pm


This post is part of our Torah MOMentary series. This Shabbat we read Parashat Emor. To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.

Being a perfectionist is supposed to make you miserable. But to be honest, I always found it sort of fun–until I became a mother.

As the parent of a small human, though, perfectionism is out the window, along with every other fantasy of control over life.

I’m not even talking about the big, agonizing stuff. I’m talking about my living room. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 31 2013

Kveller Book Club: Interview with Katie Roiphe

By at 9:48 am

Katie Roiphe

This month, the Kveller Book Club read In Praise of Messy Lives by Katie Roiphe. Yesterday, a group of our contributing editors chatted about the book, and today we present this interview with Roiphe herself. Read below to hear her thoughts on the sacrifices we make as parents, children as mirrors, and moms who wear yoga pants.

In your introduction to In Praise of Messy Lives you write, “I am drawn to subjects or ways of looking at things that make people, and sometimes even me, uncomfortable.” Is there an essay in this book–or a subject tackled in this book–that made you particularly uncomfortable to write?

I actually found all of the essays fun to write. When I say that sometimes even I am uncomfortable, what I mean is that I feel myself thinking about things that are difficult or unsettling, that I am pushing my argument farther than the easy or comfortable place. An example of this would be the “child is king” essay when I talk about how children release us from certain desires and ambitions. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 30 2013

Kveller Book Club: Our Discussion of In Praise of Messy Lives by Katie Roiphe

By at 2:26 pm

in praise of messy lives katie roiphe kveller book clubWelcome to another installment of the Kveller Book Club! This month, we read Katie Roiphe’s essay collection In Praise of Messy Lives.

In addition to being a successful journalist, Roiphe is what some might call a “love her or hate her” writer, a “provocateur,” and, devastatingly honest, which some people just can’t stand. She even cops to her complicated relationship with the reading public in the introduction to her book where she quotes a piece of hate mail in which her writing is faulted for “the destruction of our civilization.” Whatever you think about Roiphe, though, she tackles topics close to all of us–including divorce, competition amongst parents, narrow-mindedness, and feminism. Here’s what some of our contributing editors thought of the book, and we’d love to hear from you, too. Please chime in! Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 16 2013

Kveller Book Club Reminder: In Praise of Messy Lives by Katie Roiphe

By at 2:05 pm

Hello, Kveller readers! We’d like to remind you that this month’s Kveller Book Club pick is the essay collection In Praise of Messy Lives, by Katie Roiphe.

One of the things that I’m most enjoying as I read through this collection is that with a book of essays you can dip in and out and not feel lost or confused as a busy parent might when tackling a much longer and more demanding novel.

Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 3 2013

January Book Club: In Praise of Messy Lives

By at 9:49 am

in praise of messy lives katie roiphe kveller book clubWe’re very excited to announce our next pick for the Kveller book club!

For this month, we’ll stick with nonfiction and dissect the latest essay collection from Katie Roiphe, In Praise of Messy Lives. Roiphe, a journalist, essayist, literary critic, and mother of two, is known for writing that elicits passionate response from her readership–to put it mildly. In this collection (named on the best books of the year by The New York Times), she tackles “narrow-minded conventions” (like our nation’s obsession with “healthiness” above all else) and examines topics as varied as Facebook, Hillary Clinton, divorce, and of course, motherhood.

Buy your copy here and then join us for a discussion about the book right here on the blog on Wednesday, January 30th.

*As always, if you buy the book–or anything else–by using our link to Amazon,
Kveller will receive a portion of the profit. What a mitzvah!*


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