book club

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

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.

In fact, I started reading this book from the back–where Roiphe chronicles “The Way We Live Now” and covers topics like “The Perfect Parent” and “The Child Is King.” In the former, after chronicling all of the ways in which American parents try to sterilize, safety-proof, and perfect our children’s lives, Roiphe asks the reader to consider if perhaps we are “compensating for something [we] have given up…some compromise of career or adventure.” She pushes further and urges readers to let imperfect children be themselves (to quote: “All I am suggesting is that it might be time to stand back, pour a drink, and let the children torment, or bore, or injure each other a little.”)

While I don’t agree with all of Roiphe’s assertions (and, like any good writer who wants to engage her readers, there are many assertions–more on that later), she also implicates herself (she has two kids of her own) and I appreciate that. Whether or not you fall into the category of parent-who-warms-her-baby-wipes or she-who-lets-her-kid-eat-a-little-dirt, you will definitely find something that resonates with you here.

So join us! We’ll be hashing out the details about Roiphe’s book in two weeks from today, on Wednesday January 30th. We look forward to chatting with you!

Adina Kay-Gross

Adina Kay-Gross is Kveller's special projects editor and one of Kveller’s contributing editors. She is also the Editorial Director at The Covenant Foundation and a Writing Consultant at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute for Religion. Adina earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University and has been published in a number of literary magazines as well as in Slate, Tablet, The Jewish Week and The Forward. She lives in the suburbs of New York with her husband Jonathan, her twin girls, and her dog, Pretzel.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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