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Pitching My Tent

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  295 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Following the enormous success of her two bestselling novels, The Red Tent and Good Harbor, award-winning author Anita Diamant delivers a book of intimate reflections on the milestones, revelations, and balancing acts of life as a wife, mother, friend, and member of a religious community.

Before The Red Tent, before Good Harbor, before and during six books on contemporary
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 13th 2005 by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group (first published September 16th 2003)
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Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ri ...more
Aug 01, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, biographical
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 Particular

Women’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, i
Sirpa Grierson
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
Jul 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 21, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
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
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.
Jan 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gah! Really made me wish I was Jewish.
Emilia P
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: real-books, churrrch
"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
Maria Elmvang
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
Oct 31, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 l
Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 co ...more
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.
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
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.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jul 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
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."'
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
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.
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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."
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Aug 24, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 23, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
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.
May 23, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
"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."
Dec 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual, jewish
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.
Apr 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-read
Diamant has a great way of thinking and this collection of her thoughts is both interesting and thought provoking.
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Anita Diamant is the author of twelve books -- the newest novel being THE BOSTON GIRL.

She recently published an updated edition of her VERY FIRST book, which was The New Jewish Wedding: THE JEWISH WEDDING NOW

Addie Baum is THE BOSTON GIRL, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicult
More about Anita Diamant...