Elevate Difference

Reviews of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

I was pleased as soon as I ran my fingers over the pleasantly matte dust jacket of Stuff. My pleasure only grew once I dove in: authors Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee smoothly meld case study and psychological analysis for an engaging read.


Initially, it was the synoptic descriptions of Solo that drew me in. I saw phrases like “enigmatic,” “thought-provoking,” and “demanding,” along with geographical settings such as Berlin, Bulgaria, and New York City. The cover artwork interested me as well. It depicts the white silhouette of a man against a seafoam blue background; he has a cane and his upper body is dissolving into birds.

Buddha's Orphans

I’ve been behind the ball in the sense that I haven’t had a chance to read any works by Samrat Upadhyay. Upadhyay is a Nepalese-American writer, who has already published three full-length works of fiction, including Arresting God in Kathmandu, The Royal Ghosts, and The Guru of Love. His latest novel is called Buddha's Orphans, and since it was just published, I felt it would be the perfect place to address my reading oversight.

Dreaming in Hindi: Coming Awake in Another Language

Katherine Russell Rich never dreamed she would leave her job as a tough-skinned editor in the edgy world of New York City’s magazine publications. Then she was faced with two rounds of cancer—the second bringing her to the brink of death. Just as she came out on the other side of her illness, she was handed a pink slip. A firm internal voice urged her to seek a more artistic life. Little did she know that this voice would take her halfway around the world. Russell Rich’s first visit to India came by accident.

Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals

I used to work at a college with a woman who had Asperger syndrome. Because we were both far more interested in animals than humans, we would convene every morning to discuss what sorts of dogs we’d seen during our respective commutes. “I saw a large German Shepard out for a walk,” she would tell me with as much as emotion as she ever showed. In response, I would tell her stories about my cat. Without fail, she would ask about him every single day. After spending a year of my life comparing notes with my co-worker, it was reassuring to come across the work of Dr. Temple Grandin.

Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do

Wednesday Martin lists Step-Dilemma Number One as “The Myth of the Blended Family” in this emotionally charged look into the real experiences of stepmothers: Stepmonster.

Just Like Family: Inside the Lives of Nannies, the Parents They Work for, and the Children They Love

Like Tasha Blaine, I once took a job working as a nanny. Also like the author, I thought it would be a relatively easy gig that would allow me the freedom to write while working in a nice, supportive environment.

Young Woman and the Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Inspired the World

From 1922 through 1925, Gertrude “Trudy” Ederle was widely considered to be the best female swimmer in the world, and had no trouble competing, and winning, against men either. In 1926, at the age of nineteen, she became the first woman to swim the English Channel, shattering the previous record by two full hours. Young Woman and the Sea is the story of Trudy Ederle told by sportswriter Glenn Stout, but it is more than a biography.