Elevate Difference

Reviews by Ann Hite

Creating a Life: The Memoir of a Writer and Mom in the Making

Some books are pure pleasure, an escape, and others give us more to ponder. Some books allow us to reach down deep to the hidden place of our most private thoughts.

The Bride of E

Mary Jo Bang’s amazing new collection of poetry, The Bride Of E, is vivid with haunting images. The poems in the first part of the book follow their lead from the alphabet, beginning with “ABC Plus E: Cosmic Aloneness Is The Bride Of Existence.” This disturbingly truthful poem is anything but simple. It mirrors the loneliness one can feel even in large crowds.

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.

The Man From Kinvara

Tess Gallagher's The Man From Kinvara is a richly written volume of short stories spanning the well-known poet and writer’s vast and prolific career. Who knew narratives of such everyday life could be so fascinating and provide captivating images? “The Lover of Horses,” the first story in this collection, is a tale of a family legacy passed on to each generation.

Kiss The Sky

_“I don’t believe in the devil anymore. But if I did, he would look a lot like Ari Malcolm Klein.” _ This is how Farai Chideya draws her readers into her mesmerizing, charismatic novel Kiss The Sky. Sophie Maria Clare Lee, a Black girl from blue collar Baltimore, remakes herself by applying and being accepted to attend Harvard.

My Dad Is My Hero: Tributes to the Men who Gave Us Life, Love, and Driving Lessons

My Dad Is My Hero, edited by Susan Reynolds is a passionately spun collection of essays about fathers. What I most appreciate about these narratives is the diversity. Reynolds' choices cover nearly every possible definition of a dad.

Life Lived in Reverse

Who says a woman can’t do anything she puts her mind to? Lucille M. Griswold’s memoir, Life Lived in Reverse, is written proof that dreams are attainable. This small volume is structured so that each chapter resembles a standalone essay. I found myself thinking of them as life lessons.

Emily's Ghost: A Novel of the Brontë Sisters

Denise Giardiana creates a gentle and yet realistically harsh world with her newest novel, Emily's Ghost. In the same tradition as Jane Austen, George Elliot, and the Brontë sisters, Giardiana weaves a revealing story of Emily Brontë, author of Wuthering Heights. Emily is portrayed as both intelligent and independent.

Little Giant of Aberdeen County

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is Tiffany Baker's debut novel. Wow! How does one follow this work with another novel? The story is set in rural Aberdeen County, where several generations of doctors named Robert Morgans live and practice. Truly Plaice was a baby that stretched her mother to epic proportions. The town watched Mrs. Plaice's pregnancy with relish. Most of the people in town placed bets on the size and weight of the baby.

City of Victory

Anita Saran’s short story, City of Victory, is one of the best crafted stories I’ve read in a long time. She has a knack of bringing the setting to the forefront without intrusion. To call this piece of work a short story is an understatement. I find it to be more of a novella. The story is set in sixteenth century Vijayanagar, a city in South India known as Hampi today. Jehaan is a gypsy girl, who is forced to be one of the maids of honor to the queen.


Ursula K. Le Guin is the author of short stories, essays, volumes of poetry, books for children, and many novels. She has won the National Book Award, five Hugo and Nebula Awards, a Pushcart Prize, and the Howard Vursell Award of American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Max's Moving Adventure: A Coloring Book for Kids on the Move

Max’s Moving Adventure is a coloring book for kids who are dealing with moving from their home to a new place. This book is long overdue. I know from experience, as both a child and as a parent, what trauma this change can cause. But I decided to do something a little different with this review. I handed it off to my seven year old daughter, Ella. I asked her to read the book and tell me what she thought. The next day we had a fallen tree that uprooted us.

Skylight Confessions

After eighteen novels and eight children’s books one might think Alice Hoffman would run out of material in which to write, but her new book, Skylight Confessions, proves this theory wrong. She takes an everyday, dysfunctional family and breathes her own twist into it, coupled with a splash of supernatural. Skylight Confessions is set in a house appropriately named The Glass Slipper because it is constructed of metal and glass panes.


In a music genre that tends to sound much the same, Mahogany has come back after a five year absence with a new album that manages to stand out from the rest. Connectivity has eleven songs that mesmerize. This listener is reminded of ancient chants. The soft male and female vocals lull one into a scene not unlike Mahogany’s album cover. My favorite song, “Renovo” is one wave of strings and horns with almost a classical feel after another.


When I read the introduction of Firstlight, Sue Monk Kidd’s new book, I was disappointed. I neglected to read the flap in the bookstore. After all, this was Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees, one of my all time favorite novels.

Floor Sample: A Creative Memoir

Bestselling author and teacher Julia Cameron, known worldwide for her book The Artist’s Way, finally comes clean and tells all in her new memoir: Floor Sample. And when I say tells all, it’s not a cliché. I must admit when I first picked up this book, I feared I’d somehow lose my champion of creativity. How could she really live up to all she taught? How could she really walk the walk? I feared my mentor’s lessons would lose their impact within the story, behind the story. Floor Sample will not disappoint. Cameron surpasses all of her previous work.