Elevate Difference

Reviews by Carolyn Espe

Carolyn Espe

Carolyn Espe lives in the desert southwest where she runs, reads, writes and rides her bike to encourage others to do the same. After a bout of teaching middle school science, she currently manages a farmers market in the Albuquerque area.

Pictures of You

Reading Pictures of You is like having encounters with people you randomly meet on the street, at the beach, on in a park.

Chasing Alliecat

In this action-packed thriller written for a young adult audience, author Rebecca Fjelland Davis brings multiple themes to the forefront, places them on the table and gets dirty—dirty as in riding mountain bikes in the woods of a small town and scarily getting involved with some unsavory characters in the wilds of northern Minnesota. With a plot interwoven with themes of death, friendship, family, and abuse, this novel provokes your senses and makes it all worthwhile.

One Hundred Bottles

An intensely vivid and riveting story of abuse, pain, honesty, erotica and discovery-this combination of words may not sound appealing, but the provocative and imaginative novel of these topics woven together creates a graphic fall from the literary world into our laps of reading desire.

Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry

Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry is a collection of short stories by Christine Sneed, the winner of the Grace Paley Prize in short fiction. The book is one of the most well-written, heartrending, and remarkably real collections I've ever read. Nothing is left to do after reading Sneed's collection except go back to read the same stories over again for their raw, hard, and gritty overwhelming of the senses.

The Mistaken Wife

Take a trip back to England and France—An American In Paris this is not; rather, this book explores the spying world through eyes similar to Jane Austen—but add the charming characteristics of James Bond, and you arrive at a sweet, adventurous female named Mary Finch. This third book of the Mary Finch trilogy by Rose Melikan captures the depth of espionage and loyalty as well as romance and intrigue in the post-war era.

Sport, Power and Society: Institutions and Practices

Presenting the multifaceted world of sports, this book introduces a multitude of perspectives into the sports world. While encompassing many specifics about the whole idea of what makes up sport, this book offers views into aspects that create the sports world into a fully participatory and also a spectator-oriented institution. With many selections of essays that delve into specific topics like ownership, media, participation, violence and more, the institution of sport becomes a full-on demanding, powerful, industry like many other money-making organizations.

Toxic Flora: Poems

An extraordinary selection of poetry by Kimiko Hahn, Toxic Flora beautifies the ugliness of the scientific life and the elements of being human through poetry. Extending from the common small animals of the world to outer space, Hahn delivers a speckling of her work with both clever brevity and clarity. Projecting moments grasped from the New York Times, Hahn elaborates only the slightest amount necessary in her poetry, leaving the reader to ponder and to possibly wonder about the natural world and the human place in it.

Dark Heart of the Night

The gross reality of genocide brings one’s spirit to feel a deep sadness for groups and individuals who don't understand different cultures. Delineating a brutal world of power and defeat, the author of Dark Heart of the Night doesn't hold back and the shocking truth of this topic engenders an incredulous curiosity in the reader: how can a village not support their people, even those who are related to some in the village?


Damaged epitomizes a feeling of darkness and reeling loss with an utterly profound yet utterly hopeful ending. Continually faced with ongoing loss and disappointment, protagonist Camille Logan deals with a progression of horrifying moments, save for a small light of a boyfriend who seemingly will do anything for her.

Science on the Home Front: American Women Scientists in World War II

Science on the Home Front is an introduction to the lives and tasks of specific women scientists involved in the war effort, from Marie Curie to Margaret Mead. These women come from a variety of backgrounds and pursuits in science. A professor, Jack focuses on the fields of psychology, anthropology, physics and nutrition to elaborate on the women involved who played a specific role in the war.

How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation

The world of young adult books never ceases to be amazing. With a range of topics reminding us of our stressful adolescent selves, young adult books hold a set amount of information about friendships with other girls, jealousy, boyfriends, questions about sex, and overall embarrassing experiences that the characters will laugh about when they look back on their lives. How to Ruin Your Boyfrend's Reputation fits perfectly into this mold.

Transcendent Wisdom

This recent translation of a teaching presented by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on a chapter of the same name written by Indian scholar Shantideva in A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life serves as a guide to more thoroughly understanding of this particular work.

American Romances: Essays

In this bountiful blend of writing, Rebecca Brown discusses the interpretation of words in the past and present. She mixes classic pieces of writing with contemporary history and combines her own coming-of-age anecdotes with other writings. Her commentary is sometimes shocking, sometimes eloquent, and overall, leaves you to wonder what she is thinking. Why does she choose to develop these essays this way?

You'd Be So Pretty If...: Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies—Even When We Don't Love Our Own

In presenting the best ways to work with our daughters regarding self-image, author Dara Chadwick offers relatively comprehensive ideas pertaining to the aspects of maturing for girls into women.

The Adventures of Cancer Bitch

Laying it out there with stunning realness, incorporating funny yet saddening as well as humorous but serious moments, S. L. Wisenberg presents blog entries of her journey through breast cancer discovery, surgery, and recovery in The Adventures of Cancer Bitch.

One More Year

Sana Krasikov, in her first published collection, brings a filling and current group of short stories, and in them, creates honest characters whose interactions cannot be forgotten. Dramatic and awful at times, desperate and sparse, the stories move through time as each day does.

Wrestling with the Angel of Democracy: On Being an American Citizen

In this piece, Susan Griffin develops quite a substantial work by elaborating on tenants and beliefs behind "democracy" as a practice; she establishes a readable interpretation of democracy as it stands in today's world.

Party Crashing: How the Hip-Hop Generation Declared Political Independence

In Party Crashing, Keli Goff develops an argument relevant to this election: how does the young, African American person vote? Exploring points relevant to black culture, she shows the hip-hop generation finding itself with unmet needs and points out that the support a black person wants or needs differs from that of a white person. Currently, it is assumed black voters automatically support Democratic politicians because Democrats hear and respond to their needs. Goff shows that this is no longer the case, and she elaborates on issues concerning this group of voters.

Me, Penelope

Writer Lisa Jahn-Clough presents a deteremined character named Penelope who deals with her life bit by bit and rants while finally facing her proverbial dragons. While finishing high school in her own way, Penelope attempts to accomplish feats she thinks necessary before heading into the college world. Her living situation with her mom Viv (who dates a younger man and detests being called "Mrs." at any point) and a college student, who only appears some of the time, seems to be the ultimate in any high school student's dream.

Just One More: A Musical Tribute to Larry Brown

Wow, this musical tribute to Larry Brown keeps your feet tapping and your mind working. These songs, by artists Brown admired, put you in the passenger seat of his little truck as you drive through the small and friendly neighborhood in the South. Spending much of his life as a firefighter, Larry Brown wrote and finally struck gold in 1988 with a collection of stories called Facing the Music. As his writing continued, he became well-known as a Southern writer of literature. His love for music equaled his passion for writing.

Geisha: A Photographic History, 1872–1912

Geisha: A Photographic History, 1872–1912 is a beautiful hardcover coffee table book. I paged through this volume of history and beauty, and learned so much about the culture through this most amazing collection of photos and well-researched history that bullets important landmarks for the unknowing reader.

Stain of the Berry

Stain of the Berry sounds fleshy and sweet; this title sums up the beauty of Anthony Bidulka's most recent mystery involving detective Russell Quant. Occurring during summer, the main character travels through the gorgeous Canadian countryside while investigating his newest case. Delightful and a bit awkward, the quirky private detective is hired to find out if a young woman committed suicide or if she was killed.


Here is one golden child in the blended world of rock, roots and Americana; with his sometimes ranting but passion-filled album North, Tim Emmerick & Cold Front County do it up on their debut.