Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged love

Lake Bottom LP

The strong and lovely voices of the Chapin Sisters offer a raw, deep-down quality to Lake Bottom LP. Listeners who have ever found themselves betrayed by a lover will relate; a theme of troubled love runs through all eleven tracks. The sisters sing about temptation, jealousy, promises kept and broken, loneliness, and longing. Of course, the approach is not feeble or helpless.

Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns

As a newer reader of and listener to poetry, I often find it overly dramatic or flowery for my tastes. When I started reading Andrea Gibson’s collection, Pole Dancing To Gospel Hymns, I was not drawn to her lyrical love poems, which I read too cynically, but as I read on, I was drawn in by her humor, self-reflection, and earnest political analysis.

A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids

Margot Datz’s A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids is a wonderfully colorful picture book for adults - the kind of book that should come with matching postcards, a calendar, and refrigerator magnets. Datz is both writer and illustrator, and she does a delightful job with both. The focus of the book is how women can experience life to the fullest by living like mermaids.


“If the garbage man doesn’t come for a couple weeks, we all die of cholera.” If you are unfamiliar with Jack Pendarvis, there is really nothing I can say that would adequately prepare you for a foray into his debut novel, Awesome, except perhaps that the “best” modern humor seems to come at you in throngs of grotesque hyperbole.

Hard Candy

The great thing about following Madonna’s musical career is to see just exactly what sort of musical guise she’s going to adopt next. She’s always been heralded for her chameleon-like ability to change her image, but she’s equally restless with her musical style, letting her brand of dance-pop change along with her image. Her latest, her last for long-time label Warner Brothers, before her switch over to the record-breaking deal she inked with Live Nation, _Hard Candy _partners Madonna with some of the best urban-pop producers working today.


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.

Catherine Avenue

Biirdie came into my life at just the right time. Named for the musical Bye Bye Birdie (but adding an extra “I” because one Birdie band already exists), this southern California folk-rock trio’s sophomore release may not be extraordinarily adventurous or unusual, but they nevertheless make you want to take a long drive into nowhere, windows down. Maybe living in Boston, I hear songs about L.A. and get whimsical for rolling hills that lead to desert.

Love Iranian-American Style

Finding love is never easy. But having to deal with what your family expects, especially when it contradicts the current society that you are a part of, makes it that much harder. Tanaz is an Iranian-American woman, who has pursued an education and is now a filmmaker. However, she is 26 years old and unmarried, which is unacceptable in her family’s eyes.

The Five-Forty-Five to Cannes

No point beating about the bush. Might as well get the finale over with right now at the top, instead of coyly building to it with flourishes of logic and neat exempla. Here goes. This is one terrific book Tess Uriza Holthe has written. It's tough, slapstick, delicate, witty, bawdy, rueful and superbly crafted. One minute she throws her head back in laughter; the next she whips out a blade and knifes you in the ribs. Can't trust her at all, meaning she's the best sort of writer.

Un Amour à Taire (A Love to Hide)

Christian Faure’s A Love to Hide is a deeply powerful film. Set in Paris during the Nazi occupation of France, the film depicts the violent effects the Nazi criminalization of gayness. The story begins with Sara’s (Louise Monot) escape from her home, after Nazi’s have murdered her entire family. Out of desperation she contacts an old friend (and potential love interest), Jean, played with startling effect by Jérémie Renier.

PJ Harvey's Rid of Me: A Story

Rid of Me is the latest addition to Continuum International’s 33 1/3 series, which takes seminal albums of the last 40 years and allows writers of various bents to write about, around, through and over the music that informs the books.

Captain of the Sleepers

Captain of the Sleepers is a tropical story of secrets and conflicts: familial, sexual, social, political, all intricately tangled up together in the Caribbean islands. It proceeds along parallel timelines, unfolding in the present day and in the 1940s and '50s, switching narrators at times, evoking disturbing events in which North American expatriates, tourists and Marines play key roles.

June Rain

This slim novel set in the 1960s concerns a quiet, studious Italian-American teenager, Dante, and his courtship and growing relationship with Helen, a fellow high school senior. The reserved Dante has silently admired Helen from across the classroom for several months when an unexpected rainstorm gives him the chance walk her home with his umbrella and get to know her. Knightley makes it clear that this is not your typical boy-meets-girl story. Dante is attracted as much by Helen’s calm, assured demeanor and her sense of connection with her family as by her looks.


Once is a dreamy film set against the green-grey hues of wintry Dublin and accompanied by the plaintive music of that city's residents. The film's deceptively simple story centers around one of Ireland's unnamed poetic denizens, billed just as "guy," and played by wide-eyed Frames frontman Glen Hansard. He is a busker who croons longing songs, accompanied by a broken guitar, standing alone with his muse on a fancy shopping thoroughfare.

Away from Her

In her adaptation of Alice Munro's short story, "The Bear Came Over the Mountain," Canadian actress, political activist and first-time director Sarah Polley bridges generations and experience in her striking film about aging, adultery and love.

Anna’s Summer

Anna’s Summer, is a lovely and introspective film about life, death, remembrance and discovery. Anna, played evocatively by Angela Molina, is reminded of the loss of her loved ones and their qualities that made them not only lovable, but vulnerable and fallible. She has grace, countenance and an expressive nature reminiscent of Penelope Cruz in recent Pedro Almodóvar films. Her visage proves absolutely perfect for a role centering so much around reflection and the memories of her past.

Life After Betrayal: A Practical Guide

Betrayal by a long-term partner is a painful business. Choosing to try to heal and continue a relationship after such a betrayal is very challenging. In her book, Life After Betrayal: A Practical Guide, author Linda Bevan provides a guide for couples who do choose to stay together after a serious betrayal.

Pretty Little Mistakes

Apparently back in the day, there was such a thing as a chose your own ending book. Until I picked up Heather McElhatton’s Pretty Little Mistakes, I had never read one. After reading the book, I am glad I hadn’t. I am fairly certain there was never the option to become a drug dealer in Europe or marry the abusive crystal meth addict doctor in Berkeley.

Kushiel’s Justice

Imriel was an orphan, a slave and a goat herder until he learned he is a Prince of the Realm. He is engaged to Dorelei of Alba, the niece of Drustan the Cruarch of Alba, who is husband to Queen Ysandre of Terre d’Ange. It is a marriage of state though Imriel’s heart belongs to the Dauphine Sidonie, heir to the Terre d’Ange throne. Sidonie loves Imriel with the same passionate intensity that he feels for her. They embark on an affair that only intensifies their feeling, but they are too afraid to admit their love to the queen and cause chaos in both realms.

A Simple Distance

"All this speaking for others had me losing my own voice," states Jean, the conflicted lesbian attorney with mommy issues in A Simple Distance, K. E. Silva's luscious, tropical/San Francisco novel. In less than 200 rich and delicious pages, Silva layers a bold and romantic tale of family betrayal, lust, politics and the ever-poignant quest for a place one can call home. Cracked like a coconut, Jean is hard and coarse on the outside, wrapped snugly in her thick skin. Though hidden inside, her sweetness and urge for lasting love and social justice push through her rough exterior.

The Logan Topographies

Alena Hairston’s book of poetry, The Logan Topographies, embraces rural life in the coalmining town of Logan just as Faulkner encompassed Yoknapatawpha Country, or Welty composed Morgana. Like her predecessors, Hairston is inspired by the foibles of small town life. It is through Hairston’s feminine viewpoint that the reader is first introduced to Logan: Pregnant belly of coneflower and larkspur. coalcaves of lupine and barberry.

Doris #23

In the latest issue of her acclaimed zine, Cindy Crabb delivers more of the insightful, self-revelatory, meandering prose her readers have come to love. The issue opens with a beautifully-written meditation on love’s many forms. Other topics recounted include her canoeing trip with Julian, but touches upon dreams about her dead mother, the white co-opting of Native American experience, a friend’s disclosure of childhood sexual abuse, and her struggles with feelings of worthlessness.

Luminous Fish: Tales of Science and Love

This novel by celebrated biologist and writer Lynn Margulis purports to trace the personal lives of scientists. It focuses on four individuals: Howard, a pre-med student at the University of Chicago; Raoul, a French atmospheric chemist; Georges, a New Jersey native and probability expert; and René, the only major female character, at one point involved with Howard and later with Raoul.

Life After Your Lover Walks Out: A Practical Guide

This is, indeed, a practical guide; think of it as a seventy-nine-page crash-course on how to get over a breakup. Bevan, a fifty-nine-year-old charity manager and radio relationship counselor who is on her third marriage, makes no bones about her own past relationships. Throughout this short book, one feels as if Bevan, who lives in Wales, is coaching the reader by saying that if she has gotten through relationship bumps, they can too.