Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged relationships

Boys Lie: How Not to Get Played

I was of two minds while reading Boys Lie: on one hand, I appreciated that Belisa Vranich and Holly Eagleson have taken the time to research and write a “cheat sheet” giving young girls a “BS detector” and helping them separate the good apples from the bad ones. On the other hand, the title of the book might lead one to believe that the authors think all boys lie in order to have their way with girls.

Theology of the Body

In Theology of the Body, Donora Hillard employs a variety of styles and structures to present a complicated picture of the body, desire, and heterosexual relationships. She makes use of the language of theology and an unrelenting physicality in order to create a sense of faith not beyond the body, but through it of a human divinity that is also at once diabolic.

Girl Parts

I almost wrote realistic fiction for the category on this book—and it's basically about robots. I know that's a weird start to a review, but that's how I felt about the book. This story is about the Internet age and how it's keeping people connected online... but totally separate in real life. One company decided that the way to cure alienation for the many boys who waste their days online was to create a girl for them! A really hot, really devoted girl. At first, my feminist sense started going off when I heard the premise. I mean, all a boy wants is a chick to love him? Really?

Falling Apart In One Piece: One Optimist’s Journey Through the Hell of Divorce

I’m one of the many women who have been through divorce so I picked up Stacy Morrison’s memoir Falling Apart in One Piece, about her divorce, with interest. Because few of my friends and family members have experienced divorce, it’s been one long lonely road for me. How do people deal with the guilt? I’ve wondered.

Sex Appeal: Six Ethical Principles for the 21st Century

Sex Appeal flows in an intuitive series of ideas and expresses thoughts that may be obvious, but seem to be seldom practiced.

How to Get Divorced by 30: My Misguided Attempt at a Starter Marriage

It’s not like someone would seek out this book looking to find advice on how to damage their marriage, but it definitely piques the curiosity of anyone trying to understand how easily a marriage can go awry. How to Get Divorced by 30 is Sascha Rothchild’s personal tale of her short-lived marriage. Surprisingly, it’s not a man-bashing book picking on her ex-husband (some of his faults are mentioned, but not focused upon).

The Last River Child

The Last River Child is the story of a town caught up in a legend: they believe there are children possessed by the spirit of the river meant to bring misfortune to everything around them. Everyone is taught to stay away from the river, but a young girl named Peg feels drawn to the river and refuses to believe the story.

Tune Him In, Turn Him On: Using Intuition to Find and Keep the Man of Your Dreams

Relationship advice can be a tricky and sensitive topic at times. Over time you learn not to take it from anyone except a small number of entrusted friends. In Servet Hasan's Tune Him In, Turn Him On, the author takes a new approach to dating men: actively developing and applying your intuition.

Contents of a Mermaid’s Purse

Phoebe Tsang’s Contents of a Mermaid's Purse is somewhat like a real purse a modern woman might have: familiar and, at the same time, exotic—and so is what it holds. Dumping the purse’s contents onto the table to sift through proves to be an exercise in strange beauty—an alluring siren’s call fulfilled.


Christine is desperately seeking employment. She doesn’t want to leave New York City and return to Michigan to teach, and doesn’t feel confident that her writing will bring in sufficient income. Although Christine’s story is happening in 1983, the same story could be told as a result of today’s recession. What do you do when you can’t find a job in your field? Well, you branch out and find the first job available. It turns out that the first available job is as a ticket holder in a box office at an adult theater in Times Square.

Between the Sheets: Nine 20th Century Women Writers and Their Famous Literary Partnerships

The adage, “Behind every great man is a great woman,” is a backhanded compliment to women, and one that implicitly avers a submissive feminism of codependency.

A Jihad For Love

To ponder the relationship between Islam and homosexuality is to consider something that does not exist. Parvez Sharma’s groundbreaking documentary, A Jihad for Love, calls this frequently held assumption what it is: a lie.

Elizabeth Gilbert (01/25/2010)

I fell in love with Elizabeth Gilbert’s smart, poetic, humorous and utterly authentic voice while reading Eat, Pray, Love.

Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession

Julie Powell wrote a blog called the Julie/Julia Project, which was turned into a book entitled Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, and last summer Julie & Julia hit the big screen as a movie featuring Meryl Streep.

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.

I Still Do: Loving and Living with Alzheimer’s

I Still Do was written to help anyone who has or may be coping with someone in their family who has Alzheimer’s. It is a candid and emotional portrayal of author Judith Fox’s husband Ed along with their heartfelt story. Fox loves photography and capturing that perfect picture, and it shows in the photos in this book, as well as in the striking photo on the book cover.

Los Abrazos Rotos (Broken Embraces)

The latest Pedro Almodóvar film is very much what we expect, but it’s also what we don’t expect. One of the many things I love about Almodóvar is that he has normalized some of the most marginalized and oppressed people in our society in his films (i.e., Transgender Latinas, mentally ill communities, and queer communities). I also love that he creates relationships with all the people in his cast and allows them to demonstrate their acting range as he cast them in other projects in completely different roles.

My Men

I must admit that I approached Malika Mokeddem’s memoir with trepidation. I found it hard to believe that I would enjoy a life story recounted only in terms of the men involved.

Perfect Chemistry

I can pinpoint exactly where I fell for the charms of Simone Elkeles’ Perfect Chemistry due to the disappearance of my “reflective” notes in the margins: Chapter eleven. Page sixty-seven. The initial sixty-seven pages were rather laborious, as my first reaction was that it was going to be another predictable American teen novel and—to an extent—it was. Boy meets girl at school. They both proclaim their hatred for one another. Boy makes a bet to woo said girl.

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.


Author Elana Dykewomon has been acclaimed for writing about lesbian lives and realities largely unacknowledged by the mainstream.

Queer in Black and White: Interraciality, Same-Sex Desire and Contemporary African-American Culture

Stefanie Dunning takes the scalpel of reason to the twin sores of misogyny and homophobia that sometimes stain traditional notions of a black nationalist consciousness.

So Happy Together

So Happy Together is Maryann McFadden’s second novel in which the themes of love, change, and nature—along with a strong and very human woman protagonist—are at the heart. Claire Noble is a forty-five-year-old woman in the “sandwich” generation; she has to juggle living her own life while caring for her daughter, as well as her aging parents.

In Her Own Sweet Time: One Woman's Unexpected Adventures in Finding Love, Commitment, and Motherhood

I read this book in one day. It, like the author, and like the problems she explores, is not perfect. Like the author, In Her Own Sweet Time is lovable and I eagerly devoured it for the stories she tells, the problems she outlines, and the social phenomena she identifies. The question “What is the impact of new reproductive technologies (NRTs) on feminism?" is a recurring motif within this book.

"Socialism Is Great!": A Worker's Memoir of the New China

"Socialism Is Great!": A Worker's Memoir of the New China is an account by journalist Lijia Zhang, who came of age in China during the ‘80s.

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.

Promised Virgins: A Novel of Jihad

Promised Virgins echoes of stories already told; they howl and yowl in your ear as Jeffrey Fleishman whispers and intimates, ever beseeching that you withstand his narrative a moment longer. Fleishman relies on the threads of past to weave his story, devices used before by film writers and the novelists who inspired them.

Getting Naked Again: Dating, Romance, Sex, and Love When You've Been Divorced, Widowed, Dumped, or Distracted

This self-help book did not exactly have me at hello. In fact, I found it hard to keep reading after getting to an anecdote on the very first page where a recently divorced fifty-six-year-old woman meekly accepts a calf feel from a male colleague, and later winds up outside of his hotel room in her cotton PJ’s nervously wondering if she should knock on his door for more. Now, if a colleague started feeling up your leg at a conference, wouldn’t you be offended in the same way the German Chancellor was when she shrugged off former President Bush’s impromptu back massage?

April and Oliver

Tess Callahan’s debut novel, April and Oliver, begins with the death of April’s beloved younger brother, Buddy, in a car accident on a snowy winter afternoon. As Buddy takes his last breaths, he recalls a childhood memory of being lost in the woods with April and her friend, Oliver, and the reassurance of holding both of their hands.

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.