Books wanting to be reviewed

Please choose me . . . I’m free!

Click the title to learn more about each of the books at

If you find a book you are interested in reviewing, email me and I will send you the book (at no cost) along with some brief reviewing instructions. If you prefer to review a book on a Kindle (if available), let me know.

If you see a book of interest on our bimonthly listing “New Books by Peace Corps Writers…” page that interests you, contact me and I will get a review copy of it if we haven’t received one.

Marian at


St. Petersburg Bay Blues
Douglas  Buchacek (Russia 2001-03)
Independently published
201 pages

A memoir of a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Group Nine of the Western Russia Program, from 2001 to 2003.

Child of the 1960s: A Day in the Life
by Craig J. Carrozzi (Colombia 1978-80)
Independently Published
July 2023
Young Adult
268 pages

Child of the 1960s is a memoir of a coming-of-age adolescent growing up in San Francisco’s Mission District in the tumultuous 1960s.

You Try Paa: A Love Song in Translation
Cynthia Ann Caul (Ghana 2008–10)
Independently published
85 pages

A Peace Corps memoir detailing Caul’s time in Ghana in a series of episodic poems that explore white saviorism and U.S. American exceptionalism in the Peace Corps.

Face to Face with War
by Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia 1962–64)
Independently published
254 pages
War is the subject that captures all minds. Many books deal with the subject. This is my personal experiences with war which together give a “”face to face”” view of what it is like, how it happens, its impact and in total a strong call to reject it. While there are many sound reasons to reject war, I reject it because it destroys economies and paralyzes human progress.

Called by Another Name: A Memoir of the Gwangju Uprising
(Peace Corps memoir)
David Lee Dolinger (Korea 1978–80) with Matt VanVolkenburg
Goggas/Gaek Publisher
274 pages

The American who walked into the turmoil of Korean History

Immense Missed Opportunities — IMO: The Untapped Potential Available to Help Solve World Problems
Helene Ballmann Dudley (Colombia 1968-70, Albania 1997, Slovakia 1997-99)
Peace Corps Writers
230 pages

Immense Missed Opportunities – IMO is based on the author’s 23-year experience building sustainable micro-loan programs in marginalized communities in developing countries. IMO identifies a cost-effective, equitable, and sustainable way to address multiple societal problems by supporting grassroots initiatives. It includes numerous examples of marginalized individuals exceeding expectations when given a chance.

IMO makes several assumptions:

1) It takes a wealth of problem-solving skills to survive on less than $2 per day;
2) once freed from abject poverty through affordable loans, the problem-solving skills of the entrepreneurial poor become available to improve communities;
3) leaders in marginalized communities can often solve their own problems if we help them find the resources to do it;
4) the resulting “local solutions” tend to be “sustainable solutions;”
5) outside experts are of greatest service when locals take the lead;
6) it is wise to build on the good that already exists in a community. 

As the artist, Willem de Kooning, observed “The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time.” When people with immense talent, initiative and desire for service spend all their time and energy keeping their families alive, their potential is a missed opportunity. 

Memories of Choices, People, Places, and Events That Shaped My Life
John F. Fanselow (Nigeria 1961–63; staff: Somalia 1966–68)
Peace Corps Writers
679 pages
May 2023
$20.00 (paperback)

John tells the story of his love of teaching and his revolutionary mantra of “Try the opposite” — from Nigeria to New York to New Zealand, and many places in between. After receiving a BA and MA from Northern Illinois University, he applied to become a Peace Corps Volunteer in Latin America. While there were no openings there, he was fortunately accepted to teach at a teacher training college in Nigeria for two years, and it was there that his “Try the opposite” technique blossomed into his life-long calling.

Ships in the Desert
Jeff Fearnside (Kazakhstan 2002–04)
Santa Fe Writer’s Project
136 pages

This books explores universal issues of religious bigotry, cultural intolerance, environmental degradation, and how a battle over water rights led to a catastrophe that is now being repeated around the world

The Gecko in the Bathtub  Janina Marie Fuller (Philippines 1978-80)
Peace Corps Writers
178 pages

In encounters with an array of creatures, from both domesticated and wild animals inhabiting my Louisiana backyard to denizens of the Amazon,  I present these stories to illuminate our inseparability from the life around us by capturing peak moments in the natural world.


The Price of Freedom
(Historical novel)
Martin R. Ganzglass (Somalia 1966–68)
Peace Corps Writers
370 pages

This sixth and last novel of the American Revolution by Martin Ganzglass begins after the crucial victory at Yorktown in October 1781, and ends in the summer of 1784 in liberated New York City when Patriots and former Loyalists begin to overcome their wartime differences.

Finding Our Way: A Newlywed Couple’s Peace Corps Odyssey in 1960s Korea
(Peace Corps memoir)
Steven Gallon (Korea 1967-69)
288 ages

A young couple recounts adventures, discoveries and lessons accrued while living and teaching as Peace Corps Volunteers in 1960s Korea.

Dear Michelle, — Letters from an Old Friend in a New Life
Samuel Gerard (Luebbers) (Ukraine 2018-20)
Peace Corps Writers
233 pages

A collection of letters I wish I’d sent. The narrations are raw, intimate depictions of the world she was promised.Paths of Grass and Stone

Building Community: Answering Kennedy’s Call: Answering Kennedy’s Call
Harlan R. Green (Turkey 1964-66)
Peace Corps Writers
137 pages

A memoir of life-affirming adventures in public service. A Peace Corps Volunteer answers Kennedy’s call to build peaceful communities at home and abroad.

HUSTLE: The Making of a Freelance Writer
Lawrence M. Grobel (Ghana 1968-71)
Independently published
358 pages

All the pieces in this book were turning points, whether they furthered my writing career, boosted my confidence, made me determined to prove myself, or brought my family closer. Each of the 33 pieces have a preface, explaining why I chose them, and a postscript, summing up the result. This represents one freelance writer’s journey, but it’s intended to inspire present and future freelancers to consider the road less traveled.


Beyond The Road to Sinyea: A Peace Corps Memoir – Liberia 1981–83
Ann  Hales (Liberia 1981–1983)
Peace Corps Writers
173 pages

When a young woman strides into her dream adventure as a Peace Corps Volunteer, she gets more than she bargained for — the experience transforms her life. As a nursing instructor in Liberia, West Africa, in the early 1980’s, she witnesses gut-wrenching life circumstances of the Liberian people and their systems of education and health care. While living in a traditional village, she discovers that her neighbors believe she has magical powers, encounters the ‘devil’ from the Secret Bush Society, and finds ‘family’ when she least expected to do so.

HUSTLE: The Making of a Freelance Writer
Lawrence M. Grobel (Ghana 1968-71)
Independently published
358 pages

All the pieces in this book were turning points, whether they furthered my writing career, boosted my confidence, made me determined to prove myself, or brought my family closer. Each of the 33 pieces have a preface, explaining why I chose them, and a postscript, summing up the result. This represents one freelance writer’s journey, but it’s intended to inspire present and future freelancers to consider the road less traveled.

Discovering Tunisian Cuisine
Judith Dwan Hallet (Tunisia 1964 – 66) and Raoudha Guellali Ben Taarit, Hasna Trabelsi
Spirit Of Place/Spirit Of Design, Inc, 2019
148 pages

Judy Dwan Hallet has assembled a terrific collection of delicious and healthy Mediterranean Tunisian recipes along with insightful accounts of the country’s distinctive culture, art, and history.  No cook with an interest in the world’s distinctive cuisines should be without Discovering Tunisian Cuisine.

The Color of the Elephant: Memoir of a Muzungu
Christine  Herbert (Zambia 2004–06)
GenZ Publishing
January 2022

Joining the Peace Corps in her 30s was an attempt to rewrite the story of her life, but she never guessed the story would read like Bridget Jones Goes to Africa!

Taking the Plunge into Ethiopia: Tales of a  Peace Corps Volunteer
William Hershey (Ethiopia 1968–70, Ethiopia Peace Corps trainer 1973)
University of Akron Press
134 pages
August 2023

From 1968 until 1970, William Hershey served as the only Peace Corps volunteer in a small Ethiopian town. Hershey taught seventh and eighth grade students the English that they would need to continue their educations and brighten their futures. He became part of the community, eating the local food and doing his best to communicate in Amharic. He also navigated cultural gaffes-having his house stoned by disgruntled students, angered at being assigned to cleaning the outhouses, and nearly sparking international trouble by clashing with a player from a rival school during a heated basketball game. 

Through Grateful Eyes: The Peace Corps Experiences of Dartmouth’s Class of 1967
Charles A. Hobbie (Korea 1968–71; staff: trainer 1971, PCDC 1972-78, 2011-18)
iUniverse Publishing
300 pages

This book features the incredible stories of nineteen Dartmouth classmates and five spouses who served in fifteen countries in the early years of the Peace Corps,  describing what they did, where they lived, whom they met, what they learned, and how they were challenged and changed by their experiences half a century ago.

Awkward Stumbles and Fuzzy Memories: Memoir of a Peace Corps Volunteer: Memoir of a Peace Corps Volunteer
(Peace Corps memoir)
Kathy  Ivchenko (Ukraine 1994-96; 2000-01)
Independently published
192 pages

This book focuses on my first stint in the Peace Corps from 1994-96.  It follows the ups and downs of training, teaching and romantic stumbles as I left my small home town and traveled down my Peace Corps path filled with love, laughter and libations.  

Angels of Bastogne: A Remembrance of World War II   
Glenn H. Ivers (Liberia 1974-1976)
Peace Corps Writers
February 2022

Angels of Bastogne is a remembrance of World War II that is based on the true story of a U.S. Army doctor, Jack Prior, and two heroic Belgian nurses, Renee Lemaire and Augusta Chiwy, who volunteered in his aid station that was bombed on Christmas Eve, 1944.

The Life of a Nepali Village Boy
Ambika Mohan Joshee (Peace Corps staff/Nepal 1971–2001)
Peace Corps Writers
267 pages

“He is talented: able to secure work, develop schools, and convince others to aid these selfless efforts, especially in education. And he is responsible: responsible to the farmers in the co-ops he led, responsible to the students he taught, responsible to the volunteers he prepped and supported, and responsible to his family above all. His work touched the lives of thousands.”  — Will Newman, former Director, Peace Corps/Nepal.

Fast Food for Thought: Poetry to Ponder
(Poetry) Eldon Katter (Ethiopia 1962–64)
A Peace Corps Writers Book
178 pages

The idiomatic title is meant to suggest that the words are something worth thinking about. It is a selection of the author’s poems, old and new, on a wide range of subjects. Identity, choice, change, aging, and the environment are just a few of the topics touched upon.

Lucky: An African Student, An American Dream, and a Long Bike Ride
Brooke P Marshall (Malawi 2013–15)
Atramental Publishing
257 pages

Brooke Marshall rode her bicycle from Raleigh to Seattle, and visited 17 universities and colleges to tell them about the potential of Malawi students from an African village who are unable to afford to attend college because of the prohibitive cost.

In the Amber Chamber: Stories
(Short stories)
Carrie  Messenger (Moldova 1994–96)
Brighthorse Books
260 pages

In the Amber Chamber combines dark fairy tales with disturbing history: a dust bowl, some famine, and some dessert.

A Cup of Stars: Stories
(Short stories)
Joseph Monninger (Burkina Faso 1975–77)
Wood Heat Press
458 pages

Joseph Monninger has been publishing novels, non-fiction, and short stories since 1978.  This is a collection of 25 of his short fiction.

Just Keep Pedaling: A Peace Corps Volunteer in Uruguay
Connie Ness
Blue Ear books
159 pages

Just Keep Pedaling is a fast-paced book about life in a slow-paced town. Connie Ness was the first and only North American to live in the tiny pueblo of Baltasar Brum in Uruguay, the second smallest country in South America. With over 80 color photos of life and work in Uruguay, reading Connie Ness’s engaging account is like listening to a friend who just returned from a two-year adventure.

… I meant those other people. A Snapshot/Memoir of an HIV Tester
Corella  Payne (Ecuador)
137 pages

Conversations about HIV disease can bring forth reactions ranging from comprehension, to fear. This book seeks to encourage having honest discussions to reach a clearer, fact-based understanding of the virus, as well as ensuring fair, respectful treatment for all those impacted as well as affected by HIV/AIDS, everywhere.

The Fortunate Few: IVS Volunteers from Asia to the Andes
Thierry J. Sagnier
Peace Corps Writers
378 pages

The Fortunate Few  is first and foremost a book about the men and women who volunteered their time and skills to improve the lives of millions throughout the International Voluntary Services (IVS). Here, nearly one hundred of theses volunteers speak about their service years and the impact their had on third futures and the people they served, often at great cost to themselves. Nearly a dozen volunteer died, victims of the armed conflict that raged across Southeast Asia with the war in Vietnam.

The effectiveness of IVS volunteers would eventually lead to the creation of a number of other international volunteer agencies including the Peace Corps.

Some RPCVs who either subsequently or previously served with IVS contributed to the



‘The Mystical Land of Myrrh
(short stories)
MaryAnn Shank (Somalia 1967–69)
Dippity Press
222 pages

Stories of a young Peace Corps Volunteer who stretched her senses to soak in every story, every song that was around her, but her missteps tossed a beautiful young woman into a whipping circle, and denied her students the futures they had worked so hard to obtain.

Back to the Future in Bandipur
Chi, Kumar Shrestha’; translated by Mike Gill (Nepal 1967-70); English version edited by John Comings
Book Art /Nepal
350 pages

This autobiography by a Nepali provides all RPCVs a window into the impact they had on the people who trained them, worked with them and were their friends.

Tropical Ecstasy: A Nostalgia Trip to Brazil
Norman Weeks (Brazil 1968-70)
Independently published 2020
282 pages

The author returns after an absence of twenty-five years to his old haunts in Brazil.retracing his unforgettable journey to this huge South American country to take a second look at a place he has known quite well.

A Journey for Peace: A Journal of Peace – Episodes of Life from an Early Peace Corps Volunteer
Donald C. Yates (The Philippines 1962–64)
Austin Macauley Publishers
122 pages

Don’s book captures the essence of an area of the world rarely seen or visited by an outsider while sharing how he grew as a young man in a foreign land.   


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