12 New books by Peace Corps writers — November & December 2020


To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — CLICK on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards.
   We now include a one-sentence description — provided by the author — for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order the book and 2) to volunteer to review it. See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at marian@haleybeil.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions.

What is Ethiopia?
Artwork by Biniyam Alazar, text by Andrew Tadross (Ethiopia 2011-13)
Independently published
43 pages
November 2020
$8.00 (Paperback)

A coloring book for all ages, What is Ethiopia?  attempts to show Ethiopia as the sum of its parts with 24 pages of illustrations of  Ethiopian people, cultures, food, landscapes, wildlife, architecture, and history all to be colored,  and engaging descriptions and narratives about Ethiopian life.

Sweet Tarts for my Sweethearts
by Bonne Lee Black (Gabon 1996-98)
Nighthawk Press
104 pages
October 2020
$12.95 (Paperback), $4.99 (Kindle)

And for those who’ve considered putting together a legacy cookbook — with accompanying family stories — for their children and grandchildren, Sweet Tarts might serve as an inspiration.

Michael Gold: The Peoples Writer
Patrick  Chura (Lithuania 1992–94)
SUNY Press
354 pages
$95.00 (hardcover), $33.95 (Kindle)


Michael Gold was an essayist, playwright, poet, journalist, and editor, and  the leading advocate of leftist, proletarian literature in the United States between the two world wars. This biography welcomes Gold back into cultural conversations about art, literature, politics, social change, and Jewish American life in the twentieth century.

Be Your Own Guru: Meditations on Science and Spirituality as a Pathway to Personal Wellness

Julie R. Dargis, Ph.D. (Morocco 1984–87)
Independently published
November, 2020
185 pages
$12.99 (paperback)

Julie  offers readers a glimpse into the current research on personal wellness topics as signposts on one’s inner journey to improved well-being.

The Tin Can Crucible: A Firsthand Account of Modern-day Sorcery Violence

by Christopher Davenport (Papua New Guinea 1994-96)
Lume Books
237 pages
December 2020
$22.95 (Paperback), $4.99 (Kindle)

In 1994, a Peace Corps Volunteer named Christopher Davenport settled into the Eastern Highlands to live with a group of subsistence farmers. He began to learn the language and develop a strong sense of connection with his inherited family. One day, following the death of a venerated elder, the people of the village kidnap, torture, and ultimately kill a local woman accused of practicing sorcery.

Relicarios: The Forgotten Jewels of Latin America
By Martha J. Egan (Venezuela 1967-69)
Papalote Press
175 Pages
September 2020
$75.00 Hardcover

“Erudite, scholarly, and lucidly explicated, Martha J. Egan’s Relicarios: The Forgotten Jewels of Latin America,  a labor of love and commitment to her material, serves as a monumental example of what ex-Peace Corps Volunteers can contribute to the history of the areas in which they served.” — Marnie Mueller, reviewer

By Steve Kaffen (Russia 1994-96)
SK Journeys Publisher
109 pages
November 2020
$3.99 (Kindle)
Botswana is one of Africa’s great showplaces. It has the continent’s largest concentration of wildlife and the largest elephant population. It also has a network of strikingly beautiful waterways and scenic
Streets of Golfito: A Novel
by Jim LaBate (Costa Rica 1973-75)
Mohawk River Press
252 pages
October 2020
$9.99 (Kindle); $19.95 (Paperback)

A PCV and a young Costa Rican meet in Golfito. Subsequently she experiences a tragedy that will drastically change her life, and he does all he can to help her survive and thrive in her new circumstances.

An Indian Among los Indigenas: A Native Travel Memoir
by Ursula Pike (Bolivia 1994–96)
Heyday Books
240 pages
April 2021
$26.00 (Hardcover)

A gripping, witty memoir about indigeneity, travel, and colonialism.

America’s Buried History: Landmines in the Civil War
by Kenneth R. Rutherford (Mauritania 1987-89)
Savas Beatie Publisher
216 pages
April 2020
$17.95 (Kindle) $29.95 (Hardback)


Despite the thousands of books published on the American Civil War, one aspect that has never received the in-depth attention it deserves is the use of landmines and their effect on the war and beyond. Kenneth R. Rutherford rectifies this oversight with the first book devoted to a comprehensive analysis and history of the fascinating and important topic of landmines.

Juror Number 2: The Story of a Murder, the Agony of a Neighborhood
Efrem  Sigel (Ivory Coast 1965-67)
Writers Press Publisher
146 pages
November 2020
$19.00 (Hardcover), $15.95 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle)

This valuable short book about the author’s experience with the New York City criminal justice system is more like a long New Yorker article than a book. — Dick Lipez (Ethiopia), reviewer

Bright Shining World

Bright Shining World
by Josh Swiller (Zambia 1994-96)
Knopf Children’s Book, grades 7-9
304 pages
November 2020
$10.99 (Kindle); $14.99 (Hardcover)

A darkly funny thriller about one boy’s attempt to unravel the mysterious phenomenon affecting students in his new town, as he finds a way to resist sinister forces and pursue hope for them all.




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