New books by Peace Corps writers | November-December 2022


To purchase any of these books from — 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 include a brief description for each of the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  to order a book and/or  to VOLUNTEER TO REVIEW IT.

 See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at, and she will send you a free copy along with a few instructions.

P.S. In addition to the books listed below, I have on my shelf a number of other books whose authors would love for you to review. Go to Books Available for Review to see what is on that shelf.

Please, please join in our Third Goal effort and review a book(s)!!!


Peace Corps memoir

St. Petersburg Bay Blues
Douglas   Buchacek (Russia 2001–03)
Independently published
April 2021
201 pages
$15.00 (paperback)

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


In the Heart of It All: An Unvarnished Account of My Life in Public Service
by Richard F. Celeste (PC Director 1979-81)
Kent State Publishing
350 pages
November 2022
$ 22.49 (Kindle); $29.95 (Paperback)

The title says it all.


Ten Years A Poet
Philip Fretz (Sierra Lleone 1967–69)
Independently published
November 2022
83 pages
$9.50 (paperback), $5.00 (Kindle)

I have written poems and short stories since I can remember, years before word processing freed me from the perils of my illegible handwriting. Subsequent to retiring, I discovered first the Osher Life Long Learning program in Lewes, Delaware, and then the Renaissance Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Both of these programs offered many opportunities to practice writing in many subject areas with encouragement from classmates and instructors. The selection of poems in this volume represent many that were spawned by participation in these programs. I’ve been awakened to notice the people I see in ordinary settings and events that occur in everyday life. They arouse my inspiration to record what I see and hear and translate those ideas into poetry and prose.

Peace Corps memoir

The Vegetable Grows and the Lion Roars: My Peace Corps Service
by Gary R. Lindberg (Ivory Coast 1966-68)
BookBaby Publishers
March 2022
204 pages
$7.49 (Kindle); $15.63 (Paperback)

This book offers a fascinating glimpse into what it was like to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in the early days of the program. 


Babusya’s Kitchen: Recipes for Living & Eating Well in Ukraine
by Returned Peace Corps Ukraine Volunteers
RPCV Alliance for Ukraine, publisher
216 pages
$30.00 (hardcover)

“This is a great multicultural cookbook and all proceeds from sales of it go to help Ukrainian families affected by the Russian invasion.” — reviewer D.W. Jefferson

West African history

Embodied Engineering: Gendered Labor, Food Security,
and Taste in Twentieth-Century Mali
by Laura Ann Twagira (Mali 2000-01)
Ohio University Press
December 2021
344 pages
$36.95 (paperback), $48.00 (hard cover), $35.10 (Kindle)

Foregrounding African women’s ingenuity and labor, this pioneering case study shows how women in rural Mali have used technology to ensure food security through the colonial period, environmental crises, and postcolonial rule.

Children fantasy

Stone of Athaen
by A.J. Valdois (Republic of Georgia 2006-08)
Independently Published
479 pages
September 2021
$14.99 (Paperback), $3.99 (Kindle)

“Someone is manipulating Kiara… but who?”

Children fantasy

The Channeler’s Daughter
by A. J. Valdois (Republic of Georgia 2006-08)
Trelerre Books
346 pages
December 2022
$4.99 (Kindle); $12.99 (Paperback)

A.J. started writing this book when she was a PCV. She wanted to write an action adventure about a strong, independent woman who had a complicated history. She drew her characters and relationship dynamics from her own life experience. In some ways, she identifies deeply with her protagonist.

Fantasy romance

Belonging: A Novella
by A. J. Valdois (Republic of Georgia 2006-08)
Self Published
December 2022
$5.99 (Paperback), $2.99 (Kindle)

Vria lives in a world of chaos. She has no parents, and the people she lives with are not a family. They live a precarious life on the edge of an empire at war, hunted. When Vria is unexpectedly sold into slavery, she is pitched headlong into a bloody, ongoing battle. But there she discovers unlikely friends, skills she never suspected she had… and a secret about her origins that she must keep hidden at all costs.

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