20 New books by Peace Corps writers: September – October 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.

Around the Horn and Back
by Michael Banister (Ethiopia 1972-74)
Ravenous Press
151 pages
September 2020
$9.99 (Paperback), $5.99 (Kindle)

What would you do with your dad’s broken time machine, a modified “spherical astrolabe?” You could fix it if you had 21st century tools, but you’re both in the 15th century.

Face of Iran Before
Dennis  Briskin  (Iran 1967–69)
Independently published
June 2020
53 pages
$72+$8 shipping: order from www.TheFaceofIran.com

In these faces, see the joy and beauty of Iranians and the pain and sadness of Shia Islam.

Iran Before
Dennis  Briskin  (Iran 1967–69)
Independently publish
June 2020
56 pages
$72+$8 shipping: order from www.TheFaceofIran.com

Before what? Before modern technology and the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Scenes of traditional small-town life in agricultural Iran. A beloved country gone but not forgotten.

You Try Paa: A Love Song in Translation
Cynthia Ann Caul (Ghana 2008–10)
Independently published
October, 2020
85 pages
$9.99 (paperback), $6.99 (Kindle)

This work examines in poetry the role of Peace Corps in community and international development, as well as its position in the historical trajectory of colonialism and neocolonialism through the very human experiences of a public health volunteer living in rural Ghana.

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


Relicarios — finely crafted, bi-faced lockets of gold or silver that are artifacts of the Spanish Colonial era.

Living Between Iraq And A Hard Place
by Martin ‘Marty’ Feess (Jordan 2005–07)
Topline Publisher
May 2019
162 pages
$11.99 (Paperback), $3.99 (Kindle)

Martin and Karen Feess served in the Peace Corps in Jordan, a neighbor of Iraq, from 2005 to 2007, during the height of the Iraq War. They lived in a rural village, attended feasts and weddings, and explored Roman ruins, medieval castles, holy places, and wonders of the world. Martin listened and discussed the issues of the Middle East and gained insight which he shares in this book.

The Wishing Tree
Matthew A. Hamilton (Armenia 2006–08; Philippines 2008–10)
Winter Goose Publishing
September 2020
221 pages
$13.99 (paperback), $5.99 (Kindle)

Valia Stepanyan, a 14-year-old Armenian girl, is deported, along with thousands of Armenians throughout Turkey, by the local police soldiers and is forced to engage in a deadly struggle to regain her identity and life.  (historical fiction)

No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention
Reed Hastings (Swaziland 1983-85) & Erin Meyer (Botswana 1993-95)
Penguin Press
September 2020
320 pages
$16.80 (Hard cover),$14.99 (Kindle), 19.60 (audiobook)

Netflix cofounder Reed Hastings reveals for the first time the unorthodox culture behind one of the world’s most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies

101 Arabian Tales: How We All Persevered in Peace Corps Libya
Randolph W. Hobler (Libya 1968–69)
Independently published, August 2020
444 pages
$22.99 (paperback)

The Secret Lives of Glaciers
by M. Jackson (Zambia)
Green Writers Press
292 pages
March 2119
$21.95 (Hard cover), $8.99 (Kindle)

Seeking to understand the wild diversity and complexity that exists between people and ice, Jackson lived for a year on the south-eastern coast of Iceland, chronicling in The Secret Lives of Glaciers the cultural and societal impacts of glacier change on local communities.

Learning Peace: Stories from My Time in Peace Corps Ethiopia
Krista  Jolivette (Ethiopia 2018-2020)
Independently published
August 2020
298 pages
$9.99 (Facebook), $4.99 (Kindle)

I spent 550 days of my young adult life wandering in a desert, both physical and emotional, filling my heart and my head with stories, colors, beauty and pain all at the same time.

Neighbors: Oral History From Madera, California, Volume 2
by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975-77)
200 pages
August 2020
$20.00 (Paperback)

The author offers real-life stories by citizens of Madera, California. It seems like they speak directly to us, seated at our kitchen table, waving their arms while laughing. 

Fever! and other stories from The Land of Mobutu
Peter Loan (Staff— CDZaire 1976-79; Washington)
Peace Corps Writers
August 2020
100 pages
$9.99 (paperback), $5.99 (Kindle)

Set in Zaire in the 1970s, these short stories explore issues of cultural adaptation; the stresses of living in a strange land, ethical behavior in a foreign culture, the noble and ignoble in us all, and human ingenuity in resolving seemingly intractable problems.

From These Broken Streets
by Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979-80)
Lake Union Publishing
November 2020
360 pages
$10.99 (Paperback), $4.99 (Kindle), $$14.99 (Audio CD) [pre-order]

Once Night Falls is a galvanizing historical novel of Nazi-occupied Naples and the rage and resistance of a people under siege.

Havana Odyssey: Chasing Ochoa’s Ghost
by Stephen Murphy (HQ Staff 2002-03)
Independently published
296 pages
July 2020
$17.95 (Paperback), $8.49 (Kindle);

An international thriller. “Havana Odyssey gives us an authentic peek inside the Cuban state, ensconced in salsa, mojitos and tropical intrigue.”

Tales of Togo: A Young Woman’s Search for Home in West Africa
Meredith Pike-Baky
A Peace Corps Writers Book
September, 2020
280 pages
$14.00 (paperback)

What happens when an idealistic young woman sets off in 1971 to live and work in a remote community in sub-Saharan Africa? Her adventures reveal curiosity and creativity that keep her afloat and result in adaptation and appreciation. She is transformed in the process.

We Are Akan: Our People and Our Kingdom in the Rainforest — Ghana, 1807
by Dorothy Brown Soper (Ghana 1962-65), author; and  James Cloutier (Kenya 1962-66), illustrator
Luminare Press
358 pages
Reading level : 9 – 12 years
October 2020
$8.99 (Kindle); $19.99 (Paperback)

This work of historical fiction offers a richly illustrated story of life in the Asante Kingdom of 1807. Three boys, ages 11-13, strive to become leaders in the Akan culture. They balance the life they know with their experience of domestic slavery and the role of the Asante Kingdom in the Atlantic slave trade.

Healing Your Addictions: Guide to Outpatient and Residential Treatment
Thomas R. Syre, Sr (Ethiopia 1972-74)
Independently published
200 pages
September, 2020
$12.99 (paperback), $6.99 (Kindle)

A Hundred Fires in Cuba
by John Thorndike (El Salvador 1966-68)
Beck & Branch Publishers
316 pages
$9.79 (Paperback),$4.99 (Kindle)

In the spring of 1956, a young American photographer, Clare Miller, falls in love with a Cuban line cook in New York. They have a 10-week affair that ends when Immigration arrests and him being deported, and by then Clare is pregnant. Find out how this novel unfolds!

Africa Memoir: 50 Years, 54 Countries, One American Life (Algeria – Liberia) Vol. 1
Mark G. Wentling (Honduras 1967–69, Togo, 1970–73; PC Staff: Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77)
Open Books
August 2020
255 pages
$21.95 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle)

Africa Memoir tells the incredible lifetime story of Mark G. Wentling, a boy from Kansas who grew up to travel, work, and visit all 54 African countries. Derived from over a half century spent working and living on the African continent.



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