New books by Peace Corps writers | September — October 2023

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 volunteer to review a book or books!!!


Secrets From My Travel Diaries
by Stacey L. Abella (Nicaragua 2001-03)
Game Changer Publishing
321 pages
May 2023
$16.97 (Paperback), $9.99 (Kindle), $24.97 (hardcover)

“My hope is that this book will take you on a journey to reignite your adventurer within, shift your perspective, and inspire possibility in your own life.”

Peace Corps memoir

Needle in a Haystack: Searching for the Last Cases of Smallpox in Ethiopia and the World
Benjamin F. Crabtree  (Ethiopia 1974-75)
Peace Corps Writers
October, 2023
$13.95 (paperback)

The Peace Corps announcement describing the Smallpox Eradication Program in Ethiopia seemed too good to be true.  As I read it again and again, I became more and more excited about what sounded to me like a paid two-year hiking and camping trip in Africa: 

“Usually there are no roads to the infected area, so you must walk or go by mule.  In fact, this is probably the most important qualification for the job – love of the outdoors and hiking.  Most of the work must be done away from the nearest road, sometimes as much as a week’s mule ride just to get to the area.  You will go to places where no health worker has ever been before.  The job can be very physically uncomfortable, for instance, sleeping in the back of a car after just having spent two hours trying to dig yourself out of a mud hole.  But, if you like seeing a full sky of stars, and not hearing a car or airplane for weeks at a time, then this could be a job you would enjoy.”

Addressing poverty

Immense Missed Opportunities — IMO
by Helene Ballman Dudley (Colombia 1968-70; Slovakia 1997-99)
Peace Corps Writers Press
246 pages
September 2023
$10.00 (Kindle); $22.00 (Paperback

Immense Missed Opportunities – IMO identifies the vast and largely untapped potential for high-impact, low-cost interventions to reduce poverty, food insecurity, economic migration and gender-based violence. Extreme poverty has marginalized people living on the front lines of those problems and who have, perhaps the greatest potential to help solve those problems.


The Last Bird of Paradise
Black Rose Writing
Clifford Garstang (South Korea 1976-77)
February 2024
340 pages
$6.99 (Kindle); $23.95 (Paperback). Can be pre-ordered.

Two women, nearly a century apart, seek to rebuild their lives when they reluctantly leave their homelands. Arriving in Singapore, they find romance in a tropical paradise, but also find they haven’t left behind the dangers that caused them to flee.

Travel & Film

My University of the World: Adventures of an International Film & Media Maker
by Neill McKee (Borneo 1973-74)
FS Creations LLC Publisher
533 pages
August 2023
$9.99 (Kindle); $23.95 (paperback)

Neill McKee takes us on an entertaining journey through the developing world from 1970 to 2012. His memoir is filled with compelling dialog, humorous and poignant incidents, thoughts on world development, vivid descriptions of people and places he visited and worked in, and over 200 images, all of which bring readers into his “University of the World.”


Gaels On Three
by Don Schlenger (Ethiopia 1966-68)
Ink Start Media Publisher
September 2023
318 pages
$2.99 (Kindle); $13.99 (Paperback)

Two years in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia with my wife, Jackie. I sat down in June 2019 to write Gaels on Three, my first book, with an opening sentence, “I was a rookie math teacher at St. Ethel…” I knew a large part of it would be about kids and basketball and the people in that world. And that it would be funny. I thought I knew enough stories and characters and basketball to make it both funny and credible. In truth, I simply love the book. I couldn’t fi nish it because I kept going back over it, not wanting to lose touch with the people in it. I hope you will read it and like it as well.



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2022. Peace Corps Worldwide.