The Best of the Million Mile Walker Dispatch, December 2022

  Dear Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, In this year in review issue, I’ll highlight my new book and share the most compelling stories from the Culture Watch. My Saddest Pleasures: 50 Years on the Road was published by Cyberwit.net. and was announced in the May issue of the Dispatch. It was inspired by a quote from Paul Theroux from his Picture Palace, which put my fifty years of travel into perspective and allowed me to appreciate the miscues, disasters, and disappointments. http://millionmilewalker.com/2022/06/million-mile-walker-dispatch-launching-my-new-book-my-saddest-pleasures-may-2022/ The response from fellow travel writers was immediate: “Walker delights in this chapbook with amusing […]

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Knulp: Three Tales from the Life of Knulp, by Hermann Hesse, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

I became enamored with Hesse’s work in Crested Butte, Colorado, where I managed a dozen houses that paid for my schooling at Western State Colorado University. Those were the days of “Counterculture.” The bookshelves of most of my student renters inevitably included Hesse classics like Siddartha, Demian,  The Glass Bead Game, and the iconic Whole Earth Catalog—displayed in smoke-filled living rooms. By the early1970s, Hesse had become a cult figure, and in 1968, the California rock group, Steppenwolf, named after one of Hesse’s other classic books, released “Born to be Wild,” which was featured in the film Easy Rider. The […]

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Writing on the Edge: A Borderlands Reader, by Tom Miller, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

I’ve gotten to know the author over the years based on a shared appreciation of iconic writer Moritz Thomsen, whom Tom met in Ecuador. He accompanied me to the University of Arizona Library, which acquired his archives, including six boxes of materials on Thomsen that I used to research and write several articles. With Tom’s help, I’d write my anthology, Moritz Thomsen: The Greatest American Writer Nobody Knows About. Tom and I also share a love of travel and travel writing. His best-known book, The Panama Hat Trail, is one of my all-time favorites, and I was impressed to learn […]

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Million Mile Walker Dispatch, Talking About Racism in the U.S. November, 2022

Dear Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, Ever since the killing of Floyd and the global response known as Black Lives Matter, I’ve been thinking about how much of this reality I’ve ignored over the years, although it was right in front of me.  So, in Culture Watch. I’ll share my personal experience and highlight three books, which will help us better understand and deal with racism in its many forms. I’ll, announce an upcoming TV interview and a new role as contributing writer for The Authors Show in My Writing, Interviews, and Reviews. I found several timely quotes for […]

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All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir Manifesto About Growing Up Black and Queer, by George M. Johnson, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

This book caught my attention for several reasons, not the least because I was brought up in the same community as the author, Plainfield, New Jersey, a bedroom suburb of the New York Metropolitan area. We even went to the same elementary school, Fredrick W. Cook. Although I was 15 in the early 60s and the author was that age in 2004, missing each other by some 40 years, but understanding how communities change over the years to benefit some at the detriment of others is essential to recognize.  My grandfather worked for Mack Truck, one of several manufacturing companies […]

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The Man Within My Head by Pico Iyer, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

I came across Pico Iyer while reading and reviewing Ronald Wright’s Time Among the Maya, published by ELAND Press, as he wrote the introduction. His overview was insightful and concise, and I learned he’d written over 50 such openings. Initial research revealed that he was a revered travel writer and that he’d written a book about his fascination with one of my favorite writers, Graham Greene. The book is a meditation about Graham, as well as the author. Greene is the virtual man in Iyer’s head, raising the question, what causes a particular writer to resonate in our souls? I’d […]

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Million Mile Walker Dispatch Some crazy Things are Going On in Arizona & Beyond, October, 2022

Dear Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, I’ll report on some crazy things happening in Arizona leading up to mid-terms and on a broader context in Culture Watch. I’ll talk about my next book and offer a movie review and a very timely book review in My Writing, Interviews, and Reviews. I found a timely quote for Voices of the Day, the latest in What Others Are Saying, and an updated Calendar. You can click on the poster above for my recent presentation for the Arizona Professional Writers group. Before sharing my thoughts on the craziness surrounding us, I’d like to share […]

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Those Who Are Gone: A Novelette, by Lawrence F. Lihosit, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

Over the years, I’ve read and reviewed several of the eighteen books of fellow author and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer “Lorenzo” Lihosit. He was a volunteer in Honduras and married a lady from Mexico, and I was a volunteer in Guatemala and married a señorita from there.  I used his Peace Corps Experience: Write & Publish Your Memoir to write my own, Different Latitudes: My Life in the Peace Corps and Beyond, proofed his Oral History from Madera, California, and agreed with the Madera Tribune, “The best of its kind in print. Like Volume 1, the author offers real-life stories […]

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South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation, by Imani Perry, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

This book is one of several I’ve been reading to understand race relations in the U.S. better and make sense of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. I was brought up in Plainfield, New Jersey, where I only saw a few Black American kids in the upper tier of classes that I was in during elementary school.  Then we moved out West, and I remember turning on my television to the riots in Newark, New Jersey, which were part of the 150 riots around the country during the “Long hot summer of 1967.” Newscasts showed shattered storefronts, fires caused by arson, […]

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Entre Dos Mundos: Una Memoria por Victor Montejo, La Revisión por Mark D. Walker

Este libro es una autobiografía de un increíble antropólogo y escritor guatemalteco.  Él cuenta la extraordinaria historia de un niño Maya quien busca mejorar su vida a través de la educación. Es una historia de sueños y metas que atraviesa el mundo Maya y el Occidental. Supe del autor por primera vez, hace unos veinte años, al leer su novela, “Las Aventuras de Míster Puttison Entre los Mayas,”.  Esta otra novela es histórica y satírica, relatando las aventuras de un viajero norteamericano, que aparece en una aldea Maya aislada y la comunidad piensa que es un cura. La historia es […]

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