Books and Articles
Reviews for My Saddest Pleasures
My Saddest Pleasures differs from most both in its size and in its succinct considerations of how travel changes not just self, but the environments that the traveler encounters. The combined flavor of wonder, new experiences, ecological and social reflection, and adventure brings with it a newfound opportunity to understand the traveler's impact on a deeper level than most. Domestic and foreign experiences alike are outlined with these lessons in mind.
Midwest Book Review
Libraries strong in travelogues, short travel essays, and thought-provoking experiences captured in word and image will relish the wide-ranging encounters outlined in My Saddest Pleasures: 50 Years on the Road, a portrait of discoveries, change, and "what ifs" in a pre-pandemic world of opportunity.
Midwest Book Review
Walker delights in this chapbook, with amusing and touching anecdotes, insights into the lessons of travel, and good old-fashioned storytelling.
Craig Storti, author of Why Travel Matters and The Hunt for Mount Everest
In My Saddest Pleasures: 50 Years on the Road, Mark Walker celebrates fifty years of wandering the globe from isolated areas of the highlands of Guatemala to the highest reaches of the Andes to his present home in the desert Southwest. In his engaging and informal style, Walker shares his trials and tribulations. Whether you’re an armchair traveler or a seasoned one, Walker’s life and travels will be an inspiration!
Susan Pohlman, author of Halfway to Each Other: How a Year in Italy Brought our Family Home and A Time to Seek: Meaning, Purpose, and Spirituality at Midlife.
This is a book that touched many chords within me. As a fellow world traveler, I delighted in his international travels and various adventures in places not often frequented by ordinary mortals. Anyone interested in intriguing corners of the world and a life lived by an unusual American man over the past half-century will find much to appreciate in this remarkable book.
Mark G. Wentling, author of the three-volume Africa Memoir, 50 Years, 54 Countries, One American Life.
Reviews for Different Latitudes
…It’s one of the best RPCV memoirs I’ve read (and I have gone through quite a few).
Glenn Blumhorst, RPCV Guatemala, President of NPCA (National Peace Corps Association)
I’ve experienced a virtual rollercoaster of emotions reading your book… At times your vivid descriptions provoke a sense of deep warmth, smiles, laughter…. But reading other parts… bring back tears and long suppressed feelings of anger and outrage towards the evil of it all. It surprises me at times how strongly those memories still affect me after all these years.
Buck Deines, RPCV Guatemala, Held executive roles with Medical Teams International, World Concern and Food for the Hungry.
Mark Walker recounts a delightful life journey filled with adventures, fascinating people, and remarkable achievements to help build a better world… Along the way, he discovered multiple truths and he shares them with us in this marvelous book.
Charles F. “Chic” Dambach, RPCV Colombia. Past President, National Peace Corps Association, President of the Alliance for Peacebuilding and author of “Exhaust the Limits”.
…He writes with the same passion that he lives, and like him, his memoir is full of life and the joy of service. Reading Mark's memoir not only inspires one to get involved, it provides a framework for making a difference in a hungry and hurting world. Writing with clarity and insight, Mark has distilled his decades of service into a valuable resource for all of us.
Ray Buchanan, Founder & International President, “Stop Hunger Now” and Co-Director of the Society of St. Andrews
Especially in these days of Covid, it’s too easy for me to forget about the world: the broad world filled with other cultures, in many of which people struggle just to survive. Different Latitudes brings that world home. Its stories are evocative, sometimes humorous and always compelling. Because I was in the Peace Corps myself, in El Salvador, and because I married a Salvadoreña, I found the sections on Central America especially moving. But Mark Walker truly has his eye on the wide world, and his concern for the poor of Africa, Asia and South America is what guides this inspiring book. It starts with the Peace Corps and expands from there. Walker, I imagine, has been keeping notes, or a journal, his whole life, for his stories are filled with the graphic details that make a book sing. John Thorndike, RPCV/El Salvador, award winning author of, A Hundred Fires in Cuba
Mark's socio-political overview of the multi-decade cultural and civil war in Guatemala is both insightful and accurate, and a timely primer on human rights injustices and their insidious perpetration by authoritarian rulers the world over. It is a lesson we should all be studying as we prepare to address the possibility of such changes in our own countries and communities.
Ellen Urbani Hiltebrand, RPCV Guatemala 1991-1993. Author of, “When I Was Elena: A Memoir.”
"We enjoyed your essay as much as a thirsty man enjoys water in the desert. And you can guess why I'm saying so. Reading about travel when the entire world is home fills us with joy. " Onkar Sharma, Editor of Literary Yard
"Crossing Borders, Building Bridges: A Journalists Heart in Guatemala," Revue Magazine, July Issue, 2021 http://www.revuemag.com/2021/07/crossing-borders-building-bridges-a-journalists-heart-in-guatemala/
“Hugs not Walls: Reuniting the Children,” Arizona Literary Magazine 2020, November 2019
Reissued in Revue Magazine, December Edition, 2019
“Trouble in the Highlands,” WorldView Magazine, Summer Issue, 2019
Reissued in Revue Magazine, September Issue, 2019
“Migrant Caravans and Social Justice,” WorldView Magazine, October 2019
“Justice & Responsibility: The Plight of the Immigrants from Central America,” Quail Bell, July 2019
Reissued by Peace Corps WorldWide, October 2019
Reissued by Revue Magazine, November, 2019
“Luis Argueta: Telling the Stories of Guatemalan Immigrants,” Revue Magazine, December 2018
“Luis Argueta: Guatemalan Filmmaker, Recipient of a Global Citizens Award,” Revue Magazine, July 2019
Yin & Yang of Travel:
"Expatriate Journeys Through the Land of the Eternal Spring," part of the Yin & Yang of Travel Series. Wanderlust Journal, September 9, 2022
"My Saddest Pleasures: First Stop Guatemala," part of the Yin and Yang of Travel Series. Revue Magazine, May, 2022
"Allegro to Guatemala: An Expatriate Journey Through The Land Of The Eternal Spring," Revue Magazine, June, 2022
"Traveling Through the Land of the Eternal Spring: A Literary Journey," Literary Traveler, April 27, 2022
"Time Among the Maya: Travels in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico--Personal Reflections," Revue Magazine, April Issue, 2022
"Traveling Through the Land of the Eternal Spring: A Literary Journey," Revue Magazine, February, 2022
"La Pulcera (the Bracelet)." Part of the Yin & Yang of Travel Series, Literary Traveler, November, 2021
"Tschiffley's Epic Equestrian Ride: Over the Andes Through Guatemala to Washington D.C." (Part of the Yin and Yang of Travel Series), Revue Magazine, April, 2021 http://www.revuemag.com/2021/04/tschiffelys-epic-equestrian-ride-by-mark-d-walker/
"Tschiffely's Epic Ride: Part of the Yin & Yang of Travel Series", Literary Traveler, February, 2021 https://www.literarytraveler.com/articles/tschiffelys-epic-ride-part-of-the-yin-yang-of-travel-series/https://www.literarytraveler.com/articles/tschiffelys-epic-ride-part-of-the-yin-yang-of-travel-series/
“Life's Little Travel Lists,” Literary Yard, May, 2019
“The Yin & Yang of Travel: Traveling Tandem,” Literary Traveler, June 2019
“Traveling in Tandem with a Chapina,” Revue Magazine, August 2019
“The Yang of Travel: Traveling Solo”, Literary Yard, April 2020
Reissued in Peace Corps Worldwide, April 2020
"The Yang of Travel: Traveling Solo," Revue Magazine, July 2020
Revised article with new photographs https://issuu.com/revue/docs/revue_magazine_july_2020/38
Moritz Thomsen Series:
"The Saddest Pleasure: A Journey of Two Writers," Literary Yard, January Issue, 2022
"The Saddest Pleasure, Moritz Thomsen: A Personal Reflection from a Former Peace Corps Volunteer, Mark D. Walker," ELAND Press Newsletter, London February issue, 2022. https://mailchi.mp/c51c73106797/eland-newsletter?e=50a5c2a617https://mailchi.mp/c51c73106797/eland-newsletter?e=50a5c2a617
“Living Poor: Moritz Thomsen’s Classic Captures the Spirit 50 Years Later,” Worldview Magazine, page 30, Winter edition, 2018 https://issuu.com/peacecorpsconnect/docs/18win.globaled
“Rhythm of the Grass: Letters from Moritz Thomsen,” Peace Corps Worldwide, March 2019 file:///C:/Users/markd/OneDrive/Documents/Million%20Mile%20Walker/A%20Writer%20Writes%20%E2%80%94Moritz%20%E2%80%9CRhythm%20of%20the%20Grass_%20Letters%20from%20Moritz%20Thomsen%E2%80%9D%20by%20Mark%20Walker%20(Guatemala)%20_%20Peace%20Corps%20Worldwide.html
“Moritz Thomsen: His Letters & His Legacy,” Scarlet Leaf Review, January 2020
“Moritz Thomsen: His Letters & His Legacy,” Peace Corps Worldwide, February 2020
“Ramon & Moritz: A Partnership on the Black Coast,” pending
"Christmas in the Land of the Eternal Spring (Guatemala)", Peace Corps Worldwide, December 25, 2021 https://peacecorpsworldwide.org/christmas-in-the-land-of-the-eternal-spring-guatemala/https://peacecorpsworldwide.org/christmas-in-the-land-of-the-eternal-spring-guatemala/
"Uncovering the Art of Francisco Goldman," Revue Magazine, October issue, 2021 http://www.revuemag.com/2021/10/uncovering-the-art-of-francisco-goldman-by-mark-d-walker/
"The Future of the Peace Corps in Guatemala," Revue Magazine, February issue, 2021
"Victor Montejo's Dream for a Secure Maya Community," Revue Magazine, October issue, 2020
“Crested Butte 2020: What Comes Around Goes Around,” Crested Butte News, September 7, 2020
“Crested Butte 1970: Reflections on a Town in Transition”, Crested Butte News, September 7, 2020
"The Legendary Educator of the Gunnison Country," Crested Butte News, July 31, 2020
“Maya Gods & Monsters”, Revue Magazine, April, 2019 https://www.revuemag.com/2019/04/book-alert-maya-gods-monsters/
“The Making of the Kingdom of Mescal: An Indian Fairy Tale for Adults,” Revue Magazine, April 2018
“My Life in the Land of the Eternal Spring: The Coffee Plantation,” Ragazine, July, 2018
“My Life in the Land of the Eternal Spring,” Wising Up Press anthologies, The Kindness of Strangers and Crossing Class: The Invisible Wall, 2018
“The Fundraiser: Running risks in Nepal and Bolivia,” page 31, WorldView Magazine, Spring, 2018 https://issuu.com/peacecorpsconnect/docs/wv_spring_2018
“Different Latitudes: My Life in the Peace Corps and Beyond,” (Book) Advancing Philanthropy, Summer, 2017 https://afpglobal.org/news/books-different-latitudes-my-life-peace-corps-and-beyond
“How the Peace Corps and Rotary led me to a life of international service,” Rotary Services in Action, May , 2017
“Strengthening the connection between Peace Corps Volunteers and Rotary members,” Rotary Services in Action, May, 2017
“What brings Rotarians, returned Peace Corps volunteers together?” Rotary Voices, July, 2019