Million Mile Walker Dispatch, Growing Threats to Our Freedom of Expression, August, 2022

  Dear Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, I just sent out a multimedia press release about my new book, My Saddest Pleasures: 50 Years on the Road, picked up by newspapers worldwide, including several articles in daily news journals in London, Singapore, India, and Denver, among other places. http://www.freepublicitygroup.com/news/release-author-travel-writer-mark-walker-award-winning-book-saddest-pleasures-new-aug122/ September 18-24 is the Celebration of Banned Book Week, so I’m focusing on the growing threats to the freedom of expression in Culture Watch. As always, I will share My Writing, Interviews, and Reviews, which include an interview by Global TV Talk Show, Voices of the Day, What Others Are Saying, and an […]

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The Bad Angel Brothers by Paul Theroux, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

  I’ve read and reviewed the last seven books from the “Dean of Travel Writing,” Paul Theroux, and was fortunate enough to obtain one of the early copies of this book. I wrote my latest book, My Saddest Pleasures: 50 Years on the Road, in honor and appreciation of Theroux and another travel writer, “who personally knew and were inspired by Moritz Thomsen and passed their enthusiasm on to me.” Thomsen wrote the Peace Corps experience classic, Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle. Theroux’s book, The Tao of Travel, which celebrates 50 years of travel writing, inspired my series, “The […]

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Democrazy, version 2020 by Elizabeth Graham, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

    The author attended a presentation I made at the Arizona Professional Writers Group in August, and I participated in a presentation she made to the same group’s “Book Club” the next month, which offered an excellent opportunity to get acquainted. Her book helped connect the dots between several circumstances around past President Trump many Americans, and I wondered about: The stunning comment he made at the Helsinki Conference where he ignored his own intelligence community’s reports of Russian involvement in our elections because Putin said it was a lie. And then the impact of Trump working with and […]

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“Perception and Deception: A Mind-Opening Journey Across Cultures” by Joe Lurie, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

  The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend. — Henri Bergson   I learned of Joe’s work and book from an interview on the Global TV Talk Show—whose host, Ed Cohen, asked many revealing questions. I learned that Joe and I are contemporaries—he was in Kenya with the Peace Corps when I was in Guatemala, but he took his knowledge of cross-cultural communications to new levels, and we have a more tolerant world as a result—at least among those who have read his book or participated in one of his classes/courses. I contacted Joe through the […]

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A Indian Among Los Indigenas: A Native Travel Memoir by Ursula Pike, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

I first became aware of the author when she made a presentation at the Phoenix Writers Network.  I had an opportunity to share some similarities in our experiences, since Guatemala and Bolivia have a high percentage of the Indigenous population. I learned that she was from a Native American community, which gave her a perspective most volunteers couldn’t understand or appreciate. Like many volunteers, I was focused on just learning Spanish and surviving, so I wasn’t prepared to learn one of the 22 Mayan languages in Guatemala. When the author revealed that the pages of her copy of Moritz Thomsen’s […]

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The Million Mile Walker Dispatch July, 2022 Inspiring, Encouraging & Mentoring: The Key to a Fulfilling Life!

  Inspiring, Encouraging & Mentoring: The Key to a Fulfilling Life! Dear Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, Last week, a colleague from my days with Food for the Hungry (over 25 years ago) wrote the following about the importance of mentoring and supporting those we work with: Hi! I was watching one of my clients’ videos about a program that trains homeless and formerly incarcerated people for jobs and helps them get placed. It’s been very successful and helped a lot of people by giving them a second chance.  One of the employers who hire a lot of […]

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Travelers’ Tales: Central America, Editors Larry Habegger and Natanya Pearlman, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

  Fellow travel writer Tom Miller warned me about the book when he learned I was working on an essay about Central America, The Guatemala Reader, “Mark –Careful! You don’t want to duplicate anything from Travelers’ Tales Central America.” When I reviewed the table of contents, I realized my book would be very different, as I’d be the author of all the stories focused on one country, while in this book, the stories cover Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Panama, as well as Guatemala. Also, all the travel writers like Paul Theroux, Ronald Wright, and Tim Cahill […]

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Million Mile Walker Dispatch, Rave Reviews for My New Book–Not So Much With Our Guatemala Documentary! June,2022 Issue

  My Saddest Pleasures Gets Rave Reviews—not so much for our Guatemalan Documentary! Dear Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, My Saddest Pleasures received impressive reviews, although we didn’t have the same luck with our Guatemalan documentary, “Trouble in the Highlands.” I’ll tell some stories about excellent literature, documentaries, and classic rock music in Culture Watch. As always, I will share My Writing, Interviews, Reviews, Voices of the Day, What Others Are Saying, and an updated Calendar. First, check out a brief video of the new book and share it with friends you think will like My Saddest Pleasures. Find out what others have said […]

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Entre Dos Mundos (Between Two Worlds: A Memoir) by Victor Montejo, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

This is an autobiography of an incredible Guatemalan anthropologist and writer.  He tells the extraordinary story of a Mayan boy who seeks to improve his life through education. It is a story of dreams and goals that crosses the Mayan and Western worlds. I first learned about the author twenty years ago when I read his novel, “The Adventures of Mr. Puttison Among the Maya,” in English and Spanish.  This novel is historical and satirical, recounting the adventures of an American traveler, who appears in an isolated Mayan village, and the community thinks he is a priest.  This story is […]

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The World Against Her Skin: A Son’s Novel, by John Thorndike, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

  I connected with the author through a shared appreciation of the author of Living Poor, Moritz Thomsen. He also reviewed Thomsen’s book Bad News from a Black Coast, and it was so good I asked to include it in a novel I’m working on about the influence of Moritz Thomsen on other writers, and he agreed. I learned that he traveled to Cuba with fellow author and friend, Tom Miller, which resulted in his best-known book, One Hundred Fires in Cuba. I soon became aware that the author was also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who also married a […]

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