When The Angel Sent Butterflies, by Jody Sharpe, Reviewed by Mark D walker

    When the Angel Sent Butterflies by Jody Sharpe Reviewed by Mark D. Walker   I read and reviewed Town of Angels, which is part of the “Mystic Bay Series” several years ago, and appreciated that this inspirational book proved the power of the human spirit to move on despite incredible tragedy and personal loss. The author’s daughter, Kate, was killed in a tragic accident, and then her husband died, and during a difficult period where many would have succumbed to despair, she had a dream in which a voice told her to read “Charlotte’s Web,” by E.V. White, […]

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The President by Miguel Angel Asturias, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

I’d read this Latin American classic in Spanish years ago, but decided to read it again in English in order to share it with a broader audience. Although it was published before I was born, it’s relevant today, as it portrays the damaging psychological impact of a totalitarian government and the brutality it will go through to maintain power—a phenomenon all too real to Guatemalans today. Much to my surprise, my Guatemalan wife had to read this when she was in seventh grade – something I wouldn’t recommend for today’s students in the U.S. even though it’s been translated into […]

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Under the Wave at Waimea by Paul Theroux, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

I’ve read and reviewed the last six books from the iconic travel writer Paul Theroux and was fortunate enough to snag a copy of the uncorrected proof of his next book which will be available in mid-April. Initially I was unenthusiastic about reading of the life of an aging surfer in Hawaii, but after reading “On the Plain of Snakes” about Mexico, I felt sure he’d manage to turn Hawaii into one of his ebullient tomes—and I was not disappointed. After all, the author has lived there for over 30 years during which time he’s been gathering stories and materials […]

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A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

  I hadn’t read any of Allende’s books since “House of Spirits,” and after seeing several revealing interviews of her over the last few months, I decided it was time to reacquaint myself with her latest novel. The setting of the Spanish Civil War and Chile drew me in even more, as many of my favorite authors, such as Federico Garcia Lorca, George Orwell, John Dos Passos, Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Neruda lived through that war. Also intriguing was the landing of the protagonists in Chile after the military takeover of Pinochet. The President who was toppled was the author’s […]

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Book Review – Fiction: Town of Angels

Town of Angels by Jody Sharpe Reviewed by Mark D. Walker This inspirational book proves the power of the human spirit to move on despite incredible tragedy and personal loss. The author’s daughter, Kate, was killed in a tragic accident and then her husband died, and during a difficult period where many would have succumbed to despair, she had a dream in which a voice told her to read “Charlotte’s Web,” by E.V. White, which is a children’s book. Initially she didn’t know why she should read it until the last line of the book revealed that, “Nobody would take […]

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Book Review – Fiction: Speak from Your Heart and Be Heard

Speak from Your Heart and Be Heard By Dr. Kixx Goldman Reviewed by Mark D. Walker I’ve known the author for several years through our involvement with several writing groups including the Phoenix Writers Club and the Phoenix Writers Network because she’s bringing her considerable experience as a psychologist to help her readers deal with the complicated realms of truth, emotion, trauma and healing. Fortunately, she followed Tony Morrison’s challenge,”if there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it” a valuable mantra for any writer. The author often reiterates one […]

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Book Review – Fiction: SAY HER NAME

A BOOK REVIEW OF SAY HER NAME By Francisco Goldman Reviewed by Mark D. Walker An evocative story of love and loss by acclaimed author Francisco Goldman who marries Mexican writer Aura Estrada. Tragically, a month before their second wedding anniversary, Aura breaks her neck body surfing. In order to deal with the loss and a deep-seated feeling of guilt, Goldman wrote this novel chronicling his love and feelings of unspeakable loss, which reflect the stages of grief when love and passion give way to inexplicable pain. The author traces every memory from his loved one’s memory and university days […]

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Book Review – Fiction: Revenge of the Saguaro: Offbeat Travels Through America’s Southwest

Revenge of the Saguaro: Offbeat Travels Through America’s Southwest by Tom Miller Reviewed by Mark D. Walker As someone who has travelled the world and spent much of my adult life in the Southwest, I appreciated the author’s perspective and insights on this unique and often crazy part of the country. I learned about parts of the region I’d never heard of, as well as appreciated parts of the area I was aware of, but not in the way the author tells it, such as the filming of “The Milagro Bean War” and the mining wars of Bisbee. The title […]

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Book Review – Fiction: The Quiet American

The Quiet American by Graham Greene Reviewed by Mark D. Walker I’ve been meaning to read this book for years as it’s considered one of the best novels about the war in Indo China and even though it was written in 1955 it anticipated many of the flaws in American character and history which would result in what many now consider a catastrophic military debacle. Greene, regarded by many as one of the great writers of the 20th century is also one of my favorite global storytellers with “Journey Without Maps” leading my list. I’d worked in Sierra Leone where […]

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Book Review – Fiction: Secrets of the Moon: A Novel

Secrets of the Moon: A Novel by Tema Encarnacion (Dominican Republic 2000–01) Reviewed by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971–73) Author Tema Encarnacion couldn’t have chosen a timelier theme for her debut novel, than the circumstances that force families to flee violence from Central America and embark on a perilous journey across the border into the U.S., as the immigration crisis continues unresolved. Alternating narratives from the daughter, Luz, and her mother, Esperanza, help the reader appreciate how the experience will traumatize everyone in the family from Luz’s grandmother, who has been bringing Luz up in El Salvador alone for six years, […]

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