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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Book Review – Fiction: Mister Johnson

Mister Johnson By Joyce Cary Reviewed By Mark D. Walker Having worked in West Africa (Sierra Leone) for several years, I looked forward to reading this book, which took place in Nigeria. I also wanted to see how the relationship between an African clerk and his British bosses developed. And I wanted to read what some say is the best novel to be written about Africa, despite its author’s inconspicuous formative years when he barely earned his degree from Oxford in 1912. Mister Johnson is a warm-hearted, enthusiastic, but incompetent, government clerk on probation at the outpost of Fada, Nigeria […]

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Book Review – Fiction: Miguel Street

Miguel Street, by V. S. Naipaul Reviewed by Mark D. Walker As is the case with Graham Greene, I occasionally pick up one of their many novels, as they’re two of the great global storytellers. The stories in Miguel Street are a collection of linked short stories based on childhood memories in the Port of Spain. The street appears to be based on Luis Street where the author lived with his family in the 1940s. When I was in the Port of Spain five years ago doing some consulting work, I saw some of the slums, which seemed similar to […]

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Book Review – Fiction: Me Talk Pretty One Day

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris Reviewed by Mark D. Walker I’d heard enough about the author’s wit and humor to finally purchase one of his books. I didn’t realize it was a compilation of his short stories which was initially confusing but I found a number of them hilarious. Although he’s no Mark Twain, I found his insights and cultural euphemisms and political correctness helped lighten up my day. I can’t imagine him trying to convince family members to share some of the more outrageous stories about them. He’s teamed up with his sister Amy on several […]

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Book Review – Fiction: House Made of Dawn

House Made of Dawn By N. Scott Momaday Reviewed by Mark D. Walker I learned about the author on an “American Masters” documentary, “Words from a Bear” that portrayed him as a voice of Native American Renaissance in art and literature, which led to a breakthrough of Native American literature into the mainstream. Like many Americans, my awareness of the Native American was raised by historian Dee Brown’s 1970 best-selling book, “Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee,” which told about the massacre of several hundred Lakota Indians (mostly women and children) by soldiers of the U.S. Army. The author was […]

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