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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Million Mile Walker Dispatch, Launching My New Book: My Saddest Pleasures, May, 2022

Dear Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, The big news is that my new book will launch in two days!   I’ll also explore the implications of the bi-partisan support for increasing our military spending by $32.5 BILLION in the Culture Watch. As always, I will share My Writing, Interviews, Reviews, Voices of the Day, What Others Are Saying, and an updated Calendar. “Travel is the saddest of pleasures. It gave me eyes.” This quote from Paul Theroux’s Picture Palace helped put my fifty years on the road into perspective and allowed me to appreciate the miscues, disasters, and disappointments I’d experienced. It helped make me the […]

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Viva Mexico! by Charles Flandrau, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

This was the third book I requested from the editor of ELAND Press for writing an article in their latest newsletter, and I wasn’t disappointed.  I can now understand why some consider it one of the best travel books. The author was a wealthy American with a unique sense of humor and few prejudices except Western uniformity. The book is a journey among the Mexican people and starts in 1904 with a visit to his brother’s coffee plantation in Jalapa, Mexico, with his mother. His three visits were the basis for this profile of rural Mexicans and expatriate gringos, which […]

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Where Was I? A Travel Writer’s Memoir, 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, who Tom met in Ecuador and our love of travel and travel writing. The Panama Hat Trail is one of my all-time favorite tales, and I was impressed when I learned it took the author two trips and eight months to complete it! My wife, who is Guatemalan, loved How I Learned English, a series of stories of Latinos learning English. Since the author is considered by many as one of the best nonfiction/travel writers, I headed for the chapter on […]

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Road Fever: A High-Speed Travelogue, by Tim Cahill, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

This book seemed a “must-read” after writing “Tschiffley’s Epic Equestrian Ride” and my 15,000-mile trek through Latin America, “Traveling Solo,” which is part of my new book, My Saddest Pleasures. Cahill takes us on a “hellarious” trek with professional long-distance driver Garry Sowerby from the southernmost tip of Tierra del Fuego to the northernmost point of the Dalton Highway in Alaska in a record-breaking 23 ½ days (which allowed them to convince Guinness Believe It Or Not” to underwrite the trip, as well as confirm their record) …..and they convinced corporate sponsor GMC to give the Sierra truck and support […]

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CHILD Poems of Consciousness by June Powers, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

I met the author several years ago at an event of the Arizona Authors Association and ran into her again at the Phoenix Writers Club, which is when I learned about this book. After years of work with international childcare organizations, CHILD’s focus caught my attention, and the author sent me a copy. Her opening verse reflected the objective of this book of poems: Someone needs to write about it. Someone needs to say-Speak- Before walking away. Someone needs to preach about it. Until it’s gone. Her poems successfully open the reader’s eyes to the connection and awareness of customs […]

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Travels with Myself and Another: Five Journeys from Hell by Martha Gellhorn, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

Martha Gellhorn wanted to be remembered as a novelist. Yet, most people remember her as one of the great war correspondents and for something that infuriated her, her brief marriage to Ernest Hemingway during the Second World War. Although Hemmingway was the unnamed “other” in her second chapter, “Mr. Ma’s Tigers,” when Martha was in China reporting on the Sino-Japanese war. She refused to be a footnote in someone else’s life, nor should she be. Since her death, several biographies and a significant PBS segment about her have been produced. I became aware of her writing while researching the iconic […]

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