69 books like Walking Each Other Home Again

By Laurie Oman,

Here are 69 books that Walking Each Other Home Again fans have personally recommended if you like Walking Each Other Home Again. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze

Brett Dakin Author Of Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos

From my list on books about living abroad in Asia.

Why am I passionate about this?

Right after college, I lived abroad in Asia, in the small, landlocked country of Laos. A key theme of the book is the role of the U.S. in the world. During the Vietnam War, Laos was subject to a massive bombing campaign by the U.S., and decades later, the country was still coping with the effects. As unexploded bombs continued to kill people every year, how would my colleagues and neighbors react to an American living among them? The book is mainly about the joys of navigating another culture, and while Laos is unique, I’ve read a lot of books about living abroad in Asia, and common themes certainly emerge.

Brett's book list on books about living abroad in Asia

Brett Dakin Why did Brett love this book?

I love just about anything Peter writes, but this book is special; it’s his first, about his stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in China in the late 1990s, just about the time I moved to Laos. It was a great inspiration to me: the perfect combination of personal memoir and cultural insight.

Bonus: Peter continues to write for the New Yorker magazine about his students from all those years ago and what they are up to today.

By Peter Hessler,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked River Town as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Peter Hessler went to China in the late 1990s, he expected to spend a couple of peaceful years teaching English in the town of Fuling on the Yangtze River. But what he experienced - the natural beauty, cultural tension, and complex process of understanding that takes place when one is thrust into a radically different society - surpassed anything he could have imagined. Hessler observes firsthand how major events such as the death of Deng Xiaoping, the return of Hong Kong to the mainland, and the controversial consturction of the Three Gorges Dam have affected even the people of…


Book cover of Dear Exile: The True Story Of Two Friends Separated (For A Year) By An Ocean

Christine Herbert Author Of The Color of the Elephant

From my list on serving in the Peace Corps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a returned U.S. Peace Corps volunteer who served as a community health worker and educator in Zambia from 2004-2006. My highly-anticipated debut memoir, The Color of the Elephant: Memoir of a Muzungu, a Zola Award finalist, releases January 2022. As an avid reader of adventurous, fish-out-of-water tales, I’ve read dozens of memoirs by fellow Peace Corps volunteers who’ve served all around the world from the 1960s to the present day. These are my top picks based on literary merit, engaging storytelling, and pure heart.

Christine's book list on serving in the Peace Corps

Christine Herbert Why did Christine love this book?

This story is told in a series of letters exchanged between two former college roommates, one who marries and joins the Peace Corps in Kenya with her husband, the other striking out on her own in New York City. Each writer has a magic in her writing style that is all her own, which would make either of their tales a standalone success, but the “secret sauce” of this book lies in the juxtaposition of their two very different lives. Each writer’s tales of triumph and woe—lifestyles that could not be more polar opposite—play off one another in the most hilarious and tender way. With acerbic wit and disarming candor, this offbeat correspondence is bound to delight even the most jaded Sex-in-the-City-ish Manhattanite’s heart.

By Hilary Liftin, Kate Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dear Exile as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A funny and moving story told through the letters of two women nurturing a friendship as they are separated by distance, experience, and time.

Close friends and former college roommates, Hilary Liftin and Kate Montgomery promised to write when Kate's Peace Corps assignment took her to Africa.  Over the course of a single year, they exchanged an offbeat and moving series of letters from rural Kenya to New York City and back again.

Kate, an idealistic teacher, meets unexpected realities ranging from poisonous snakes and vengeful cows to more serious hazards: a lack of money for education; a student body…


Book cover of Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali

George W. Norton Author Of Hunger and Hope: Escaping Poverty and Achieving Food Security in Developing Countries

From my list on hunger and health issues in developing countries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a small farm, expecting to return to it after college, but I was inspired by books and by a teacher to focus instead on alleviating hunger and poverty problems in developing countries and two years working with the rural poor in Colombia in the Peace Corps helped me understand the need to attack these problems at both the household and policy levels. I taught courses and wrote on agricultural development issues at Virginia Tech for forty years and managed agricultural projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. I am passionate about improving food security and human health and treating people with respect regardless of their circumstances.

George's book list on hunger and health issues in developing countries

George W. Norton Why did George love this book?

Many Peace Corps memoirs have been penned, but this account of the author’s experience living and working with a midwife in a remote village in Mali is my favorite because it captures in moving, page-turning prose the depth of the bond that develops between the author and her local counterpart, Monique.

I loved how the story immersed me in the local culture, gender relations, and medical reality as Monique fought, with determination and good humor, to save lives and provide hope to vulnerable women. It is also a story, as it is for many Peace Corps volunteers and was for me, of growing up and broadening horizons during a formative time.       

By Kris Holloway,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Monique and the Mango Rains as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Monique Dembele saves lives and dispenses hope in a place where childbirth is a life-and-death matter. Her unquenchable passion to improve the lot of the women and children in her West African village is matched by her buoyant humour in the face of unhappy marriage and backbreaking work. This is the deeply compelling story of the rare friendship between a young development volunteer and this midwife who defies tradition and becomes - too early in her own life - a legend.


Book cover of História, História

Christine Herbert Author Of The Color of the Elephant

From my list on serving in the Peace Corps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a returned U.S. Peace Corps volunteer who served as a community health worker and educator in Zambia from 2004-2006. My highly-anticipated debut memoir, The Color of the Elephant: Memoir of a Muzungu, a Zola Award finalist, releases January 2022. As an avid reader of adventurous, fish-out-of-water tales, I’ve read dozens of memoirs by fellow Peace Corps volunteers who’ve served all around the world from the 1960s to the present day. These are my top picks based on literary merit, engaging storytelling, and pure heart.

Christine's book list on serving in the Peace Corps

Christine Herbert Why did Christine love this book?

Breathtaking in its honesty and poetic style, this is the Peace Corps memoir “hidden gem” you’ll be glad you’ve unearthed! Eleanor and her husband are newlyweds sent to the remote Portuguese-based Creole-speaking islands of Cape Verde. Not long after arriving, Eleanor develops an eating disorder that drains the vitality of her body, her mind, her work, and her marriage. The narrative nimbly weaves poetic imagery, keen observation, personal stories, history, and geography lessons together into a fascinating literary tapestry. This is a story about fidelity, the search for meaning, the frailty of the human condition, suffering, perseverance, and redemption; in short: a survivor’s story.

By Eleanor Stanford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked História, História as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Twenty-two and newly married, Eleanor Stanford and her husband join the Peace Corps and find themselves on the West African islands of Cape Verde. In this beautifully alien place, as she teaches her students and struggles to come to terms with the island's fascinating yet frustrating culture, Eleanor watches everything she knows about relationships get flipped upside-down and attempts to hide the eating disorder she's developed, which threatens both her marriage and her life. Part travelogue, part cultural documentary, 'Historia, Historia' combines journalistic excellence with the gripping style of personal memoirs to bring you this lyrical, moving portrait of an…


Book cover of The Tin Can Crucible: A firsthand account of modern-day sorcery violence

Kyoko Mori Author Of The Dream of Water: A Memoir

From my list on travel memoirs for those who love to wander.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although two of my nonfiction books—The Dream of Water and Polite Lies—are about traveling from the American Midwest to my native country of Japan, I'm not a traveler by temperament. I long to stay put in one place. Chimney swifts cover the distance between North America and the Amazon basin every fall and spring. I love to stand in the driveway of my brownstone to watch them. That was the last thing Katherine Russell Rich and I did together in what turned out to be the last autumn of her life before the cancer she’d been fighting came back. Her book, Dreaming in Hindi, along with the four other books I’m recommending, expresses an indomitable spirit of adventure. 

Kyoko's book list on travel memoirs for those who love to wander

Kyoko Mori Why did Kyoko love this book?

Christopher Davenport, who later became a Foreign Service Officer with the U. S. Department of State and served in various countries including Vietnam, Guatemala, Tajikistan, and Georgia, was a Peace Corps volunteer in 1994. In Papua New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands, he was placed with a local family in a village of subsistence farmers. Except when attending classes in town (a hike and a long car ride away) with other Peace Corps volunteers scattered through the area, he worked, attended village gatherings, ate, and slept with his host family who treated him like an adopted son. The Tin Can Crucible—the title refers to the ingenuity of the local people—tells an honest, unsettling, and thoughtful story about what happened when the rhythm of this peaceful life was shattered by an accusation of witchcraft and examines the moral and ethical ambiguities and complexities of the role of philanthropy and the well-meant intentions…

By Christopher Davenport,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tin Can Crucible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1994, a Peace Corps Volunteer named Christopher Davenport travels to Papua New Guinea's Eastern Highlands region to live with a group of subsistence farmers.


He settles into village life, begins learning the language and develops a strong sense of connection with his inherited family.


One day, following the death of a venerated elder, the people of the village kidnap, torture, and ultimately kill a local woman accused of practising sorcery.


Devastated, Christopher tries desperately to reconcile this unspeakable act with the welcoming and caring community he has come to love. He is left with one universal question: How can…


Book cover of The Color of the Elephant

Marilyn Kriete Author Of Paradise Road: A Memoir

From my list on memoirs to take you on wild adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a serial memoirist (two published, two more to come), and a true fan of well-written memoir. I read all kinds, but my favorites often combine coming-of-age with unusual travel or life choices. I love getting inside the authors’ heads, discovering not just what they did, but why, and how they felt about it later, and what came next. Great memoirs take us out of our own lives and into settings, situations, and perspectives we may never experience. What better way to understand how other people live and move and think and feel? Fiction is fine, but a unique true story hooks me from start to finish. 

Marilyn's book list on memoirs to take you on wild adventures

Marilyn Kriete Why did Marilyn love this book?

This engrossing memoir drops us into the heart of Zambia as the author—another novice on a big adventure—evolves into an unflappable hut-dweller, dealing bravely and humorously with the absolute unfamiliarity of her Peace Corps assignment. 

Intrepid and disarming, Christine is the only muzungu (white person) in her village—tall, blonde, and frequently klutzy, her misadventures on full display to her curious neighbors. I fell in love with the author and her quest to overcome even the thorniest cultural challenges, all related in present tense so we’re right there with her.

My own African adventure unfolded many years earlier in the urban jungle of Lagos, so this is a captivating account of an entirely different African experience.

By Christine Herbert,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Color of the Elephant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An outstanding new voice in memoir, Christine Herbert takes the reader on a “time-machine tour” of her Peace Corps volunteer service as a health worker and educator from 2004–2006 in Zambia. Rather than a retrospective, this narrative unfolds in the present tense, propelling the reader alongside the memoirist through a fascinating exploration of a life lived “off the grid.”

At turns harrowing, playful, dewy-eyed and wise, the author’s heart and candor illuminate every chapter, whether she is the heroine of the tale or her own worst enemy. Even at her most petulant, the laugh-out-loud humor scuppers any “white savior” mentality…


Book cover of The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed

Isham Cook Author Of At the Teahouse Cafe: Essays from the Middle Kingdom

From my list on old Beijing.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having lived in China for almost three decades, I am naturally interested in the expat writing scene. I am a voracious reader of fiction and nonfiction on China, past and present. One constant in this country is change, and that requires keeping up with the latest publications by writers who have lived here and know it well. As an author of three novels, one short story collection, and three essay collections on China myself, I believe I have something of my own to contribute, although I tend to hew to gritty, offbeat themes to capture a contemporary China unknown to the West.

Isham's book list on old Beijing

Isham Cook Why did Isham love this book?

Books on Chinese cities by foreigners have long lamented the redevelopment juggernaut’s steamrolling of old buildings and neighborhoods (Juliet Bredon’s Peking for one). Meyer’s exhaustively researched study of the Beijing neighborhood in which he lived in the early 2000s takes this a step further to a grassroots political call for action, before “replicas replace architectural heritage across China.” By illuminating his neighbors’ lives and their histories and reaching back into the city’s past, Meyer attempts to immortalize the disappearing Dashilar neighborhood literally in the form of a book, which if nothing else will be of future documentary value. Driving the old-vs.-new dichotomy too hard, however, obscures the more interesting question of how Chinese cities today are creatively blending the old and the new, as again they have long done in the past. As a longtime Beijing resident, I am stuck with the present and nonetheless find that history doesn’t stop…

By Michael Meyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Days of Old Beijing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Journalist Michael Meyer has spent his adult life in China, first in a small village as a Peace Corps volunteer, the last decade in Beijing--where he has witnessed the extraordinary transformation the country has experienced in that time. For the past two years he has been completely immersed in the ancient city, living on one of its famed hutong in a century-old courtyard home he shares with several families, teaching English at a local elementary school--while all around him "progress" closes in as the neighborhood is methodically destroyed to make way for high-rise buildings, shopping malls, and other symbols of…


Book cover of Country Driving

Brantly Womack Author Of China and Vietnam: The Politics of Asymmetry

From my list on China perspectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

Where you sit determines what you see. China is complex, and so it pays to move around and view it from as many perspectives as possible. My view of China is formed by visits to all of its 31 provinces and to most of its neighbors.  A professor of foreign affairs at the University of Virginia, I have taught and written about Chinese politics for the past forty years, and I have worked with Chinese universities and scholars. This list suggests some excellent books presenting different vantage points on China’s past and present.

Brantly's book list on China perspectives

Brantly Womack Why did Brantly love this book?

The first step to enriching perspectives on China is to go there—something more difficult in times of COVID and political tensions. One of the most pleasant virtual visits is to take a back seat as Peter Hessler roams the Great Wall backcountry. He does American things in an un-American place: getting a driver’s license, renting a car, meeting hitchhikers, countryfolk, and their city kids. He moves on to the factories, and we meet the Chinese that put the “Made in China” label on our daily world. Hessler is a regular at the New Yorker, is living in China, and always a good read.

By Peter Hessler,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Country Driving as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After living in China for five years, and learning the language, Peter Hessler decided to undertake an even more complicated endeavor: he acquired his Chinese driving licence. An eye-opening challenge, it enabled him to embark on an epic journey driving across this most enigmatic of countries. Over seven years, he travelled to places rarely explored by tourists, into the factories exporting their goods to the world and into the homes of their workers. Full of extraordinary encounters and details of life beyond Beijing, it is an unforgettable, unique portrait of the country that will likely shape all our lives in…


Book cover of Henderson the Rain King

Lawrence Grobel Author Of You Show Me Yours: A Writer's Journey From Brooklyn to Hollywood via 5 Continents, 30 Years, and the Incomparable Sixties

From my list on to tickle your fancy.

Why am I passionate about this?

We come to books at different ages, and some of them are more special than others for our own growth and development. I became a writer because of books that influenced me and sparked my imagination. When I became a teacher, I passed on my enthusiasm. I have written 31 books and have taught writing and literature on the college level in the Peace Corps, at Antioch, and UCLA. I’ve interviewed three of the five writers whose books I’m recommending and would have tried to interview Jack London and James Joyce if I had lived when they were alive. These 5 books made me laugh, cry, sing, and dream. They expanded my consciousness.

Lawrence's book list on to tickle your fancy

Lawrence Grobel Why did Lawrence love this book?

This comical journey into the heart of a mythical Africa was compared to the Odyssey and Don Quixote by Newsweek. “I am a high-spirited kind of guy,” Eugene Henderson says. “And it’s the destiny of my generation of Americans to go out in the world and try to find the wisdom of life.” I read Henderson the Rain King in high school, and it stayed with me when I joined the Peace Corps after college and journeyed to Africa. I couldn’t get Henderson’s refrain— “I want I want I want”—out of my head. What I wanted was experience. Adventure. To live free. Bellow’s picaresque book—his ideas, his imagination—was a beam lighting the path that I wanted to take as a writer.

By Saul Bellow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Henderson the Rain King as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bellow evokes all the rich colour and exotic customs of a highly imaginary Africa in this comic novel about a middle-aged American millionaire who, seeking a new, more rewarding life, descends upon an African tribe. Henderson's awesome feats of strength and his unbridled passion for life earns him the admiration of the tribe - but it is his gift for making rain that turns him from mere hero into messiah.


Book cover of One Hundred Years of Solitude

Kevin Chen Author Of Ghost Town

From my list on family saga books that unravel dark secrets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have 7 sisters and 1 brother. I was the 9th child in my family. To get a son who would carry on the family heritage, my parents tried 7 times without any success. After 7 unwanted daughters, my brother finally arrived. Then they had me as the second boy in the family. The plot twist was: I am gay. I turned out to be the 8th unwanted daughter because of my sexuality. Coming from this small-town big family full of superstitions and secrets, I am naturally drawn to dramatic family stories with many dark and psychological twists.

Kevin's book list on family saga books that unravel dark secrets

Kevin Chen Why did Kevin love this book?

This novel is impossible. Names, plots, generations, and vivid words all created hurdles for me to finish it. I honestly wanted to give up, but I always came back to the book.

The hurdles cast a spell that demanded me to continue. I wanted to know what happened to Macondo, the fictional town in the book. The magic elements and scents of the words left me spellbound for years. The reading experience elevated me to a colorful world, and I almost did not want to return to my reality.

By Gabriel García Márquez, Gregory Rabassa (translator),

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked One Hundred Years of Solitude as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women -- brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul -- this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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