CANDOER Retirement Group

A World-Wide Organization

Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement

Reading Suggestions

Since I started publishing the CANDOER News newsletter again, I no longer do individual stories on this page. Instead I will list books that have been published by members or others that may be of interest to all CANDOERs. Enjoy reading!

I received the following from CANDOER Frank Presley

A Dance Amongst the Flames by Yasemin Pressley. My dear wife, Yasemin, wrote her Memoire about her life and her experiences since the bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya on 08/07/1998. I think many of you will find this interesting and helpful to understand what victims of terrorism experience. This book will reveal some of the pain and difficulties our family experienced. It also reveals both the compassion and lack of compassion from those that we trusted most.

I received the following from CANDOER Jim Prosser:

This book is loaded with fascinating true stories of Foreign Service life. About 25% of the stories contained therein are mine.

Real Life Adventures of American Diplomatic Families Overseas
Irwin Rubenstein, Editor

To order copies of this book, contact: Tel. 1-888-795-4274.

The nearly 130 stories in this book (334 pages) were gathered from the members of the FSRA (Foreign Service Retirees Association of Florida) through the repeated requesting, cajoling and near badgering of George Bernard, FSRA's Historian. Without George and Muriel, his wife who painstakingly assembled everything on a computer disc, there would be no book. A great deal of technical/computer advice and assistance was furnished repeatedly by Peter Shulman, close friend of the editor. Estelle Rubenstein, the editor's wife, proof-read the entire book.

A team of FSRA volunteers was then assembled to put the stories into shape for publishing. They are: Irwin Rubenstein, Barbara Floyd, Stanley Harris, Betty Matthews, Frank Devine, and Arlene Mitchell.

Everyone in FSRA owes a large debt of gratitude to the people mentioned above who spent so much of their time and energy in producing this book, plus the many authors who contributed accounts of actual events of their lives. We all hope the readers think the end product is worth the effort.

Russian Spies, Qadhafi, and other Memories by Dick Kalla. Available on:

This book was fun to read . . . like spending an afternoon with a good friend, chatting and just catching up on what he'd been doing for the last 30 years which, by the sounds of it, was a whole lot more fun than what I've been doing for the last 30 years. Dick Kalla wanted to see the world and decided a life in the Foreign Service might be the ticket. I think he hit the jackpot. He did a good job of describing 'the lay of the land' wherever he went; I could picture everything he was describing as he went along. It was kind of like looking at these places through a magnifying glass. It's apparent that Dick Kalla enjoyed the diversity of the different countries, the different cultures, and the different cuisines. It could have been you .. it could have been me .. he tells his story like "the guy next door," a refreshing change from so many books I've read where the author has seen it all, has done it all, and knows it all. A good book to read if you have an adventurous soul, if you're thinking about a career in foreign service, or if you'd like to 'see' some places you might otherwise never get to see. He had some funny stories to tell about the people he's worked with over the years. I especially enjoyed looking through Dick Kalla's eyes at the local people he and his family met along the way. It validates for me what I've known all along: People of all cultures are just people, after all .. and like most of us, most of them are just trying to survive in this crazy world we live in. - Bookworm, Clayton, NC

Dick self-published this book. He says if you are interested in self-publishing a book contact him. He has a lot of information he can pass on to you.

Realities of Foreign Service Life by Patricia Linderman. Available on:

Mention a diplomatic career and most people imagine high-level meetings, formal dress and cocktail parties. Few stop to think that behind the occasional glitter of official functions are thousands of families facing all the routines and crises of life - births, deaths, childrearing, divorce - far from home, relatives, and friends, in an unfamiliar and sometimes unfriendly country and culture. This book provides reflections and perspectives on the realities of Foreign Service life as experienced by members of the Foreign Service community around the world. The writers share their unvarnished views on a wide variety of topics they care about: maintaining long-distance relationships, raising teens abroad, dealing with depression, coping with evacuations, readjusting to life in the United States, and many others. These are stories from the diplomatic trenches - true experiences from those who have lived the lifestyle and want to share their hard-learned lessons with others.

If you are new to the Foreign Service, this book will offer insights and practical information useful in your overseas tours and when you return home. Even if you are a seasoned veteran of the Foreign Service, the reports and reflections of others may encourage you to compare and evaluate your own experiences.

If you (or your partner) are contemplating joining the Foreign Service, this book can serve as a reality check, giving you honest, personal perspectives on both the positive and negative aspects of Foreign Service life.

If you are a student wondering what the Foreign Service is all about, this book will broaden your knowledge and provide you with an insider's view not found in any textbook.

Inside a U.S. Embassy: How the Foreign Service Works for America by Shawn Dorman. Available on:

"Inside a U.S. Embassy" is a great start in learning more about the Foreign Service, focusing on the individuals who serve the United States from abroad. It covers a diverse group of people and is quite easy to read. The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 consists of profiles of Foreign Service employees in "each type of position in a typical U.S. embassy," including Ambassador, Political Officer, Consular Officer, Office Management Specialist, and Foreign Service National. The profiles included are of both men and women who have served in different parts of the world. However, like a previous reviewer, I wonder if they could have chosen to do a profile of a Junior Officer that is more consistent with what Junior Officers are expected to do. She didn't seem so "junior" to me! Part 2 consists of one-day hour-by-hour journals from embassy staff around the world. I liked the fact that they included the journal of a Foreign Service spouse, since families also play a large role in the Foreign Service. The most personal, and fascinating, part was Part 3, which has "tales from the field" from Foreign Service staff with experiences including the evacuation of an embassy (Pakistan), the assassination of an ambassador (Afghanistan), a coup (Guinea-Bissau), and organizing a Little League in the Ukraine. Also included in the book are a map of Department of State locations and a list of foreign affairs and Foreign Service resources.

A Dream Fulfilled by Phil Wold. Available on:

Phil Wold also self-published a story of his life in the Foreign Service back in 2005 titled, "A dream fullfilled". It is also available on When you search, use the author's name, Phil Wold. A search by the title will bring up several unrelated items. Phil's book includes 940 photos.

A note from the author: The purpose of this book is to illustrate how one's dream can be lived to the fullest. As a young child, I became curious about the rest of the world. It all seemed so strange and distant. My desire to see and explore as much of the world as possible became my passion and my dream! One day, I suddenly realized that I actually was living it each day. It is possible for everyone to also fulfill their dream. You just have to keep reaching for it and never give up.

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