Bike Riding in Kabul by Jamie Bowman was released less than a month ago, but already praise has been pouring in from reviewers. Bike Riding in Kabul held the #1 bestseller spot in International Law on Amazon for three weeks steady, and it’s incredible to see such a quick and positive response from these first readers.
I received an ARC of Bike Riding in Kabul: The Global Adventures of a Foreign Aid Practitioner, and as soon as it was published, I bought copies for my sister, nephew, and niece. Then, I wrote to my cousin, who bought her own copy. What can I say? I enjoyed the book that much. Sparing us the confusing alphabet soup of agency anacronyms, Jamie Bowman’s book gives us a peek into the workings of the US’s international development efforts in post-conflict and emerging markets. Her stories are informative, well-written, and most of all, entertaining. As a bonus, we get a glimpse of countries most of us will never visit. Through Ms. Bowman’s telling, I can almost see the crush of traffic in Moscow, the red dirt roads of Juba, South Sudan, and the breathtaking beauty of Panjshir, Afghanistan. Well done, Ms. Bowman. I hope you are writing a sequel.–Amazon reviewer
Bike Riding in Kabul is a wonderfully unique book. An intelligent memoir written to be as enjoyable and fast-paced as a novel, the author worked for government foreign aid organizations in developing countries. For those who like to travel, to read about travel, are interested in world affairs or who are just curious, it is interesting and sometimes, yes, troubling. These are countries most people will never visit. Cultural and political challenges are highlighted and explained, as are personal relationships, good and not as good. Through it all, author Jamie Bowman shows an enjoyable sense of humor, a human side and her love of country. I highly recommend!–Amazon Reviewer
I have an insatiable need to learn and explore but am now limited by age, time, and resources so I appease my desires by reading the travails of others. From the safety and comfort of my home, I can vicariously live the lives of others. I don’t have to arrange flights and hotels, pack, rub elbows with other passengers, hunt for transport, or do anything else that goes with foreign travel, which in my elder years, have become more daunting than exciting.
Jamie’s writing not only takes me with her, I also feel her emotions as she conveys humor, angst, love, fear, confusion, and sometimes frustration in response to events, places, and people. Plus she explains her role and some of the challenges she faces in a manner I can easily understand.
Jamie has provided me with the excitement of exploration and insight in revealing a world I didn’t realize existed — helping other countries with their growth and humanity through home and business ownership — something so many of us take for granted or simply dismiss.
Jamie’s telling of her escapades leave me wanting more — more about the people she meets, the towns she explores, the accommodations she endures, the food and drink she consumes, the weather she endures, the bugs — all of it. Her writing pulled me from one page to the next, from one chapter to the next, and from one country to the next. I so look forward to her next book.–Amazon reviewer
What a pleasure to read a book by a literate and intelligent author writing on a topic that I knew little about. This account of a lawyer skilled in finance and government who lends her expertise to countries establishing themselves as democracies on the international stage was a clear-eyed story of risk and rewards.
I was impressed with the author’s ability to handle complex legal issues in countries without a background in Western law. It was fascinating to read about the challenges she faced in Kabul, Kosovo, Rwanda and Ukraine and how gracefully she handled them. Some of the difficulties were as a result of culture clash, some due to poverty and some came from facing corruption. Her descriptions were entertaining but not at the expense of her associates and never just to provide a few laughs. Wherever she went, she was open to new experiences and was always guided by high moral principals inculcated by her parents… I loved everything about this book but I was especially touched by how she kept her enthusiasm, her love for her country and her contribution in making the world a better place.–Amazon Reviewer