Back Away from That Keyboard: These Books for Cross-Cultural Workers Should Remain Unwritten

by Craig Thompson on December 18, 2020

Seen any good best-of-the-year book lists lately?

I have, but this isn’t one of them.

Instead, I’ve created a much different kind of list. First, it is a collection of book titles—for cross-cultural workers—but there aren’t real books to go with the names. Second, these titles aren’t any kind of best, and probably shouldn’t even make it to the printing stage.

While compiling a list of made-up titles may not seem like much of an accomplishment, I do want to point out that, slowly but surely, I am moving up in the publishing world . . . sort of. Three years ago I created some clickbait headlines for expats that only lacked people to fill in their stories. Now I’ve come up with titles for whole books (see the progress?). This time, though, the stories don’t need to be filled in.

Solomon writes that “of making many books there is no end.” Let’s leave these books unmade:

Ethnocentrism, Ethnoshmentrism: Incontrovertible Proof that Your Customs Really Are the Best

How I Arrived in Country, Lost My Passport, Got Arrested, Wrestled a Crocodile, Built a Clinic, Organized a VBS . . . and Then Got Ready for My Second Day Abroad

This Airport’s Not My Home, I’m Just A-Passin’ Through: Wild and Wacky Tales from Gate C38

No Matter Where They Go, There They Are: An Anthropologist Circumnavigates the Globe to Chronicle the Unorthodox Migration Patterns of the Third Culture Kid

Can You Take a Look at This Rash? An Expat’s Illustrated Guide to Diseases That You’ve Never Heard of Before but Think You Might Have Caught but Probably Didn’t but Maybe You Did

The ABCs of XYZs: Overcoming Ministry Paralysis by Creating the Perfect Acronym

And They Said I Shouldn’t Go: How Cross-Cultural Work Saved My Marriage, Paid Off My Debts, and Otherwise Solved All My Problems

Oui, I Do Want Fries with That! Become Fluent in Any Language Just by Ordering at McDonald’s

Have Paintbrush Will Travel: 1001 Projects for Visiting Teams That Will Transform the World, Guaranteed!

Does This Spark Joy? Apply a Simple Formula to De-clutter Your To-Do List and Find Complete Serenity in Your Life Abroad

Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Form 2555 Right Over: Make Filing Taxes Overseas the Highlight of Your Year by Turning It into a Super-Fun Game

They Called Me “Little Jesus”: A Memoir

That Wasn’t So Hard: Lessons on Cross-Cultural Life from My Spring Break Overseas

From Expat to Flexpat: How to Up Your Game and Hopscotch Cultures like a Boss

Don’t Make Me Turn This Luggage Cart Around: More Traveling Advice for Parents, from the Author of the Bestselling It’s My Way or the Skyway and I Brought You into This Boarding Area and I can Take You Out

[photo: “Piles of old books,” by veronica_k, used under a Creative Commons license]

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About Craig Thompson

Craig and his wife, Karen, along with their five children, served as missionaries in Taipei, Taiwan, for ten years before returning to southwest Missouri. His experiences, as well as conversations with other cross-cultural workers, have made him more and more interested in member care and the process of transitioning between cultures. Craig blogs at ClearingCustoms.net.

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